Pressure-Induced Landau-Type Transition in Stishovite

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A Rietveld structural analysis of stishovite, with angle-dispersive x-ray diffraction synchrotron source at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, confirmed a CaCl2 form of stishovite distortion at 54 +/- 1 gigapascals but confirmed no further phase transformation up to 120 gigapascals. The deviatoric stress that is usually encountered at such pressures was relaxed after yttrium-aluminum-garnet-laser heating. A single Birch-Murnaghan Equation ofstate fits volumes of stishovite and a CaCl2 form, showing that the tetragonal distortion occurs without a substantial change in volume. At the 54-gigapascal transition, the pressure-induced lattice modifications were similar to those found in a Landau-type temperature-induced transition. It is proposed that, above the transition pressure, the critical temperature increases above 300 kelvin, so that the lower entropy form becomes stable.

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