High-Pressure, High-Temperature Equations of State Using Fabricated Controlled-Geometry Ni/SiO2 Double Hot-Plate Samples
Thursday, 18 December 2014
To model and predict the structure, dynamics, and composition of Earth’s deep interior, accurate and precise measurements of thermal expansion and compressibility are required. The laser-heated diamond-anvil cell (LHDAC) coupled with synchrotron-based x-ray diffraction (XRD) is a powerful tool to determine pressure-volume-temperature (P-V-T) relationships. However, LHDAC experiments may be hampered by non-uniform heating caused by the mixing of transparent materials with opaque laser absorbers. Additionally, radial temperature gradients are exacerbated by small misalignments (1-3 µm) of the x-ray beam with respect to the center of the laser-heated hotspot. We have fabricated three-dimensional, controlled-geometry, double hot-plate samples. In this double hot-plate arrangement, a transparent oxide layer (SiO2) is sandwiched between two laser absorbing layers (Ni) in a single, cohesive sample. These samples were mass manufactured (>105 samples) using a combination of physical vapor deposition, photolithography, wet etching, and plasma etching. The double hot-plate arrangement coupled with the chemical and spatial homogeneity of the laser absorbing layers addresses problems caused by mixtures of transparent and opaque samples. The controlled-geometry samples have dimensions of 50 µm x 50 µm x 1.4 µm. The dimensions of the samples are much larger than the synchrotron x-ray beam. With a heating laser FWHM of ~50 µm, the radial temperature gradients within the volume probed by the x-ray are reduced. We conducted XRD experiments to P > 50 GPa and T > 2200 K at beamline 16-ID-B (HPCAT) of the Advanced Photon Source. Here we present relevant thermal modeling of the LHDAC environment along with Ni and SiO2 P-V-T equations of state. Our photolithography method of sample fabrication can be extended to different materials including but not limited to Fe and MgO.