Materials under Pressure

Earth, Waterworlds, Sub-Neptunes, and Gas Giants

What are planets made of? How do materials behave under extreme high pressures and temperatures of planetary interiors? How do the properties of planetary materials change the dynamics and chemical processes? How do the internal processes affect the surface environment, atmosphere, and habitability?

In order to understand the inner workings of planets (Earth, Solar-system planets, and exoplanets), we study planetary materials (hydrogen, water, silicates, oxides, hydroxides, carbides, hydrides, and metal alloys) at a wide range of pressures and temperatures using the diamond-anvil cell, multi-anvil press, and shockwave techniques.

For more information on our recent research directions, you may watch an episode of Catalyst, AZ PBS (Exploring exoplanets from Earth), MRS news on Materials of the Universe, CNN news on diamond planets, and read a featured report in Nature (The labs that forge distant planets here on Earth) where our research on the mineralogy of exoplanets was highlight.