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Pressure-Induced Structural Modifications In Mg2Geo4-Olivine - A Raman-Spectroscopic Study

Raman spectra of Mg2GeO4-olivine were obtained from ambient pressure up to 34 GPa at ambient temperature. Under quasi-hydrostatic pressure conditions, the following modifications in the Raman spectra occur as pressure increases: 1) near 11 GPa, two sharp extra bands appear in the 600-700 cm-1 frequency range, and increase in intensity with respect to the olivine bands; 2) above 22 GPa, these two bands become very intense, and the number, position and relative intensity of the other vibrational bands drastically change; 3) the intensity of sharp bands progressively decreases above 25 GPa. The transformation occurs at lower pressures under non-hydrostatic conditions. During decompression to atmospheric pressure, the high-pressure phase partially reverts to olivine. These observations can be interpreted as the progressive metastable transformation from the olivine structure to a crystalline phase with four-fold coordinated Ge, in which the GeO4 tetrahedra are polymerized. We propose that the metastable high-pressure phase is a structurally disordered spinelloid close to the hypothethical omega- or epsilon*-phase, and forms by a shear mechanism assisted by the development of a dynamical instability in the olivine structure. Implications for the transformations undergone by olivines under far-from-equilibrium conditions (e.g. in subducting lithospheric slabs and in shocks) are discussed.

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