Ultrahigh-pressure disordered eight-coordinated phase of Mg2GeO4: Analogue for super-Earth mantles

1Rajkrishna Dutta et al. (>10)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2114424119]
1Earth and Planets Laboratory, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC 20015
2Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544

Mg2GeO4 is important as an analog for the ultrahigh-pressure behavior of Mg2SiO4, a major component of planetary interiors. In this study, we have investigated magnesium germanate to 275 GPa and over 2,000 K using a laser-heated diamond anvil cell combined with in situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction and density functional theory (DFT) computations. The experimental results are consistent with the formation of a phase with disordered Mg and Ge, in which germanium adopts eightfold coordination with oxygen: the cubic, Th3P4-type structure. DFT computations suggest partial Mg-Ge order, resulting in a tetragonal I4¯2d structure indistinguishable from I4¯3d Th3P4 in our experiments. If applicable to silicates, the formation of this highly coordinated and intrinsically disordered phase may have important implications for the interior mineralogy of large, rocky extrasolar planets.


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