High-Pressure Transformation of Al2O3

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Science  07 Nov 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5340, pp. 1109-1111
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5340.1109

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X-ray diffraction measurements indicate that ruby (Cr3+ doped α-Al2O3) transforms to the Rh2O3 (II) structure when heated to temperatures exceeding ∼1000 kelvin at pressures above ∼100 gigapascals, in agreement with predictions from ab initio quantum mechanical calculations. The high-pressure phase did not quench upon decompression to ambient pressure, and the occurrence of this phase transformation may affect interpretations of static (diamond-anvil cell) and dynamic (shock-wave) experiments at ultra-high pressures.

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