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  1. Here, we report the high pressure phase and morphology behavior of ordered anatase titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanocrystal arrays. One-dimensional TiO2 nanorods and nanorices were synthesized and self-assembled into ordered mesostructures. Their phase and morphological transitions at both atomic scale and mesoscale under pressure were studied using in situ synchrotron wide- and small-angle x-ray scattering (WAXS and SAXS) techniques. At the atomic scale, synchrotron WAXS reveals a pressure-induced irreversible amorphization up to 35 GPa in both samples but with different onset pressures. On the mesoscale, no clear phase transformations were observed up to 20 GPa by synchrotron SAXS. Intriguingly, sintering ofmore »TiO2 nanorods at mesoscale into nano-squares or nano-rectangles, as well as nanorices into nanowires, were observed for the first time by transmission electron microscopy. Such pressure-induced nanoparticle phase-amorphization and morphological changes provide valuable insights for design and engineering structurally stable nanomaterials.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 12, 2023
  2. Fe‐Al‐bearing bridgmanite may be the dominant host for ferric iron in Earth's lower mantle. Here we report the synthesis of (Mg0.5Fe3+0.5)(Al0.5Si0.5)O3 bridgmanite (FA50) with the highest Fe3+‐Al3+ coupled substitution known to date. X‐ray diffraction measurements showed that at ambient conditions the FA50 adopted the LiNbO3 structure. Upon compression at room temperature to 18 GPa, it transformed back into the bridgmanite structure, which remained stable up to 102 GPa and 2600 K. Fitting Birch‐Murnaghan equation of state of FA50 bridgmanite yields V 0 = 172.1(4) Å3, K 0 = 229(4) GPa with K 0′ = 4(fixed). The calculated bulk sound velocitymore »of the FA50 bridgmanite is ~7.7% lower than MgSiO3 bridgmanite, mainly because the presence of ferric iron increases the unit‐cell mass by 15.5%. This difference likely represents the upper limit of sound velocity anomaly introduced by Fe3+‐Al3+ substitution. X‐ray emission and synchrotron Mössbauer spectroscopy measurements showed that after laser annealing ~6% of Fe3+ cations exchanged with Al3+ and underwent the high‐spin to low‐spin transition at 59 GPa. The low‐spin proportion of Fe3+ increased gradually with pressure and reached 17‐31% at 80 GPa. Since the cation exchange and spin transition in this Fe3+‐Al3+‐enriched bridgmanite do not cause resolvable unit‐cell volume reduction, and the increase of low‐spin Fe3+ fraction with pressure occurs gradually, the spin transition would not produce a distinct seismic signature in the lower mantle. However, it may influence iron partitioning and isotopic fractionation, thus introducing chemical heterogeneity in the lower mantle.« less