Journal of Cluster Science

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 637–653 | Cite as

Common Forms of Alkali Metals—New Rydberg Matter Clusters of Potassium and Hydrogen

  • Leif HolmlidEmail author
Original Paper


Alkali metals can form low-density metallic phases, in their most well-ordered form called Rydberg Matter (RM). RM consists mainly of planar metallic clusters, with the number of atoms in each cluster not exceeding 100 according to experiments. Six-fold symmetric RM clusters in the most stable series K19, K37, K61 and K91 were observed by rotational radio-frequency spectroscopy and shown to be planar in point group D6h (Holmlid, J Mol Struct 885:122, 2008). Here, the RM clusters formed by K and H atoms are studied by neutral time-of-flight after pulsed laser fragmentation of RM formed from K and H. The kinetic energy of the fragments is due to laser initiated Coulomb explosions. Novel RM clusters of the type K N with N = 6, 9, 10, 13 and 15 are ejected from the material. They are necessarily planar due to the RM bonding, with two- or three-fold symmetry axes perpendicular to the plane. Pure hydrogen atom RM clusters H N are observed, demonstrating once more that H indeed is an alkali metal. Mixed clusters K M H N similar to hydrogen clusters where each K replaces an H atom as in KH6 are now also positively identified.


Alkali metal Potassium Rydberg matter Low-density metal Hydrogen Cluster 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Atmospheric Science, Department of ChemistryUniversity of GothenburgGöteborgSweden

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