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  1. Abstract

    Here we have performed single-crystal X-ray diffraction (SCXRD) experiments on two high-quality crystal platelets of (Al,Fe)-bearing bridgmanite (Mg0.88Fe0.0653+Fe0.0352+Al0.03)(Al0.11Si0.90)O3 (Fe10-Al14-Bgm) up to 64.6(6) GPa at room temperature in a Boehler-Almax type diamond-anvil cell. Refinements on the collected SCXRD patterns reveal reliable structural information of single-crystal Fe10-Al14-Bgm, including unit-cell parameters, atomic coordinates, and anisotropic displacement parameters. Together with Mössbauer and electron microprobe analyses, our best single-crystal refinement model indicates that the sample contains ~6.5 mol% Fe3+, 3.5 mol% Fe2+, and 3 mol% Al3+ in the large pseudo-dodecahedral site (A site), and ~11 mol% Al3+ in the small octahedral site (B site). This may indicate that Al3+ in bridgmanite preferentially occupies the B site. Our results show that the compression of Fe10-Al14-Bgm with pressure causes monotonical decreases in the volumes of AO12 pseudo-dodecahedron and BO6 octahedron (VA and VB, respectively) as well as the associated A-O and B-O bond lengths. The interatomic angles of B-O1-B and B-O2-B decrease from 145.2–145.8° at 4.2(1) GPa to 143.3–143.5° at 64.6(6) GPa. Quantitative calculations of octahedral tilting angles (Ф) show that Ф increases smoothly with pressure. We found a linear relationship between the polyhedral volume ratio and the Ф in the bridgmanite with different compositions: VA/VB = –0.049Φ + 5.549. Our results indicate an increased distortion of the Fe10-Al14-Bgm structure with pressure, which might be related to the distortion of A-site Fe2+. The local environmental changes of A-site Fe2+ in bridgmanite could explain previous results on the hyperfine parameters, abnormal lattice thermal conductivity, mean force constant of iron bonds and other physical properties, which in turn provide insights into our understanding on the geophysics and geochemistry of the planet.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2025
  2. Abstract

