Re-examination of the hydrogarnet structure at high pressure using neutron powder diffraction and infrared spectroscopy

George A. Lager, William G. Marshall, Zhenxian Liu, Robert T. Downs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Time-of-flight neutron powder data and synchrotron infrared absorption spectra were collected for katoite hydrogarnet [Ca3Al 2(O4D4)3] at pressures to 9.4 and 9.8 GPa, respectively. The phase transition from space group Ia3d to I4̄3d was observed in the neutron spectrum at ∼7.5 GPa, as indicated by the presence of two weak reflections (730 and 530) that violate the hkl conditions (hk0, h ≠ 2n) imposed by the a-glide operation. However, attempts to refine the high-pressure structure in space group I4̄3d did not significantly improve the fit and produced a chemically unreasonable O-D bond length at the second D position. Structure refinements in Ia3d indicate that (1) the O-D bond length, corrected for the effects of thermal motion, remains essentially constant (∼0.95 Å) with increasing pressure; (2) hydrogen bond lengths shorten with increasing pressure; however, the variation in O-D···O angles indicates a preferential strengthening of H bonds; and (3) the compression mechanism is characterized by bond shortening rather than bond bending. The new results are in excellent agreement with both high-pressure X-ray diffraction experiments and ab initio calculations, and illustrate the need to eliminate peak broadening in high-pressure neutron powder experiments. IR spectra collected for the same sample showed discontinuities in both O-H and O-D vibrational frequencies at ∼5 GPa, suggesting that deuteration does not significantly affect the pressure of the transition. The higher pressure observed for the transition in the neutron data is probably due to lower signal-to-noise levels, which mask the weaker, symmetry-forbidden reflections at lower pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-644
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Mineralogist
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Re-examination of the hydrogarnet structure at high pressure using neutron powder diffraction and infrared spectroscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this