Elastic and Electronic Properties of CsI to 19 GPa: An Analog for Xe Deep Inside Planets

Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Sarah M Arveson and Raymond Jeanloz, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United States
The isoelectronic analogs xenon and CsI (i.e. having the same, noble-gas electronic configuration) both undergo a fundamental change in chemical bonding under pressure, becoming metallic by 135 (±20) GPa, the pressure at Earth’s core–mantle boundary. Using Brillouin spectroscopy and diamond-anvil cells to 19 GPa at 290 K, we find that the electronic polarizability of CsI increases with pressure, quantifying the delocalization of electron charge density as the initially ionic salt is compressed toward the metallic state. Our results show a different trend from a previous measurement of refractive index under pressure and are consistent with the Herzfeld criterion that metallization is achieved when electron polarization is comparable to (or exceeds) inter-atomic distances. Our measurements of longitudinal elastic-wave velocity, VP, are in good accord with prior ultrasonic determinations below 1 GPa but suggest a slightly larger pressure derivative for the average shear modulus than previously thought. This conclusion is based on using Eulerian finite-strain descriptions of the equation of state and elastic moduli under pressure, and assumes that nonhydrostatic effects are unimportant. Our measurements were made on decompression as well as compression, using polycrystalline samples.

Experimental measurements of changes in electronic and elastic properties under pressure can be used to validate and improve first-principles quantum mechanical calculations of bonding and other material properties, and can characterize the evolution of noble-gas toward chemically bonded systems at conditions deep inside planets.