Large H2O solubility in dense silica and its implications for the interiors of water-rich planets.
ABSTRACT: Sub-Neptunes are common among the discovered exoplanets. However, lack of knowledge on the state of matter in [Formula: see text]O-rich setting at high pressures and temperatures ([Formula: see text]) places important limitations on our understanding of this planet type. We have conducted experiments for reactions between [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text]O as archetypal materials for rock and ice, respectively, at high [Formula: see text] We found anomalously expanded volumes of dense silica (up to 4%) recovered from hydrothermal synthesis above ?24 GPa where the [Formula: see text]-type (Ct) structure appears at lower pressures than in the anhydrous system. Infrared spectroscopy identified strong OH modes from the dense silica samples. Both previous experiments and our density functional theory calculations support up to 0.48 hydrogen atoms per formula unit of ([Formula: see text])[Formula: see text] At pressures above 60 GPa, [Formula: see text]O further changes the structural behavior of silica, stabilizing a niccolite-type structure, which is unquenchable. From unit-cell volume and phase equilibrium considerations, we infer that the niccolite-type phase may contain H with an amount at least comparable with or higher than that of the Ct phase. Our results suggest that the phases containing both hydrogen and lithophile elements could be the dominant materials in the interiors of water-rich planets. Even for fully layered cases, the large mutual solubility could make the boundary between rock and ice layers fuzzy. Therefore, the physical properties of the new phases that we report here would be important for understanding dynamics, geochemical cycle, and dynamo generation in water-rich planets.
Project description:The interior structure of the giant ice planets Uranus and Neptune, but also of newly discovered exoplanets, is loosely constrained, because limited observational data can be satisfied with various interior models. Although it is known that their mantles comprise large amounts of water, ammonia, and methane ices, it is unclear how these organize themselves within the planets-as homogeneous mixtures, with continuous concentration gradients, or as well-separated layers of specific composition. While individual ices have been studied in great detail under pressure, the properties of their mixtures are much less explored. We show here, using first-principles calculations, that the 2:1 ammonia hydrate, (H2O)(NH3)2, is stabilized at icy planet mantle conditions due to a remarkable structural evolution. Above 65 GPa, we predict it will transform from a hydrogen-bonded molecular solid into a fully ionic phase O2-([Formula: see text])2, where all water molecules are completely deprotonated, an unexpected bonding phenomenon not seen before. Ammonia hemihydrate is stable in a sequence of ionic phases up to 500 GPa, pressures found deep within Neptune-like planets, and thus at higher pressures than any other ammonia-water mixture. This suggests it precipitates out of any ammonia-water mixture at sufficiently high pressures and thus forms an important component of icy planets.
Project description:We discover a population of short-period, Neptune-size planets sharing key similarities with hot Jupiters: both populations are preferentially hosted by metal-rich stars, and both are preferentially found in Kepler systems with single-transiting planets. We use accurate Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) Data Release 4 (DR4) stellar parameters for main-sequence stars to study the distributions of short-period [Formula: see text] Kepler planets as a function of host star metallicity. The radius distribution of planets around metal-rich stars is more "puffed up" compared with that around metal-poor hosts. In two period-radius regimes, planets preferentially reside around metal-rich stars, while there are hardly any planets around metal-poor stars. One is the well-known hot Jupiters, and the other one is a population of Neptune-size planets ([Formula: see text]), dubbed "Hoptunes." Also like hot Jupiters, Hoptunes occur more frequently in systems with single-transiting planets although the fraction of Hoptunes occurring in multiples is larger than that of hot Jupiters. About [Formula: see text] of solar-type stars host Hoptunes, and the frequencies of Hoptunes and hot Jupiters increase with consistent trends as a function of [Fe/H]. In the planet radius distribution, hot Jupiters and Hoptunes are separated by a "valley" at approximately Saturn size (in the range of [Formula: see text]), and this "hot-Saturn valley" represents approximately an order-of-magnitude decrease in planet frequency compared with hot Jupiters and Hoptunes. The empirical "kinship" between Hoptunes and hot Jupiters suggests likely common processes (migration and/or formation) responsible for their existence.
