Elastic softening in Fe 7 C 3 with implications for Earth's deep carbon reservoirs Journal Article uri icon

DCO ID 11121/2138-1397-7039-1075-CC

is Contribution to the DCO

  • YES

year of publication

  • 2016


  • Iron carbide Fe7C3 has recently emerged as a potential host of reduced carbon in Earth's mantle and a candidate component of the inner core, but the equation of state of Fe7C3 is still uncertain, partly because the nature of pressure-induced magnetic transitions in Fe7C3 and their elastic effects remain controversial. Here we report the compression curve of hexagonal Fe7C3 in neon medium with dense pressure sampling and in comparison with pure iron in the same loading. The results revealed elastic softening between 7 GPa and 20 GPa, which can be attributed to noncollinear alignment of spin moments in a state between the ferromagnetic and paramagnetic phases, as expected for Invar-type alloys. The volume reduction associated with the softening would enhance the stability of Fe7C3 in the deeper part of the upper mantle and transition zone. As a result of subsequent spin crossover at higher pressures, Fe7C3 at inner core conditions likely occurs as the nonmagnetic phase, which remains a candidate for the major component of the Earth's central sphere.


  • 121


  • 3