High-pressure behavior of fcc phase FeHx

Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Elizabeth Colette Thompson1, Bethany Chidester1, Rebecca A. Fischer1, Vitali Prakapenka2, Wenli Bi3, Ercan E. Alp2,3 and Andrew J Campbell1, (1)University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States, (2)University of Chicago, Argonne, IL, United States, (3)Argonne National Laboratory, Advanced Photon Source, Argonne, IL, United States
Earth's core is composed of iron with the inclusion of light elements to compensate for the difference between seismically obtained densities and the density of pure Fe at relevant pressure and temperature conditions. As the most abundant and lightest element in the solar system, hydrogen is a plausible contributor to this core density deficit. Nearly stoichiometric iron hydride (FeHx) has been shown to result from the reaction of Fe and hydrous silicates, and is stable up to at least 80 GPa [1]. Iron hydride formation at Earth’s surface is unlikely because the equilibrium hydrogen solubility in iron at atmospheric conditions is prohibitively low, yet as hydrogen solubility increases with pressure, so does the likelihood of FeHx formation within the Earth’s interior [2]. Recent experimental and ab initio attempts disagree on the equation of state parameters needed to describe the compressional behavior of FeHx [3-5]. The work presented here combines synchrotron x-ray diffraction of laser-heated diamond anvil cell compressed samples with high-pressure, ambient temperature nuclear resonant inelastic scattering (NRIXS) and synchrotron Mössbauer spectroscopy (SMS) to better constrain the behavior of the fcc phase of FeHx at elevated pressures and temperatures. By pairing P-V-T data for iron hydride with the sound velocity information available through high-pressure NRIXS studies, we can better understand the degree to which hydrogen may contribute to the density deficit of Earth’s iron core. [1] Antonov et al. (1998) J. Alloys Compd. 264, 214–222 [2] Fukai and Akimoto (1983) Proc. Japan Acad. 59, 158–162 [3] Pépin et al. (2014) Phys. Rev. Lett. 265504, 1–5 [4] Hirao (2004) Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, L06616 [5] Badding et al. (1991) Science. 253, 421–424