Prediction of Mechanical Twinning in Magnesium Silicate Post-Perovskite

P Carrez and AM Goryaeva and P Cordier, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 7, 17640 (2017).

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-18018-1

The plastic properties of MgSiO3 post-perovskite are considered to be one of the key issues necessary for understanding the seismic anisotropy at the bottom of the mantle in the so-called D" layer. Although plastic slip in MgSiO3 post-perovskite has attracted considerable attention, the twinning mechanism has not been addressed, despite some experimental evidence from low-pressure analogues. On the basis of a numerical mechanical model, we present a twin nucleation model for post-perovskite involving the emission of 1/6 < 110 > partial dislocations. Relying on first-principles calculations with no adjustable parameters, we show that 110 twin wall formation resulting from the interaction of multiple twin dislocations occurs at a twinning stress comparable in magnitude to the most readily occurring slip system in post-perovskite. Because dislocation activities and twinning are competitive strain- producing mechanisms, twinning should be considered in future models of crystallographic preferred orientations in post-perovskite to better interpret seismic anisotropy in the lowermost lower mantle.

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