High-pressure neutron diffraction study on H-D isotope effects in brucite

Juske Horita, António M. dos Santos, Christopher A. Tulk, Bryan C. Chakoumakos, Veniamin B. Polyakov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


A neutron powder diffraction study of hydrogenated and deuterated brucite was conducted at ambient temperature and at pressures up to 9 GPa, using a Paris-Edinburgh high-pressure cell at the WAND instrument of the ORNL High Flux Isotope Reactor. The two materials were synthesized by the same method and companion measurements of neutron diffraction were conducted under the same conditions. Our refinement results show that the lattice-parameters of the a axis, parallel to the sheets of Mg-O octahedra, decrease only slightly with pressure with no effect of H-D substitution. However, the c axis of Mg(OD)2 is shorter and may exhibit greater compressibility with pressure than that of Mg(OH)2. Consequently, the unit-cell volume of deuterated brucite is slightly, but systematically smaller than that of hydrogenated brucite. When fitted to a third-order Birch-Murnaghan equation in terms of the normalized unit-cell volume, values of the bulk modulus for hydrogenated and deuterated brucite (K0 = 39.0 ± 2.8 and 40.4 ± 1.3 GPa, respectively) are, however, indistinguishable from each other within the experimental errors. The measured effect of H-D substitution on the unit-cell volume also demonstrates that brucite (and other hydrous minerals) preferentially incorporate deuterium over hydrogen under pressure, suggesting that the distribution of hydrogen isotopes in deep-earth conditions may differ significantly from that in near-surface environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-749
Number of pages9
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of Minerals
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Brucite
  • H-D effect
  • High-pressure
  • Isotope fractionation
  • Neutron diffraction


Dive into the research topics of 'High-pressure neutron diffraction study on H-D isotope effects in brucite'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this