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Pressure-Induced Distortive Phase Transition in Chromite-Spinel at 29 GPa

  • Jinfu Shu (a1), Wendy L. Mao (a2), Russell J Hemley (a3) and Hokwang Mao (a4)
Abstract
Abstract

A natural chromite single crystal was compressed in a helium pressure medium to just above 35 GPa at ambient temperature and studied with energy-dispersive x-ray diffraction. The volume compression of the cubic, spinel-type structure was fit to a third-order Birch-Murnaghan equation of state with parameters a0= 8.338(4) Å, V0 = 579.6(9) Å3, K0 =179(10) GPa, and K' = 3.9(9) up to 29 GPa. A distortive phase transition was discovered at higher pressures to a CaAl2O4-type orthorhombic structure, with two cubic unit-cell axes increasing and the third decreasing with increasing pressure. The transition can be fit to a Landau-type strain-order formulism with approximately 5% volume decrease from the cubic phase at 35 GPa. The transition may be triggered by electronic or magnetic transitions in the 3d elements Fe and Cr cations.

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