Materials under Pressure

Earth, Super-Earrths, Hydrogen worlds, Water worlds, Sub-Neptunes, and Gas Giants

What are the materials that make up planets? How do materials behave under the extreme temperatures and pressures found in planetary interiors? Do the properties of these materials impact a planet's chemical processes and dynamics? How do internal processes impact the planet's surface environment, atmosphere, and habitability?

Our research aims to understand the internal structures and processes of various planets, including Earth, Solar-system planets, and exoplanets, by examining the properties and behaviors of their constituent materials, which include hydrogen, water, silicates, oxides, hydroxides, carbides, hydrides, and metal alloys. To replicate the high-pressure and high-temperature conditions found within planetary interiors, we use various techniques such as the laser-heated diamond-anvil cell, multi-anvil press, and dynamic compression. To analyze the properties and behaviors of these materials, we employ a range of methods, including X-ray diffraction (both synchrotron and XFEL), X-ray spectroscopy (both synchrotron and XFEL), infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, and density functional theory.

To learn about our recent research directions, you may watch my talk in GSECARS workshop, an episode of Catalyst, AZ PBS (Exploring exoplanets from Earth), and MRS news on Materials of the Universe, and read CNN news on diamond planets, and a featured report in Nature (The labs that forge distant planets here on Earth).

You may also check our new exciting National Multi-Anvil Press Facility (FORCE: Facility for Open Research in a Compressional Environment) at ASU.