Electronic structure of iron in magnesium silicate glasses at high pressure

Chen Gu, Krystle Catalli, Brent Grocholski, Lili Gao, Ercan Alp, Paul Chow, Yuming Xiao, Hyunchae Cynn, William J. Evans, Sang-Heon Shim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A recent study attributed the source of an iron partitioning change between silicate melt and minerals at deep mantle conditions to a high-spin to low-spin change in iron, which was found in a Fe-diluted Mg-silicate glass at a similar pressure. We conducted X-ray emission spectroscopy and nuclear forward scattering on iron-rich Mg-silicate glasses at high pressure and 300K in the diamond-anvil cell: Al-free glass up to 135GPa and Al-bearing glass up to 93GPa. In both glasses, the spin moment decreases gradually from 1bar and does not reach a complete low-spin state even at the peak pressures of this study. The gradual change may be due to the existence of diverse coordination environments for iron in the glasses and continuous structural adjustment of the disordered system with pressure. If the result can be extrapolated to iron in mantle melts, the small, gradual changes in the spin state of iron may not be the dominant factor explaining the reported sudden change in the partitioning behavior of iron between silicate melt and minerals at lower-mantle pressures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL24304
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 28 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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