Discovery of the recoverable high-pressure iron oxide Fe 4O 5

Barbara Lavina, Przemyslaw Dera, Eunja Kim, Yue Meng, Robert T. Downs, Philippe F. Weck, Stephen R. Sutton, Yusheng Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Phases of the iron-oxygen binary system are significant to most scientific disciplines, directly affecting planetary evolution, life, and technology. Iron oxides have unique electronic properties and strongly interact with the environment, particularly through redox reactions. The iron-oxygen phase diagram therefore has been among the most thoroughly investigated, yet it still holds striking findings. Here, we report the discovery of an iron oxide with formula Fe 4O 5, synthesized at high pressure and temperature. The previously undescribed phase, stable from 5 to at least 30 GPa, is recoverable to ambient conditions. First-principles calculations confirm that the iron oxide here described is energetically more stable than FeO + Fe 3O 4 at pressure greater than 10 GPa. The calculated lattice constants, equation of states, and atomic coordinates are in excellent agreement with experimental data, confirming the synthesis of Fe 4O 5. Given the conditions of stability and its composition, Fe 4O 5 is a plausible accessory mineral of the Earth's upper mantle. The phase has strong ferrimagnetic character comparable to magnetite. The ability to synthesize the material at accessible conditions and recover it at ambient conditions, along with its physical properties, suggests a potential interest in Fe 4O 5for technological applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17281-17285
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number42
StatePublished - Oct 18 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Density functional theory
  • Extreme conditions
  • Mineral physics
  • Solid Earth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Discovery of the recoverable high-pressure iron oxide Fe 4O 5'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this