Single-crystal elastic constants of fluorite (CaF2) to 9.3 GPa

S. Speziale, T. S. Duffy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


The second-order elastic constants of CaF2 (fluorite) have been determined by Brillouin scattering to 9.3 GPa at 300 K. Acoustic velocities have been measured in the (111) plane and inverted to simultaneously obtain the elastic constants and the orientation of the crystal. A notable feature of the present inversion is that only the density at ambient condition was used in the inversion. We obtain high-pressure densities directly from Brillouin data by conversion to isothermal conditions and iterative integration of the compression curve. The pressure derivative of the isentropic bulk modulus and of the shear modulus determined in this study are 4.78 ± 0.13 and 1.08 ± 0.07, which differ from previous low-pressure ultrasonic elasticity measurements. The pressure derivative of the isothermal bulk modulus is 4.83 ± 0.13, 8% lower than the value from static compression, and its uncertainty is lower by a factor of 3. The elastic constants of fluorite increase almost linearly with pressure over the whole investigated pressure range. However, at P ≥ 9 GPa, C11 and C12 show a subtle structure in their pressure dependence while C44 does not. The behavior of the elastic constants of fluorite in the 9-9.3 GPa pressure range is probably affected by the onset of a high-pressure structural transition to a lower symmetry phase (α-PbCl2 type). A single-crystal Raman scattering experiment performed in parallel to the Brillouin measurements shows the appearance of new features at 8.7 GPa. The new features are continuously observed to 49.2 GPa, confirming that the orthorhombic high-pressure phase is stable along the whole investigated pressure range, in agreement with a previous X-ray diffraction study of CaF2 to 45 GPa. The high-pressure elasticity data in combination with room-pressure values from previous studies allowed us to determine an independent room-temperature compression curve of fluorite. The new compression curve yields a maximum discrepancy of 0.05 GPa at 9.5 GPa with respect to that derived from static compression by Angel (1993). This comparison suggests that the accuracy of the fluorite pressure scale is better than 1% over the 0-9 GPa pressure range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-472
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of Minerals
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • General Materials Science


  • Brillouin scattering
  • Raman scattering
  • Single-crystal elastic constants


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