Wustite, Fe1-xO, is an important component in the mineralogy of Earth's lower mantle and may also be a component of the core. Therefore its high pressure-temperature behavior, including its electronic structure, is essential to understanding the nature and evolution of Earth's deep interior. We performed X-ray diffraction and radiometric measurements on wustite in a laser-heated diamond anvil cell, finding an insulator-metal transition at high pressures and temperatures. Our data show a negative slope for this apparently isostructural phase boundary, which is characterized by a volume decrease and emissivity increase. The metallic phase of FeO is stable at conditions of the lower mantle and core, which has implications for the high P-T character of Fe-O bonds, magnetic field propagation, and lower mantle conductivity.
Bibliographical noteDate of Acceptance: 01/11/2011
- core-mantle boundary
- Earth's core