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  1. High pressures induce changes of properties and structures that could greatly impact materials science if such changes were preserved for ambient applications. Mimicking the geological process of diamond formation that the pressures and high-pressure phases in diamond inclusions can be preserved by the strong diamond envelope, we discuss the perspectives that such process revolutionizes high-pressure science and technology and opens a great potential for creation of functional materials with extremely favorable properties. 
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  2. We performed Raman and infrared (IR) spectroscopy measurements of hydrogen at 295 K up to 280 GPa at an IR synchrotron facility of the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF). To reach the highest pressure, hydrogen was loaded into toroidal diamond anvils with 30-μm central culet. The intermolecular coupling has been determined by concomitant measurements of the IR and Raman vibron modes. In phase IV, we find that the intermolecular coupling is much stronger in the graphenelike layer (G layer) of elongated molecules compared to the Br 2 -like layer (B layer) of shortened molecules and it increases with pressure much faster in the G layer compared to the B layer. These heterogeneous lattice dynamical properties are unique features of highly fluxional hydrogen phase IV. 
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  3. The distribution and transportation of water in Earth’s interior depends on the stability of water-bearing phases. The transition zone in Earth’s mantle is generally accepted as an important potential water reservoir because its main constituents, wadsleyite and ringwoodite, can incorporate weight percent levels of H2O in their structures at mantle temperatures. The extent to which water can be transported beyond the transition zone deeper into the mantle depends on the water carrying capacity of minerals stable in subducted lithosphere. Stishovite is one of the major mineral components in subducting oceanic crust, yet the capacity of stishovite to incorporate water beyond at lower mantle conditions remains speculative. In this study, we combine in situ laser heating with synchrotron X-ray diffraction to show that the unit cell volume of stishovite synthesized under hydrous conditions is ∼2.3 to 5.0% greater than that of anhydrous stishovite at pressures of ∼27 to 58 GPa and temperatures of 1,240 to 1,835 K. Our results indicate that stishovite, even at temperatures along a mantle geotherm, can potentially incorporate weight percent levels of H2O in its crystal structure and has the potential to be a key phase for transporting and storing water in the lower mantle.

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  4. Abstract Understanding the mineralogy of the Earth's interior is a prerequisite for unravelling the evolution and dynamics of our planet. Here, we conducted high pressure-temperature experiments mimicking the conditions of the deep lower mantle (DLM, 1800–2890 km in depth) and observed surprising mineralogical transformations in the presence of water. Ferropericlase, (Mg, Fe)O, which is the most abundant oxide mineral in Earth, reacts with H2O to form a previously unknown (Mg, Fe)O2Hx (x≤1) phase. The (Mg, Fe)O2Hx has the pyrite structure and it coexists with the dominant silicate phases, bridgmanite and post-perovskite. Depending on Mg content and geotherm temperatures, the transformation may occur at 1800 km for (Mg0.6Fe0.4)O or beyond 2300 km for (Mg0.7Fe0.3)O. The (Mg, Fe)O2Hx is an oxygen excess phase that stores an excessive amount of oxygen beyond the charge balance of maximum cation valences (Mg2+, Fe3+, and H+). This important phase has a number of far-reaching implications including the extreme redox inhomogeneity, deep-oxygen reservoirs in the DLM, and an internal source for modulating oxygen in the atmosphere. 
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  5. Abstract As the reaction product of subducted water and the iron core, FeO2 with more oxygen than hematite (Fe2O3) has been recently recognized as an important component in the D” layer just above the Earth's core-mantle boundary. Here, we report a new oxygen-excess phase (Mg, Fe)2O3+δ (0 < δ < 1, denoted as “OE-phase”). It forms at pressures greater than 40gigapascals when (Mg, Fe)-bearing hydrous materials are heated over 1,500 kelvin. The OE-phase is fully recoverable to ambient conditions for ex-situ investigation using transmission electron microscopy, which indicates that the OE-phase contains ferric iron (Fe3+) as in Fe2O3 but holds excess oxygen through interactions between oxygen atoms. The new OE-phase provides strong evidence that H2O has extraordinary oxidation power at high pressure. Unlike the formation of pyrite-type FeO2Hx which usually requires saturated water, the OE-phase can be formed with under-saturated water at mid-mantle conditions, and is expected to be more ubiquitous at depths greater than 1,000 km in Earth's mantle. The emergence of oxygen-excess reservoirs out of primordial and subducted (Mg, Fe)-bearing hydrous materials may revise our view on the deep-mantle redox chemistry. 
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