High-pressure polymorphism of Fe2P and its implications for meteorites and Earth's core

Przemyslaw Dera, Barbara Lavina, Lauren A. Borkowski, Vitali B. Prakapenka, Stephen R. Sutton, Mark L. Rivers, Robert T. Downs, Nabil Z. Boctor, Charles T. Prewitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Minerals with composition (Fe,Ni)2P, are rare, though important accessory phases in iron and chondritic meteorites. The occurrence of these minerals in meteorites is believed to originate either from the equilibrium condensation of protoplanetary materials in solar nebulae or from the later accretion and condensation processes in the cores of parent bodies. Fe-Ni phosphides are considered a possible candidate for a minor phase present in the Earth's core, and at least partially responsible for the observed density deficit with respect to pure iron. We report results of high-pressure high-temperature X-ray diffraction experiments with synthetic barringerite (Fe2P) up to 40 GPa and 1400 K. A new phase transition to the C02Si-type structure has been found at 8.0 GPa, upon heating. The high-pressure phase can be metastably quenched to ambient conditions at room temperature, and then, if heated again, transforms back to barringerite, providing an important constraint on the thermodynamic history of meteorite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL10301
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 28 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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