Research

Earth

Seismic imaging studies have revealed many intriguing structure in the Earth' interior. Dynamic simulations have shown formation and destruction of structures in the interior. Our study provides physical and chemical parameters to understand the origins of those deep structures. As ASU, we collaborate with Ed Garnero (seismology), Mingming Li (geodynamics), and Joe O'Rourke (core dynamics) in order to build integrative understanding on the interior. Our projects have been supported by NSF's Earth Sciences Program. Recent examples: deep water transport, deep melting, nanocrystalline metal iron in shocked meteorite.

Hydrogen in the planetary cores

Despite the fact that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the solar system, the existence and storage of hydrogen in the deep interiors of Earth and Mars have been poorly known. From a Keck grant, we installed a hydrogen gas loading system in our lab. We study how hydrogen changes the chemistry, structure, and dynamics of the cores of Earth and Mars supported by NSF's Earth Sciences and Astronomical Sciences Programs. Recent examples: superstoichiometry of iron-hydrogen alloys

Early hydrogen

Interaction between atmosphere and magma ocean is critical to understand the early geological history of our planet. Using the new hydrogen loading system and micro-second pulse laser heating we now can reach sufficient high temperatures to study chemical reactions between hydrogen and silicate melts and between hydrogen and iron liquids. Recent examples: water and dynamo in deep Mars

Rocky exoplanets

The compositions of the rock can be very different in some exoplanetary systems. The compositional difference may have impacted different evolution and dynamics of those exoplanets. We study rocks for the exoplanetary systems through high pressure experiments. Recent examples: diamond-rich planets

Water-rich planets

Neptune-like planets are common in our galaxy. Some of these planets exist in the habitable zone. This type of planets would have deep H2O layer (thousands of kilometer). Are they habitable? What type of geochemical cycle do they have? We provide important data through experiments on chemical reactions between rock and H2O at high pressure and high temperature. Our projects have been supported by NASA's Exoplanet Research Program. Recent examples: water-silicate mixing

Gas giants

Solar system hosts two gas giants planets (Jupiter and Saturn). Their formation and evolution is important for understanding the formation of inner solar system planets. Recent Juno mission shows that the interior structures of these gas giants are far more complicated. In exoplanetary systems, gas giants and their remnant cores have been documented in a range of settings. We conduct experiments to understand the internal workings of these planets and atmosphere-interior interactions. Recent examples: deep mixing of hydrogen and iron.