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VOLUME 95 | ISSUE 9 | PAGE 509
Absence of metallization in solid molecular hydrogen
Being the simplest element with just one electron and proton the electronic structure of a single Hydrogen atom is known exactly. However, this does not hold for the complex interplay between them in a solid and in particular not at high pressure that is known to alter the crystal as well as the electronic structure and eventually causes solid hydrogen to become metallic. In spite of intense research efforts the experimental realization of metallic hydrogen, as well as the theoretical determination of the crystal structure has remained elusive. Here we present a computational study showing that the distorted hexagonal P63/m structure is the most likely candidate for Phase III of solid hydrogen. We find that the pairing structure is very persistent and insulating over the whole pressure range, which suggests that metallization due to dissociation may precede eventual bandgap closure. Due to the fact that this not only resolve one of major disagreement between theory and experiment, but also excludes the conjectured existence of phonon-driven superconductivity in solid molecular hydrogen, our results involve a complete revision of the zero-temperature phase diagram of Phase III.