Ref: SCART-2022-0023

The Fe-FeSi phase diagram at Mercury’s core conditions

Edmund, E. ; Morard, G. ; Baron, M. A. ; Rivoldini, A. ; Yokoo, S. ; Boccato, S. ; Hirose, K. ; Pakhomova, A. ; Antonangeli, D.

published in Nature Communications, 13 issue 1 (2022)

Abstract: Mercury’s metallic core is expected to have formed under highly reducing conditions, resulting in the presence of significant quantities of silicon alloyed to iron. Here we present the phase diagram of the Fe-FeSi system, reconstructed from in situ X-ray diffraction measurements at pressure and temperature conditions spanning over those expected for Mercury’s core, and ex situ chemical analysis of recovered samples. Under high pressure, we do not observe a miscibility gap between the cubic fcc and B2 structures, but rather the formation of a re-entrant bcc phase at temperatures close to melting. Upon melting, the investigated alloys are observed to evolve towards two distinct Fe-rich and Fe-poor liquid compositions at pressures below 35-38 GPa. The evolution of the phase diagram with pressure and temperature prescribes a range of possible core crystallization regimes, with strong dependence on the Si abundance of the core.

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-27991-9

The record appears in these collections:
Royal Observatory of Belgium > Reference Systems & Planetology
Science Articles > Peer Reviewed Articles

 Record created 2022-01-25, last modified 2022-01-25

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