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Title: Formation of diamonds in laser-compressed hydrocarbons at planetary interior conditions

Abstract

The effects of hydrocarbon reactions and diamond precipitation on the internal structure and evolution of icy giant planets such as Neptune and Uranus have been discussed for more than three decades 1. Inside these celestial bodies, simple hydrocarbons such as methane, which are highly abundant in the atmospheres 2, are believed to undergo structural transitions 3,4 that release hydrogen from deeper layers and may lead to compact stratified cores 5-7. Indeed, from the surface towards the core, the isentropes of Uranus and Neptune intersect a temperature-pressure regime in which methane first transforms into a mixture of hydrocarbon polymers8, whereas, in deeper layers, a phase separation into diamond and hydrogen may be possible. Here we show experimental evidence for this phase separation process obtained by in situ X-ray diffraction from polystyrene (C 8H 8) n samples dynamically compressed to conditions around 150 GPa and 5,000 K; these conditions resemble the environment around 10,000 km below the surfaces of Neptune and Uranus 9. Our findings demonstrate the necessity of high pressures for initiating carbon-hydrogen separation 3 and imply that diamond precipitation may require pressures about ten times as high as previously indicated by static compression experiments 4,8,10. Our results will inform mass-radiusmore » relationships of carbon-bearing exoplanets 11, provide constraints for their internal layer structure and improve evolutionary models of Uranus and Neptune, in which carbon-hydrogen separation could influence the convective heat transport 7.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ; ; ORCiD logo; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more »; ; ; « less
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
OSTI Identifier:
1476528
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Astronomy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 1; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 2397-3366
Publisher:
Springer Nature
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Kraus, D., Vorberger, J., Pak, A., Hartley, N.  J., Fletcher, L.  B., Frydrych, S., Galtier, E., Gamboa, E.  J., Gericke, D. O., Glenzer, S.  H., Granados, E., MacDonald, M.  J., MacKinnon, A.  J., McBride, E.  E., Nam, I., Neumayer, P., Roth, M., Saunders, A. M., Schuster, A.  K., Sun, P., van Driel, T., Döppner, T., and Falcone, R.  W. Formation of diamonds in laser-compressed hydrocarbons at planetary interior conditions. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1038/s41550-017-0219-9.
Kraus, D., Vorberger, J., Pak, A., Hartley, N.  J., Fletcher, L.  B., Frydrych, S., Galtier, E., Gamboa, E.  J., Gericke, D. O., Glenzer, S.  H., Granados, E., MacDonald, M.  J., MacKinnon, A.  J., McBride, E.  E., Nam, I., Neumayer, P., Roth, M., Saunders, A. M., Schuster, A.  K., Sun, P., van Driel, T., Döppner, T., & Falcone, R.  W. Formation of diamonds in laser-compressed hydrocarbons at planetary interior conditions. United States. doi:10.1038/s41550-017-0219-9.
Kraus, D., Vorberger, J., Pak, A., Hartley, N.  J., Fletcher, L.  B., Frydrych, S., Galtier, E., Gamboa, E.  J., Gericke, D. O., Glenzer, S.  H., Granados, E., MacDonald, M.  J., MacKinnon, A.  J., McBride, E.  E., Nam, I., Neumayer, P., Roth, M., Saunders, A. M., Schuster, A.  K., Sun, P., van Driel, T., Döppner, T., and Falcone, R.  W. Mon . "Formation of diamonds in laser-compressed hydrocarbons at planetary interior conditions". United States. doi:10.1038/s41550-017-0219-9. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1476528.
@article{osti_1476528,
title = {Formation of diamonds in laser-compressed hydrocarbons at planetary interior conditions},
author = {Kraus, D. and Vorberger, J. and Pak, A. and Hartley, N.  J. and Fletcher, L.  B. and Frydrych, S. and Galtier, E. and Gamboa, E.  J. and Gericke, D. O. and Glenzer, S.  H. and Granados, E. and MacDonald, M.  J. and MacKinnon, A.  J. and McBride, E.  E. and Nam, I. and Neumayer, P. and Roth, M. and Saunders, A. M. and Schuster, A.  K. and Sun, P. and van Driel, T. and Döppner, T. and Falcone, R.  W.},
abstractNote = {The effects of hydrocarbon reactions and diamond precipitation on the internal structure and evolution of icy giant planets such as Neptune and Uranus have been discussed for more than three decades1. Inside these celestial bodies, simple hydrocarbons such as methane, which are highly abundant in the atmospheres2, are believed to undergo structural transitions3,4 that release hydrogen from deeper layers and may lead to compact stratified cores5-7. Indeed, from the surface towards the core, the isentropes of Uranus and Neptune intersect a temperature-pressure regime in which methane first transforms into a mixture of hydrocarbon polymers8, whereas, in deeper layers, a phase separation into diamond and hydrogen may be possible. Here we show experimental evidence for this phase separation process obtained by in situ X-ray diffraction from polystyrene (C8H8)n samples dynamically compressed to conditions around 150 GPa and 5,000 K; these conditions resemble the environment around 10,000 km below the surfaces of Neptune and Uranus9. Our findings demonstrate the necessity of high pressures for initiating carbon-hydrogen separation3 and imply that diamond precipitation may require pressures about ten times as high as previously indicated by static compression experiments4,8,10. Our results will inform mass-radius relationships of carbon-bearing exoplanets11, provide constraints for their internal layer structure and improve evolutionary models of Uranus and Neptune, in which carbon-hydrogen separation could influence the convective heat transport7.},
doi = {10.1038/s41550-017-0219-9},
journal = {Nature Astronomy},
number = 9,
volume = 1,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {8}
}

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Evidence for Crystalline Structure in Dynamically-Compressed Polyethylene up to 200 GPa
    journal, March 2019


    High Pressure Hydrocarbons Revisited: From van der Waals Compounds to Diamond
    journal, May 2019