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Liquid ammonia is unusual in its capacity to host electrons in stable solution, with vivid blue and bronze colors signifying the low- and high-concentration regimes, respectively. Buttersack et al. used photoelectron spectroscopy and accompanying theoretical simulations to track the precise energetic changes that ensued as steadily rising quantities of electrons were introduced by dissolved lithium, sodium, or potassium (see the Perspective by Isborn). The results point to a gradual transition from the dilute electrolyte solution of paired dielectrons to the more delocalized metallic structure at the highest concentrations.
T. Buttersack, P.E. Mason, R.S. McMullen, H.C. Schewe, T. Martinek, K. Brezina, M. Crhan, A. Gomez, D. Hein, G. Wartner, R. Seidel, H. Ali, S. Thürmer, O. Marsalek, B. Winter, S.E. Bradforth, P. Jungwirth. Photoelectron spectra of alkali metal–ammonia microjets: From blue electrolyte to bronze metal Science 368 (2020)
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