We review the metal-nonmetal transition in expanded liquid mercury and the dielectric transition in dense mercury vapor. Previous explanations for these transitions are found to be deficient. We propose that the high-temperature, high-pressure fluid is an excitonic insulator phase. The phase diagram for the excitonic insulator naturally explains both the metal-non-metal and the dielectric transitions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Materials Chemistry