Density Effect on the Structure of Liquid SiO2 Compressed up to 10 Mbar

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Alessandra Benuzzi-Mounaix1,2, Adrien Denoeud3, Fabien Dorchies4, Jerome Gaudin4, Guyot Francois5, Alessandra Ravasio1, Erik Brambrink1 and Stephane Mazevet2, (1)Ecole Polytechnique, LULI / CNRS, Palaiseau Cedex, France, (2)Paris Observatory Meudon, LUTH, Meudon, France, (3)Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France, (4)CELIA, CNRS, CEA, Un. Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France, (5)IMPMC Institut de Minéralogie et de Physique des Milieux Condensés, Paris Cedex 05, France
With the recent discovery of many exoplanets, modeling the interior of these celestial bodies is becoming a fascinating scientific challenge. In this context, it is crucial to accurately know the equations of state and the physical properties of the constituent materials. Among these constituents, complex silicates (i.e. (Mg,Fe)SiO3 and (Mg,Fe)2SiO4) and the products of their dissociation (SiO2, MgO) are of major interest. Their metallization, dissociation and structural properties as density and temperature increase are a central issue for the modeling of the mantle of terrestrial planets or the cores of giant and icy giant planets [1].

We present here an experimental and theoretical study of the electronic and ionic structural properties of fused silica compressed up to 10 Mbar using X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy (XANES). The results were obtained in two experimental campaigns on the LULI2000 laser at the Ecole Polytechnique. With an approach previously tested on aluminium [2], we obtained high quality XANES data at different well-controlled temperature and density conditions in the Warm Dense Matter (WDM) regime. These conditions were obtained by using two different target’s geometries in order to probe either released matter either re-shocked matter. This last technique allows us to obtain higher pressures than on the Hugoniot for lower temperatures, more representatives of planetary conditions. With this process, we can compare XANES spectra on different isotherms between 1 eV and 4 eV on a large scale of densities (from r0/2 to 4r0). Coupled to ab initio calculations, these results provide us structural information on liquid SiO2 such as the pair correlation functions or the associated Si-O bounding ordering of the system. The structural information obtained here allows us to improve the SiO2 phase diagram particularly in the so-called bonded liquid region [3] and to confirm the loss of conductivity with the increase of density already observed in previous ab initio calculations [4].


[1] K. Umemoto et al., Science 311, 983 (2006)

[2] A. Benuzzi-Mounaix et al., Phys. Rev. Lett, 107, 165006 (2011)

[3] D. G. Hicks et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 025502 (2006)

[4] S. Mazevet et al, submitted to PRL.