Pressure response of vacancy ordered maghemite (γ-Fe 2O 3) and high pressure transformed hematite (α-Fe 2O 3)

Giovanni Hearne, Vittoria Pischedda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Combined XRD and Mössbauer effect spectroscopy studies to high pressures of ∼30 GPa of vacancy ordered maghemite are presented. The vacancy ordered superstructure is robust and remains intact up to the pressure-induced onset transition to hematite at 1316 GPa. The pressure transformed hematite is shown to be crystallographically textured, unlike the randomised low pressure maghemite phase. This arises out of a pressure or stress instigated topotactic transformation of the cubic-spinel to hexagonal-corundum structure. The textured sample permits us to obtain information on the spin reorientation behavior of the pressure transformed hematite in compression and decompression sequences. Spin reorientation is restricted to ∼15° over wide pressure ranges, attributable to the effect of entrapped vacancies in the high pressure structure. Thus there are structural and magnetic peculiarities specific to pressure transformed hematite not evident in pressurized hematite starting material. These are triggered by the maghemite→hematite transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-142
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Solid State Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Ferric iron oxides
  • High pressures
  • Mössbauer spectroscopy
  • Spin reorientation
  • Topotactic transformation
  • Vacancies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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