In-situ Diffraction Study of Magnetite at Simultaneous High Pressure and High Temperature Using Synchrotron Radiation
Abstract:Magnetite intertwined with the evolution of human civilizations, and remains so today. It is technologically and scientifically important by virtue of its unique magnetic and electrical properties. Magnetite is a common mineral found in a variety of geologic environments, and plays an important role in deciphering the oxygen evolution in the Earth’s atmosphere and its deep interiors. The latter application asks for the knowledge of the thermal and elastic properties of magnetite at high pressures and temperatures, which is currently not available in literature.
We have carried out a few in-situ diffraction experiments on magnetite using white synchrotron radiation at beamline X17B2 of National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS). A DIA module in an 1100-ton press and WC anvils were employed for compression, and diffraction spectra were collected at simultaneous high pressures (P) and temperatures (T) (up to 9 GPa and 900 oC). Mixture of amorphous boron and epoxy resin was used as pressure medium, and NaCl as pressure marker. Temperature was recorded by W-Re thermocouples. Commercially purchased magnetite powder and a mixture of the said powder and NaCl (1:1) were used as starting material in separate experiments. Preliminary data analyses have yielded following observations: (1) Charge disordering seen at ambient pressure remains active in current experiments, especially at lower pressures (< 6 GPa); (2) Though at each condition potentially complicated by charge disordering process, isothermal compression curves remains simple and reproducible; (3) During cooling, the reversibility and degree of cation disordering depend on the starting material and/or experimental P-T path; and (4) cation disordering notably reduces the apparent bulk moduli of magnetite.