Shock-Wave Compression and X-Ray Studies of Titanium Dioxide

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Science  17 Mar 1967:
Vol. 155, Issue 3768, pp. 1401-1404
DOI: 10.1126/science.155.3768.1401


The Hugoniot of the rutile phase of titanium dioxide has been determined to 1.25 megabars, and data show the existence of a phase change at about 0.33 megabar. The volume decrease associated with this transformation appears to be quite large (approximately 21 percent). Rutile, when recovered from shockloading in excess of the transformation pressure, is found to be irreversibly transformed to the orthorhombic lead dioxide structure (a distortion of the fluorite structure) with parameters a, 4.529; b, 5.464; and c, 4.905 angstroms and a calculated density of 4.374 grams per cubic centimeter. The new phase reverts to rutile at temperatures above 450°C. It is suggested that the new phase may be another diagnostic indicator of meteorite impact on the earth's surface.