Crystal structure of iron at the center of the Earth

Shigehiko Tateno

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    The inner core, most remote part of our planet, is composed of solid iron. Because the relevant ultrahigh pressure and temperature conditions were only accessible by dynamical shock-wave compression experiments, the crystal structure of iron at the inner core has long been under debate. Our first static experiments show that the hexagonal close-packed (hcp) structure is a stable form of iron up to 377 GPa and 5700 K, corresponding to inner core conditions. The observed weak temperature-dependence of the c/a axial ratio suggests that hcp-Fe is elastically anisotropic at core temperatures. Preferred orientation of the hcp phase may cause inner core seismic anisotropy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)91-97
    Number of pages7
    JournalReview of High Pressure Science and Technology/Koatsuryoku No Kagaku To Gijutsu
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Core
    • Diamond-anvil cell
    • Iron

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Chemistry(all)
    • Materials Science(all)
    • Condensed Matter Physics


    Dive into the research topics of 'Crystal structure of iron at the center of the Earth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this