• high-pressure X-ray diffraction;
  • potassium chlorate;
  • decomposition

Two static high-pressure X-ray diffraction (XRD) studies of potassium chlorate have been performed at pressures of up to ∼14.3 GPa in a diamond anvil cell at ambient temperature using the 16 ID-B undulator beamline at the Advanced Photon Source for the X-ray source. The first experiment was conducted to ascertain decomposition rates of potassium chlorate as a function of pressure. Below 2 GPa, the sample was observed to decompose rapidly in the presence of the X-ray beam and release oxygen. Above 2 GPa (near the phase I [RIGHTWARDS ARROW] phase II transition), the decomposition rate dramatically slowed so that good quality XRD patterns could be acquired. This suggests a phase-dependent decomposition rate. In the second study, X-ray diffraction spectra were collected at pressures from 2 to 14.3 GPa by aligning virgin portions of the sample into the focused X-ray beam at each pressure. The results suggest the co-existence of mixed monoclinic (I) and rhombohedral (II) phases of potassium chlorate near 2 GPa. At pressures beyond 4 GPa, the XRD patterns show a very good fit to KClO3 in the rhombohedral phase with space group R3m, in agreement with earlier studies. No further phase transitions were observed with pressure. Decompression of the sample to ambient pressure indicated mixed phases I and II coupled with a small amount of synchrotron X-ray-induced decomposition product. The equation of state within this pressure regime has been determined.