Spin states and hyperfine interactions of iron in (Mg,Fe)SiO3 perovskite under pressure

Han Hsu, Koichiro Umemoto, Peter Blaha, Renata M. Wentzcovitch

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99 Scopus citations


With the guidance of first-principles phonon calculations, we have searched and found several metastable equilibrium sites for substitutional ferrous iron in MgSiO3 perovskite. In the relevant energy range, there are two distinct sites for high-spin, one for low-spin, and one for intermediate-spin iron. Because of variable d-orbital occupancy across these sites, the two competing high-spin sites have different iron quadrupole splittings (QS). At low pressure, the high-spin iron with QS of 2.3-2.5mm/s is more stable, while the high-spin iron with QS of 3.3-3.6mm/s is more favorable at higher pressure. The crossover occurs between 4 and 24GPa, depending on the choice of exchange-correlation functional and the inclusion of on-site Coulomb interaction (Hubbard U). Our calculation supports the notion that the transition observed in recent Mössbauer spectra corresponds to an atomic-site change rather than a spin-state crossover. Our result also helps to explain the lack of anomaly in the compression curve of iron-bearing silicate perovskite in the presence of a large change of quadrupole splitting, and provides important guidance for future studies of thermodynamic properties of this phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Catherine McCammon for useful comments on almandine. This work was supported primarily by the MRSEC Program of the National Science Foundation under Award Number DMR-0212302 and DMR-0819885 . It was also partially supported by NSF grants ITR-0426757 (VLab), ATM-0426757 , and EAR-0815446 . PB was supported by the Austrian Science Fund ( P20271-N17 ). Calculations were performed at the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI).


  • Intermediate spin
  • Iron-bearing
  • Lower mantle
  • Perovskite
  • Quadrupole splitting
  • Spin crossover


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