An in situ high pressure powder diffraction study, using high-brilliance synchrotron radiation, on lead feldspar (PbAl(2)Si(2)O(8)) was performed. Two samples, with Q(od)=0.68 and 0.76, were loaded in a diamond anvil cell and were compressed up to 11 GPa. Up to P=7.1 GPa the only phase present is lead feldspar. In the range 7.1-9.3 GPa sudden changes in the position of the reflections suggest the transformation of lead feldspar to a new phase (probably feldspar-like). The absence of split that would be compatible with triclinic symmetry rules out the monoclinic-triclinic transition, that was reported for the structurally similar strontium feldspar. At P>9.4 GPa some new extra reflections not indexable in the feldspar cell ape present as well. During decompression the lead feldspar was the only phase present at P<6 GPa. Peak enlargement was observed with pressure, probably preliminary to amorphization. However almost complete amorphization was observed only after fortuitous shock compression at similar to 18 GPa; the crystallinity was recovered at room pressure after decompression. The bulk modulus for lead feldspar was K=71.0(9) and 67.6(1.2) GPa for the two samples, in the range reported for feldspars. The cell parameters show a compression pattern which is similar to that observed in anorthite, with Delta a/a(0)>Delta c/c(0)>Delta b/b(0); comparison with the high temperature behaviour shows that for lead feldspar the strain tensor with pressure is more isotropic and the deformation along a is less prominent. A turnover in the behaviour of the beta angle with pressure suggests a change in the compression behaviour at P similar to 2 cpa. Rietveld refinement of the Pb coordinates was performed in a series of spectra with pressure ranging from 0.6 to 6.5 GPa. The combined analysis of cell parameters and Pb coordinates with pressure showed that the compression of the structure is mainly achieved by an approach of Pb atoms along a*.
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