Alloxan under pressure–squeezing an extremely dense molecular crystal structure†
The crystal structure of the small organic molecule, alloxan, has been explored using high-pressure neutron diffraction; its already efficiently-packed structure provides a ‘chemical head-start’ on the pressure experiment. At the highest pressure measured, alloxan reaches a density of 2.36 g cm−3—unprecedented for a C, H(D), N, O-containing organic material of appreciable molecular weight. Its crystal structure is stable until ca. 6.5 GPa above which the sample starts to undergo amorphisation.