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

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.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03539393
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 3:09:17 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 9:12:09 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, June 18, 2022 - 7:28:40 PM

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E. Edmund, G. Morard, M. Baron, A. Rivoldini, S. yokoo, et al.. The Fe-FeSi phase diagram at Mercury’s core conditions. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2022, 13 (1), pp.387. ⟨10.1038/s41467-022-27991-9⟩. ⟨hal-03539393⟩

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