Crystal clear elements

Swiss researchers have used a new crystal structure prediction program to systematically explore the high-pressure chemistry of molecular elements, including hydrogen and oxygen. Their surprising predictions suggest that novel forms exist. For instance, hydrogen and oxygen should remain molecular at pressures up to 6 Mbar and 2.5 Mbar, respectively. Additionally, the researcher predicted the unique structures of red and black oxygen as well as suggesting several novel carbon allotropes that might have unique physical properties. Artem Oganov and colleagues at ETH Zurich reckon their structure predictions resolve several longstanding debates in chemistry as well as offering opportunities for making new and useful materials.