Natural zircon is a host of uranium and thorium and an important tool of geological dating. We examine the phase transitions of natural zircon by means of Raman spectroscopy to obtain a better understanding of the behavior of this mineral in the Earth.
Fig.: The pressure dependence of selected Raman modes of zircon. Particularly noticeable is the emergence of new modes at about 27 GPa and the soft mode behavior of the lower most mode at 200 (cm-1).