Compression of Fe-Si-H alloys

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Shoh Tagawa1, Kenji Ohta1 and Kei Hirose2, (1)Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan, (2)Tokyo Institute of Technology, Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo, Japan
The light elements in the Earth’s core have not been fully identified yet, but hydrogen is now collecting more attention in part because recent planet formation theory suggests that large amount of water should have been brought to the Earth during its formation (giant-impact stage). Nevertheless, the effect of hydrogen on the property of iron alloys is little known so far. The earlier experimental study by Hirao et al. [2004 GRL] examined the compression behavior of dhcp FeHx (x ≈ 1) and found that it becomes much stiffer than pure iron above 50 GPa, where magnetization disappears.

Here we examined the solubility of hydrogen into iron-rich Fe-Si alloys and the compression behavior of dhcp Fe-Si-H alloy at room temperature. Fe+6.5wt.%Si or Fe+9wt.%Si foil was loaded into a diamond-anvil cell (DAC), and then liquid hydrogen was introduced at temperatures below 20 K. X-ray diffraction measurements at SPring-8 revealed the formation of a dhcp phase with or without thermal annealing by laser above 8.4 GPa. The concentration of hydrogen in such dhcp lattice was calculated following the formula reported by Fukai [1992]; y = 0.5 and 0.2 for Fe-6.5wt.%Si-H or Fe-9wt.%Si-H alloys, respectively when y is defined as Fe(1-x)SixHy. Unlike Fe-H alloy, hydrogen didn’t fully occupy the octahedral sites even under hydrogen-saturated conditions in the case of Fe-Si-H system. Anomaly was observed in obtained pressure-volume curve around 44 Å3 of unit-cell volume for both Fe-6.5wt.%Si-H and Fe-9wt.%Si-H alloys, which may be related to the spin transition in the dhcp phase. They became slightly stiffer at higher pressures, but their compressibility was still similar to that of pure iron.