    Bridgmanite, the most abundant mineral in the lower mantle, can play an essential role in deep-Earth hydrogen storage and circulation processes. To better evaluate the hydrogen storage capacity and its substitution mechanism in bridgmanite occurring in nature, we have synthesized high-quality single-crystal bridgmanite with a composition of (Mg0.88Fe0.052+Fe0.053+Al0.03)(Si0.88Al0.11H0.01)O3 at nearly water-saturated environments relevant to topmost lower mantle pressure and temperature conditions. The crystallographic site position of hydrogen in the synthetic (Fe,Al)-bearing bridgmanite is evaluated by a time-of-flight single-crystal neutron diffraction scheme, together with supporting evidence from polarized infrared spectroscopy. Analysis of the results shows that the primary hydrogen site has an OH bond direction nearly parallel to the crystallographic b axis of the orthorhombic bridgmanite lattice, where hydrogen is located along the line between two oxygen anions to form a straight geometry of covalent and hydrogen bonds. Our modeled results show that hydrogen is incorporated into the crystal structure via coupled substitution of Al3+ and H+ simultaneously exchanging for Si4+, which does not require any cation vacancy. The concentration of hydrogen evaluated by secondary-ion mass spectrometry and neutron diffraction is ~0.1 wt% H2O and consistent with each other, showing that neutron diffraction can be an alternative quantitative means for the characterization of trace amounts of hydrogen and its site occupancy in nominally anhydrous minerals.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2025
  3. Abstract Thermoelastic properties of mantle candidate minerals are essential to our understanding of geophysical phenomena, geochemistry, and geodynamic evolutions of the silicate Earth. However, the lower-mantle mineralogy remains much debated due to the lack of single-crystal elastic moduli (Cij) and aggregate sound velocities of (Al,Fe)-bearing bridgmanite, the most abundant mineral of the planet, at the lower mantle pressure-temperature (P-T) conditions. Here we report single-crystal Cij of (Al,Fe)-bearing bridgmanite, Mg0.88Fe0.1Al0.14Si0.90O3 (Fe10-Al14-Bgm) with Fe3+/ΣFe = ~0.65, up to ~82 GPa using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Brillouin light scattering (BLS), and impulsive stimulated light scattering (ISLS) measurements in diamond-anvil cells (DACs). Two crystal platelets with orientations of (–0.50, 0.05, –0.86) and (0.65, –0.59, 0.48), that are sensitive to deriving all nine Cij, are used for compressional and shear wave velocity (νP and νS) measurements as a function of azimuthal angles over 200° at each experimental pressure. Our results show that all Cij of singe-crystal Fe10-Al14-Bgm increase monotonically with pressure with small uncertainties of 1–2% (±1σ), except C55 and C23, which have uncertainties of 3–4%. Using the third-order Eulerian finite-strain equations to model the elasticity data yields the aggregate adiabatic bulk and shear moduli and respective pressure derivatives at the reference pressure of 25 GPa: KS = 326 ± 4 GPa, µ = 211 ± 2 GPa, KS′ = 3.32 ± 0.04, and µ′ = 1.66 ± 0.02 GPa. The high-pressure aggregate νS and νP of Fe10-Al14-Bgm are 2.6–3.5% and 3.1–4.7% lower than those of MgSiO3 bridgmanite end-member, respectively. These data are used with literature reports on bridgmanite with different Fe and Al contents to quantitatively evaluate pressure and compositional effects on their elastic properties. Comparing with one-dimensional seismic profiles, our modeled velocity profiles of major lower-mantle mineral assemblages at relevant P-T suggest that the lower mantle could likely consist of about 89 vol% (Al,Fe)-bearing bridgmanite. After considering uncertainties, our best-fit model is still indistinguishable from pyrolitic or chondritic models. 
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  4. Abstract The post-stishovite transition is a classic pseudo-proper typed ferroelastic transition with a symmetry-breaking spontaneous strain. This transition has been studied using high-pressure spontaneous strains, optic modes, and elastic moduli (Cij) based on the Landau modeling, but its atomistic information and structural distortion remain poorly understood. Here we have conducted synchrotron single-crystal X-ray diffraction measurements on stishovite crystals up to 75.3 GPa in a diamond-anvil cell. Analysis of the data reveals atomic positions, bond lengths, bond angles, and variations of SiO6 octahedra across the transition at high pressure. Our results show that the O coordinates split at ~51.4 GPa, where the apical and equatorial Si-O bond lengths cross over, the SiO6 octahedral distortion vanishes, and the SiO6 octahedra start to rotate about the c axis. Moreover, distortion mode analysis shows that an in-plane stretching distortion (GM1+ mode) occurs in the stishovite structure at high pressure while a rotational distortion (GM2+ mode) becomes dominant in the post-stishovite structure. These results are used to correlate with elastic moduli and Landau parameters (symmetry-breaking strain e1–e2 and order parameter Q) to provide atomistic insight into the ferroelastic transition. When the bond lengths of two Si-O bonds are equal due to the contribution from the GM1+ stretching mode, C11 converges with C12, and the shear wave VS1[110] polarizing along [110] and propagating along [110] vanishes. Values of e1–e2 and Q are proportional to the SiO6 rotation angle from the occurrence of the GM1+ rotational mode in the post-stishovite structure. Our results on the pseudo-proper type transition are also compared with that for the proper type in albite and improper type in CaSiO3 perovskite. The symmetry-breaking strain, in all these types of transitions, arises as the primary effect from the structural angle (such as SiO6 rotation or lattice constant angle) and its relevant distortion mode in the low-symmetry ferroelastic phase. 
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  5. Abstract Phase Egg and δ-AlOOH are two typical hydrous phases that might exist in the wet sedimentary layer of subducted slabs under mantle conditions. They are thus regarded as potential water carriers to Earth’s deep mantle. In this report, we report the full elastic constants of both phases determined by Brillouin scattering and X-ray diffraction measurements under ambient conditions. Our results indicate that the hydrogen-bond configurations in the crystal structures of the two phases have a profound effect on their principal elastic constants. The adiabatic bulk modulus (KS) and shear modulus (G) calculated from the obtained elastic constants using the Voigt-Reuss-Hill averaging scheme are 158.3(201) GPa and 123.0(60) GPa for phase Egg and 162.9(31) GPa and 145.2(13) GPa for δ-AlOOH, respectively. These results allow us to evaluate elastic moduli and sound velocities of hydrous minerals in the Al2O3-H2O-SiO2 ternary system (simplified composition of subducted wet sedimentary layer) at ambient conditions, including the contrast of the acoustic velocities VP and VS for the reaction AlSi3OH = δ-AlOOH + SiO2 (stishovite) and the evolution in the elastic moduli and sound velocities of hydrous minerals as a function of density. 
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  6. Abstract

    Hexagonal close‐packed (hcp) structured Fe‐Ni alloy is believed to be the dominant phase in the Earth's inner core. This phase is expected to contain 4%–5% light elements, such as Si and H. While the effects of individual light element candidates on the equation of state (EoS) of the hcp Fe metal have been studied, their combined effects remain largely unexplored. In this study, we report the equations of state for two hcp‐structured Fe‐Si‐H alloys, namely Fe0.83Si0.17H0.07and Fe0.83Si0.17H0.46, using synchrotron X‐ray diffraction measurements up to 125 GPa at 300 K. These alloys were synthesized by cold compression of Fe‐9wt%Si in either pure H2or Ar‐H2mixture medium in diamond‐anvil cells. The volume increase caused by a H atom in hcp Fe‐Si‐H alloys is approximately eight times greater than that by a Si atom. We used the improved data set to develop a composition‐dependent EoS that covers a wide range of compositions. Our calculated density and bulk sound velocity of hcp Fe‐Si‐H alloys suggest a large trade‐off between Si and H contents in fitting the seismic properties of the inner core. Combining our new EoS with geophysical and geochemical constraints, we propose 1.6–3 wt% Si and 0.15–0.6 wt% H in the Earth's inner core.

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