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Lithium tantalate
IUPAC name
Other names Lithium Metatantalate
CAS number 12031-66-2 Yes check.svgY
PubChem 159405
RTECS number WW55470000
Molecular formula LiTaO3
Molar mass 235.887 g/mol
Density 7.46 g/cm³, solid
Melting point

1650 °C (1923 K)

Solubility in water  ?/100 ml (25 °C)
Crystal structure Trigonal
MSDS External MSDS
R/S statement is like caca
Related compounds
Other anions LiNbO3
Supplementary data page
Structure and
n, εr, etc.
Phase behaviour
Solid, liquid, gas
Spectral data UV, IR, NMR, MS
 Yes check.svgY (what is this?)  (verify)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Lithium tantalate (LiTaO3), is a crystalline solid which possesses unique optical, piezoelectric and pyroelectric properties which make it valuable for non-linear optics, passive infrared sensors such as motion detectors, terahertz generation and detection, surface acoustic wave applications, cell phones and possibly pyroelectric nuclear fusion. Considerable information is available from commercial sources about this crystal.

Pyroelectric fusion

According to an April 2005 Nature article, Brian Naranjo, Jim Gimzewski and Seth Putterman at UCLA applied a large temperature difference to a lithium tantalate crystal producing a large enough charge to generate and accelerate a beam of deuterium nuclei into a deuteriated target resulting in the production of a small flux of helium-3 and neutrons through nuclear fusion without extreme heat or pressure. Their results have been replicated.[1]

It is unlikely to be useful for electricity generation since the energy required to produce the fusion reactions exceeded the energy produced by them. It is thought that the technique might be useful for small neutron generators, especially if the deuterium beam is replaced by a tritium one. Comparing this with the electrostatic containment of ionic plasma to achieve fusion in a "fusor" or other IEC, this method focuses electrical acceleration to a much smaller non-ionized deuterium target without heat.


  1. ^ B. Naranjo, J.K. Gimzewski and S. Putterman (April 2005). "Observation of nuclear fusion driven by a pyroelectric crystal" (abstract). Nature 434 (434): 1115–1117. doi:10.1038/nature03575.  


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