Beryllium, an s-block element, forms an aromatic network of delocalized Be-Be π bonds in alloys ZrBe2 and HfBe2. This gives rise to a structure that fits description as stacked [Be2]4- layers with tetravalent cations in between. The [Be2]4- sublattice is isoelectronic and isostructural to graphite, as well as the [B]-2 sublattice in MgB2, and it bears identical manifestations of π bonding in its electronic band structure. These come in the form of degeneracies at K and H in the Brillouin zone, separated in energy as the result of interlayer orbital interactions. Zr and Hf use their valence d orbitals to form bonds with the layers, leading to nearly identical band structures. Like MgB2, ZrBe2 and HfBe2 are computed to be phonon-mediated superconductors at ambient pressures, with respective critical temperatures of 11.4 K and 8.8 K. The coupling strength between phonons and free electrons is very similar, so that the difference in critical temperatures is controlled by the mass of constituent interlayer ions.
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