Single Crystal Growth of High-Pressure Phases of Ice and Salt Hydrate Far Below the Original Melting Point by Mixing Alcohol: Crystal Structure Determination of Magnesium Chloride Heptahydrate

An crystal-growth technique for single crystal x-ray structure analysis of high-pressure forms of hydrogen-bonded crystals is proposed. We used alcohol mixture (methanol: ethanol = 4:1 in volumetric ratio), which is a widely used pressure transmitting medium, inhibiting the nucleation and growth of unwanted crystals. In this paper, two kinds of single crystals which have not been obtained using a conventional experimental technique were obtained using this technique: ice VI at 1.99 GPa and MgCl2·7H2O at 2.51 GPa at room temperature. Here we first report the crystal structure of MgCl2·7H2O. This technique simultaneously meets the requirement of hydrostaticity for high-pressure experiments and has feasibility for further in-situ measurements.