In situ high-pressure X-ray diffraction study was performed on synthetic lead feldspar with composition PbAl2Si2O8 (PbFsp). The crystals were synthesized from the melt and thermally treated at T = 1150 °C for 12 h and at T = 1000 °C for 70 h. At room condition the unit-cell parameters are a = 8.3936(4), b = 13.0498(7), c = 14.3258(8) Å, β = 115.281(6)°, V = 1418.9(1) Å3; space group: I2/c; Qod = 0.7.
A single-crystal of lead feldspar was loaded in an ETH-type diamond-anvil cell and unit-cell parameters were measured at 26 different pressures up to 8.4 GPa at room T. The evolution with P of the unit-cell parameters and volume shows a strong discontinuity between 7.7 and 8.2 GPa indicating a first-order phase transition. The discontinuous character of the transition is especially noticeable in the behavior of the β angle, which decreases from 114.83° to 114.03°, and in the b parameter, which reduces from 12.746 to 12.567 Å.
In the P range 0.0001–7.72 GPa, the trend shown by the axial compressibility (βa > βc > βb) is similar to that observed in the previous HP powder diffraction study, performed on lead feldspar using high-brilliance synchrotron radiation up to 7.1 GPa.
In the P range 0.0001–4.27 GPa at room T, the P-V data of the I2/c lead feldspar were fitted with a second-order Birch-Murnaghan EoS. The parameters obtained are: V0 = 1422.2(1) Å3 and KT0 = 76.4(9) GPa. At P > 4.27 GPa, the volume values deflect from the BM2 curve and show a volume softening, precursor of the reported HP phase transition. A volume softening was recently observed in strontium feldspar (SrFsp) above 4.2 GPa.
A second crystal of PbFsp was loaded in the DAC cell and in situ high-pressure X-ray diffraction intensities were measured at P = 0.0001, 2.4, 3.1, 5.4, 6.0, 7.2, 8.4, and 9.7 GPa. The appearance of c and d-type reflections at 8.4 GPa, the analysis of the systematic absence and the structural refinements indicate the HP first-order transformation as an I2/c-P21/c phase transition. Structural results show that the main variations with compression in lead feldspar are in Pb-O bond lengths and in T-O-T bond angles, while T-O distances and O-T-O angles do not change meaningfully, indicating that the Si,Al tetrahedra behave with pressure as a rigid body. Changes observed in the compressional behavior of the structure between 3 and 5 GPa could explain the softening observed at P > 4 GPa in the volume compressibility.
The results obtained in the present work allow comparing the pressures of the HP I2/c-P21/c phase transition occurring in lead feldspar with those observed in alkaline-earth feldspars.