Project description:The nearly circular (mean eccentricity [Formula: see text]) and coplanar (mean mutual inclination [Formula: see text]) orbits of the solar system planets motivated Kant and Laplace to hypothesize that planets are formed in disks, which has developed into the widely accepted theory of planet formation. The first several hundred extrasolar planets (mostly Jovian) discovered using the radial velocity (RV) technique are commonly on eccentric orbits ([Formula: see text]). This raises a fundamental question: Are the solar system and its formation special? The Kepler mission has found thousands of transiting planets dominated by sub-Neptunes, but most of their orbital eccentricities remain unknown. By using the precise spectroscopic host star parameters from the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) observations, we measure the eccentricity distributions for a large (698) and homogeneous Kepler planet sample with transit duration statistics. Nearly half of the planets are in systems with single transiting planets (singles), whereas the other half are multiple transiting planets (multiples). We find an eccentricity dichotomy: on average, Kepler singles are on eccentric orbits with [Formula: see text] 0.3, whereas the multiples are on nearly circular [Formula: see text] and coplanar [Formula: see text] degree) orbits similar to those of the solar system planets. Our results are consistent with previous studies of smaller samples and individual systems. We also show that Kepler multiples and solar system objects follow a common relation [[Formula: see text](1-2)[Formula: see text]] between mean eccentricities and mutual inclinations. The prevalence of circular orbits and the common relation may imply that the solar system is not so atypical in the galaxy after all.
Project description:Investigating the fate of dissolved carbon dioxide under extreme conditions is critical to understanding the deep carbon cycle in Earth, a process that ultimately influences global climate change. We used first-principles molecular dynamics simulations to study carbonates and carbon dioxide dissolved in water at pressures (<i>P</i>) and temperatures (<i>T</i>) approximating the conditions of Earth's upper mantle. Contrary to popular geochemical models assuming that molecular CO<sub>2</sub>(aq) is the major carbon species present in water under deep Earth conditions, we found that at 11 GPa and 1000 K, carbon exists almost entirely in the forms of solvated carbonate ([Formula: see text]) and bicarbonate ([Formula: see text]) ions and that even carbonic acid [H<sub>2</sub>CO<sub>3</sub>(aq)] is more abundant than CO<sub>2</sub>(aq). Furthermore, our simulations revealed that ion pairing between Na<sup>+</sup> and [Formula: see text]/[Formula: see text] is greatly affected by <i>P</i>-<i>T</i> conditions, decreasing with increasing pressure at 800 to 1000 K. Our results suggest that in Earth's upper mantle, water-rich geofluids transport a majority of carbon in the form of rapidly interconverting [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] ions, not solvated CO<sub>2</sub>(aq) molecules.
Project description:We have analyzed the compositions of boron-carbon system, in which the [Formula: see text] compound is identified as structural stability at high pressure. The first-principles calculation is used to identify the phase diagram, electronic structure, and superconductivity of [Formula: see text]. Our results have demonstrated that the [Formula: see text] is thermodynamically stable in the diamond-like [Formula: see text] structure at a pressure above 244 GPa, and under temperature also. Feature of chemical bonds between B and C atoms is presented using the electron localization function. The strong chemical bonds in diamond-like [Formula: see text] structure are covalent bonds, and it exhibits the s-p hybridization under the pressure compression. The Fermi surface shape displays the large sheet, indicating that the diamond-like [Formula: see text] phase can achieve a high superconducting transition temperature ([Formula: see text]). The outstanding property of [Formula: see text] at 250 GPa has manifested very high-[Formula: see text] of superconductivity as 164 K, indicating that the carbon-rich system can induce the high-[Formula: see text] value as well.
