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Stabilization of body-centred cubic iron under inner-core conditions
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics, Condensed Matter Theory.
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Theoretical Physics, Condensed Matter Theory.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5307-5757
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics, Condensed Matter Theory.
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2017 (English)In: Nature Geoscience, ISSN 1752-0894, E-ISSN 1752-0908, Vol. 10, no 4, p. 312-+Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Earth's solid core is mostly composed of iron. However, despite being central to our understanding of core properties, the stable phase of iron under inner-core conditions remains uncertain. The two leading candidates are hexagonal close-packed and body-centred cubic (bcc) crystal structures, but the dynamic and thermodynamic stability of bcc iron under inner-core conditions has been challenged. Here we demonstrate the stability of the bcc phase of iron under conditions consistent with the centre of the core using ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. We find that the bcc phase is stabilized at high temperatures by a diffusion mechanism that arises due to the dynamical instability of the phase at lower temperatures. On the basis of our simulations, we reinterpret experimental data as support for the stability of bcc iron under inner-core conditions. We suggest that the diffusion of iron atoms in solid state may explain both the anisotropy and the low shear modulus of the inner core.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Publishing Group, 2017. Vol. 10, no 4, p. 312-+
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Condensed Matter Physics
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URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-205444DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2892ISI: 000398162800021Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85016975223OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-205444DiVA, id: diva2:1097297
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QC 20170522

Available from: 2017-05-22 Created: 2017-05-22 Last updated: 2017-06-30Bibliographically approved

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Lukinov, Timofei

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