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The structure of liquid deuterium fluoride has been measured using pulsed neutron diffraction and high energy x-ray diffraction techniques as a function of temperature. The neutron experiments were performed at T=296+/-2 K, 246+/-2 K, and 193+/-2 K and the x-ray measurements carried out at 296+/-2 K and 195+/-2 K. The x-ray pair correlation functions, which are dominated by fluorine-fluorine interactions, show the first peak at approximately 2.53+/-0.05 A remains very nearly invariant with decreasing temperature. Peaks around 4.5 and 5.0 A also appear at both temperatures in the x-ray data. In contrast, the intermolecular peaks in the total neutron pair correlation function show that significant systematic local structural changes occur as the temperature is lowered. The first intermolecular peak position shortens from 1.64+/-0.05 A at 296 K to 1.56+/-0.05 A at 195 K. Although there are overlapping contributions from the intermolecular hydrogen-fluorine and hydrogen-hydrogen correlations, it is clear that the temperature dependent structural changes are largely due to a rearrangement of the deuterium atom positions in the fluid. By comparison with partial structure factor data the hydrogen bonds appear to become more linear at lower temperatures.

Original publication




Journal article


J Chem Phys

Publication Date





6448 - 6455