How to measure heat capacity of metals at 10s to 100s of GPa

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Zachary M Geballe, Andrew Townley and Raymond Jeanloz, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United States
Adapting methods of calorimetry to the diamond-anvil cell can provide important new information for understanding planetary interiors. Here we show that heat capacity of metals can be measured to the 10-100 GPa range by using AC electrical heating inside diamond anvil cells. Frequencies of f ≈ 1-100 MHz must be used to contain the heat within the sample of interest, as evidenced by numerical and physical models of heat flow: f > DinsCins2/(Csamdsam)2, where Dins is the thermal diffusivity of the insulation, Cins and Csam are specific heat capacities of insulation and metal sample, and dsam is sample thickness. Heat must be deposited uniformly (e.g. skin depth > sample thickness) for the most accurate and unambiguous measurements, thereby allowing measurement of the energetics of pre-melting, melting and partial melting of metals, including iron and its alloys. In principle, high-pressure calorimetry can be used to independently determine melting at high pressures, and also to quantify latent heats of fusion, thereby revealing the density of liquid metals at Earth core conditions.