In Situ Determination of the NiAs Phase of FeO at High Pressure and Temperature

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Science  09 Dec 1994:
Vol. 266, Issue 5191, pp. 1678-1680
DOI: 10.1126/science.266.5191.1678


In situ synchrotron x-ray diffraction measurements of FeO at high pressures and high temperatures revealed that the high-pressure phase of FeO has the NiAs structure (B8). The lattice parameters of this NiAs phase at 96 gigapascals and 800 kelvin are a = 2.574(2) angstroms and c = 5.172(4) angstroms (the number in parentheses is the error in the last digit). Metallic behavior of the high-pressure phase is consistent with a covalently and metallically bonded NiAs structure of FeO. Transition to the NiAs structure of FeO would enhance oxygen solubility in molten iron. This transition thus provides a physiochemical basis for the incorporation of oxygen into the Earth's core.