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Electronic structure of carbon dioxide under pressure and insights into the molecular-to-nonmolecular transition

Sean R. shieh, Ignace Jarrige, Min Wu, Nozomu Hiraoka, John S. Tse, Zhongying Mi, Linada Kaci, Jian-Zhong Jiang and Yong Q. Cai
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 110, No. 46 (November 12, 2013), pp. 18402-18406
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23757556
Page Count: 5
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Abstract

Knowledge of the high-pressure behavior of carbon dioxide (CO2), an important planetary material found in Venus, Earth, and Mars, is vital to the study of the evolution and dynamics of the planetary interiors as well as to the fundamental understanding of the C—O bonding and interaction between the molecules. Recent studies have revealed a number of crystalline polymorphs (CO2–I to –VII) and an amorphous phase under high pressure—temperature conditions. Nevertheless, the reported phase stability field and transition pressures at room temperature are poorly defined, especially for the amorphous phase. Here we shed light on the successive pressure-induced local structural changes and the molecular-to-nonmolecular transition of CO2 at room temperature by performing an in situ study of the local electronic structure using X-ray Raman scattering, aided by first-principle exciton calculations. We show that the transition from CO2–I to CO2–III was initiated at around 7.4 GPa, and completed at about 17 GPa. The present study also shows that at ∼37 GPa, molecular CO2 starts to polymerize to an extended structure with fourfold coordinated carbon and minor CO3 and CO–like species. The observed pressure is more than 10 GPa below previously reported. The disappearance of the minority species at 63(±3) GPa suggests that a previously unknown phase transition within the nonmolecular phase of CO2 has occurred.

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