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  1. 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 velocity 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,more »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
  2. Making consistent and precise octahedral pressure media is crucial for reproducible high-pressure experiments in the multi-anvil press. Here we report a new approach of casting octahedra using 3D-printed molds, and pressure calibrations for octahedra both with and without pre-existing gaskets (“fins”). The 3D-printed molds for casting octahedra from either Ceramacast 584-OF or 646 cement improve the reproducibility of the octahedra and allow for a pre-existing central hole (for the high-pressure cell assembly) in the final cast product. Pressure and temperature calibrations of the octahedra have been performed based on phase transitions in bismuth (Bi) and silica (SiO2), respectively, in order to determine the efficiency and reproducibility of pressure generation and thermal insulation for cast octahedra designed for use with 18/12, 14/8, and 10/5 multi-anvil assemblies. The pressure-generating efficiency of the 14/8 and 10/5 octahedra with pre-existing gaskets, cast from the 584-OF cement, is similar to that of the corresponding COMPRES (Consortium for Materials Properties Research in Earth Sciences) octahedra, and more efficient than pre-cast octahedra made from the same material but lacking pre-existing gaskets. The efficiency of pre-gasketed 18/12 octahedra made of the 646 cement is markedly lower than those of the 584 cement. However, the 18/12 large-volume octahedra, castmore »(with fins) from the ZrO2-based 646 cement, also provides efficient thermal insulation. Casting octahedral solid pressure media for multi-anvil experiments using 3D-printed “injection” molds is a low-cost and low failure-rate alternative for conducting reproducible experiments at high pressure in the multi-anvil apparatus.« less