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Title: Ultrafast visualization of crystallization and grain growth in shock-compressed SiO2

Pressure- and temperature-induced phase transitions have been studied for more than a century but very little is known about the non-equilibrium processes by which the atoms rearrange. Shock compression generates a nearly instantaneous propagating high-pressure/temperature condition while in situ X-ray diffraction (XRD) probes the time-dependent atomic arrangement. Here we present in situ pump–probe XRD measurements on shock-compressed fused silica, revealing an amorphous to crystalline high-pressure stishovite phase transition. Using the size broadening of the diffraction peaks, the growth of nanocrystalline stishovite grains is resolved on the nanosecond timescale just after shock compression. At applied pressures above 18 GPa the nuclueation of stishovite appears to be kinetically limited to 1.4±0.4 ns. The functional form of this grain growth suggests homogeneous nucleation and attachment as the growth mechanism. As a result, these are the first observations of crystalline grain growth in the shock front between low- and high-pressure states via XRD.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [1] ;  [5] ;  [6]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
  3. Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA (United States)
  4. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  5. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Argonne, IL (United States); Center for High Pressure Science and Technology Advanced Research, Shanghai (China)
  6. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723; ncomms9191
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
58 GEOSCIENCES; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE physical sciences; materials science; condensed matter; geology and geophysics