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Structure, Bonding, and Geochemistry of Xenon at High Pressures

Science  15 Aug 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5328, pp. 930-933
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5328.930

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Abstract

Although xenon becomes metallic at pressures above about 100 gigapascals, a combination of quantum mechanical calculations and high pressure–temperature experiments reveals no tendency on the part of xenon to form a metal alloy with iron or platinum to at least 100 to 150 gigapascals. The transformation of xenon from face-centered cubic (fcc) to hexagonal close-packed (hcp) structures is kinetically hindered, the differences in volume and bulk modulus between the two phases being smaller than we can resolve (less than 0.3 percent and 0.6 gigapascals, respectively). The equilibrium fcc-hcp phase boundary is at 21 (±3) gigapascals, which is a lower pressure than was previously thought, and it is unlikely that Earth's core serves as a reservoir for primordial xenon.

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