Strong hydrogen bonding in a dense hydrous magnesium silicate discovered by neutron Laue diffraction

Narangoo Purevjav, Takuo Okuchi, Christina Hoffmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A large amount of hydrogen circulates inside the Earth, which affects the long-term evolution of the planet. The majority of this hydrogen is stored in deep Earth within the crystal structures of dense minerals that are thermodynamically stable at high pressures and temperatures. To understand the reason for their stability under such extreme conditions, the chemical bonding geometry and cation exchange mechanism for including hydrogen were analyzed in a representative structure of such minerals (i.e. phase E of dense hydrous magnesium silicate) by using time-of-flight single-crystal neutron Laue diffraction. Phase E has a layered structure belonging to the space group R 3 m and a very large hydrogen capacity (up to 18% H2O weight fraction). It is stable at pressures of 13-18GPa and temperatures of up to at least 1573K. Deuterated high-quality crystals with the chemical formula Mg2.28Si1.32D2.15O6 were synthesized under the relevant high-pressure and high-temperature conditions. The nuclear density distribution obtained by neutron diffraction indicated that the O - D dipoles were directed towards neighboring O2- ions to form strong interlayer hydrogen bonds. This bonding plays a crucial role in stabilizing hydrogen within the mineral structure under such high-pressure and high-temperature conditions. It is considered that cation exchange occurs among Mg2+, D+ and Si4+ within this structure, making the hydrogen capacity flexible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-374
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Earth?s deep mantle
  • dense hydrous magnesium silicates
  • hydrogen bonding
  • neutron diffraction.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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