Charge Density of MgO: Implications of Precise New Measurements for Theory

J. M. Zuo, P. Rez, J. C.H. Spence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A tenfold improvement in the accuracy of measured low-order structure factors for MgO has been achieved using the convergent beam electron diffraction technique. These results allow a meaningful comparison to be made with the latest calculations. We find that the MgO charge density can be described by a superposition of spherical Mg2- and O2 ions, but that a small nonspherical distortion of Mg and O is observable in both experiment and theory. The experimental charge distribution of O2 is more diffuse than the theory, which may be due to the breathing effect of O2- in a vibrating lattice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4777-4780
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 23 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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