Electronic transitions of iron in almandine-composition glass to 91 GPa
Valence and spin states of Fe were investigated in a glass of almandine (Fe3Al2Si3O12) composition to 91 GPa by X-ray emission spectroscopy and energy- and time-domain synchrotron Mossbauer spectroscopy in the diamond-anvil cell. Changes in optical properties, total spin moment and Mossbauer parameters all occur predominantly between 1 bar and similar to 30 GPa. Over this pressure range, the glass changes from translucent brown to opaque and black. The total spin moment of the glass derived from X-ray emission spectroscopy decreases by similar to 20%. The complementary Mossbauer spectroscopy approaches reveal consistent changes in sites corresponding to 80-90% Fe2+ and 10-20% Fe3+. The high-spin Fe2+ doublet exhibits a continuous decrease in isomer shift and increase in line width and asymmetry. A high-spin Fe3+ doublet with quadrupole splitting of similar to 1.2 minis is replaced by a doublet with quadrupole splitting of similar to 1.9 minis, a value higher than all previous measurements of high-spin Fe3+ and consistent with low-spin Fe3+. These observations suggest that Fe3+ in the glass undergoes a continual transition from a high-spin to a low-spin state between 1 bar and similar to 30 GPa. Almandine glass is not expected to undergo any abrupt transitions in electronic state at deep mantle pressures.