Subproject 8: Super-Earth's Mantle Forming Materials at Static Pressures over 500 GPa and High Temperatures

PIs: L. Dubrovinsky, Z. Konopkova and H-P. Liermann

Investigating the phase diagrams, chemical stability and equations of state of materials possibly forming interiors of extraterrestrial super-Earth type planets is essential to model their dynamics, evolution, and habitable potential. Bridgmanite (silicate perovskite, PV), post-perovskite (CaIrO3-type, PPV) silicate, possible products of the breakdown of the PPV phase, and ferropericlase (Mg,Fe)O, are considered to be key components of the mantle of super-Earths. We propose to study behavior of these minerals and materials utilizing new developments in double-stage diamond anvil cell technique (dsDAC, gener- ating static pressures in excess of 500 GPa) coupled with X-ray diffraction facilities (at PETRA III and the European XFEL). We expect to collect comprehensive mineral physics data on equations of state, phase transformations, phase relations, and structures of the major constituents of rocky and super-Earth planets.

Left: Externally electrically heated diamond anvil cell during an experiment at a synchrotron facility [Dubrovinskaia (2005)]. Right: Internally electrically heated cell in a vacuum chamber at ECB, PETRA III [Liermann (2015)].
Phase diagram of FeO depicting all known phase boundaries up to now. The phase transition involve structural transformation as well insulator/metal or high spin/low spin transitions. From R. Fischer,

Contact PIs

Prof. Dr. Leonid Dubrovinsky, Bayrisches Geoinstitut, Universität Bayreuth
95440 Bayreuth
T: +49 (0)921 55 37 36, Email

Dr. Zuzana Konopkova, European XFEL GmbH
Notkestr. 85, 22607 Hamburg
T: +49 (0)40 899 86 793, Email

Dr. Hanns-Peter Liermann, Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY)
Notkestr. 85, 22607 Hamburg
T: +49 (0)40 899 85 722, Email