Anomalous behavior of cristobalite in helium under high pressure
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We have investigated the high-pressure behavior of cristobalite in helium by powder X-ray diffraction. Cristobalite transformed to a new phase at about 8 GPa. This phase is supposed to have a molar volume of about 30 % larger than cristobalite, suggesting the dissolution of helium atoms in its interstitial voids. On further compression, the new phase transformed to a different phase which showed an X-ray diffraction pattern similar to cristobalite X-I at about 21 GPa. On the other hand, when the new phase was decompressed, it transformed to another new phase at about 7 GPa, which is also supposed to have a molar volume of about 25 % larger than cristobalite. On further decompression, the second new phase transformed to cristobalite II at about 2 GPa. In contrast to cristobalite, quartz did not show anomalous behavior in helium. The behavior of cristobalite in helium was also consistent with that in other mediums up to about 8 GPa, where the volume of cristobalite became close to that of quartz. These results suggest that dissolution of helium may be controlled not only by the density (amount of voids) but also by the network structure of SiO4 tetrahedra (topology of voids).
KeywordsSilica Small gas atom Interstitial void New phase of cristobalite Dissolution of helium
We thank T. Kikegawa for experimental support. Synchrotron X-ray diffraction experiments were carried out at Photon Factory. This work was in part supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Japan) and Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology (Japan).
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