Proton Conductivity in Phosphoric Acid: The Role of Quantum Effects

M. Heres, Y. Wang, P. J. Griffin, C. Gainaru, A. P. Sokolov
2016 Physical Review Letters  
Phosphoric acid has one of the highest intrinsic proton conductivities of any known liquids, and the mechanism of this exceptional conductivity remains a puzzle. Our detailed experimental studies discovered a strong isotope effect in the conductivity of phosphoric acids caused by (i) a strong isotope shift of the glass transition temperature and (ii) a significant reduction of the energy barrier by zero-point quantum fluctuations. These results suggest that the high conductivity in phosphoric
more » ... ity in phosphoric acids is caused by a very efficient proton transfer mechanism, which is strongly assisted by quantum effects.
doi:10.1103/physrevlett.117.156001 pmid:27768354 fatcat:ckvs2ombnnbgbhzn5cj72xwwau