Project description:The rare-earth metal hydrides with clathrate structures have been highly attractive because of their promising high-[Formula: see text] superconductivity at high pressure. Recently, cerium hydride [Formula: see text] composed of Ce-encapsulated clathrate H cages was synthesized at much lower pressures of 80-100 GPa, compared to other experimentally synthesized rare-earth hydrides such as [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text]. Based on density-functional theory calculations, we find that the Ce 5p semicore and 4f/5d valence states strongly hybridize with the H 1s state, while a transfer of electrons occurs from Ce to H atoms. Further, we reveal that the delocalized nature of Ce 4f electrons plays an important role in the chemical precompression of clathrate H cages. Our findings not only suggest that the bonding nature between the Ce atoms and H cages is characterized as a mixture of ionic and covalent, but also have important implications for understanding the origin of enhanced chemical precompression that results in the lower pressures required for the synthesis of [Formula: see text].
Project description:Water and ammonia are considered major components of the interiors of the giant icy planets and their satellites, which has motivated their exploration under high P-T conditions. Exotic forms of these pure ices have been revealed at extreme (~megabar) pressures, notably symmetric, ionic, and superionic phases. Here we report on an extensive experimental and computational study of the high-pressure properties of the ammonia monohydrate compound forming from an equimolar mixture of water and ammonia. Our experiments demonstrate that relatively mild pressure conditions (7.4?GPa at 300?K) are sufficient to transform ammonia monohydrate from a prototypical hydrogen-bonded crystal into a form where the standard molecular forms of water and ammonia coexist with their ionic counterparts, hydroxide (OH-) and ammonium [Formula: see text] ions. Using ab initio atomistic simulations, we explain this surprising coexistence of neutral/charged species as resulting from a topological frustration between local homonuclear and long-ranged heteronuclear ionisation mechanisms.
Project description:Greenland ice cores provide excellent evidence of past abrupt climate changes. However, there is no universally accepted theory of how and why these Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) events occur. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain DO events, including sea ice, ice shelf buildup, ice sheets, atmospheric circulation, and meltwater changes. DO event temperature reconstructions depend on the stable water isotope ([Formula: see text]O) and nitrogen isotope measurements from Greenland ice cores: interpretation of these measurements holds the key to understanding the nature of DO events. Here, we demonstrate the primary importance of sea ice as a control on Greenland ice core [Formula: see text]O: 95% of the variability in [Formula: see text]O in southern Greenland is explained by DO event sea ice changes. Our suite of DO events, simulated using a general circulation model, accurately captures the amplitude of [Formula: see text]O enrichment during the abrupt DO event onsets. Simulated geographical variability is broadly consistent with available ice core evidence. We find an hitherto unknown sensitivity of the [Formula: see text]O paleothermometer to the magnitude of DO event temperature increase: the change in [Formula: see text]O per Kelvin temperature increase reduces with DO event amplitude. We show that this effect is controlled by precipitation seasonality.
Project description:The Atacama Large Millimeter Array has allowed a detailed observation of molecules in protoplanetary disks, which can evolve toward solar systems like our own. While CO, [Formula: see text], HCO, and [Formula: see text] are often abundant species in the cold zones of the disk, [Formula: see text] or [Formula: see text] are only found in a few regions, and more-complex organic molecules are not observed. We simulate, experimentally, ice processing in disks under realistic conditions, that is, layered ices irradiated by soft X-rays. X-ray emission from young solar-type stars is thousands of times brighter than that of today's sun. The ice mantle is composed of a [Formula: see text]:[Formula: see text]:[Formula: see text] mixture, covered by a layer made of [Formula: see text] and CO. The photoproducts found desorbing from both ice layers to the gas phase during the irradiation converge with those detected in higher abundances in the gas phase of protoplanetary disks, providing important insights on the nonthermal processes that drive the chemistry in these objects.
Project description:Superionic ice is a special group of ice phases at high temperature and pressure, which may exist in ice-rich planets and exoplanets. In superionic ice liquid hydrogen coexists with a crystalline oxygen sublattice. At high pressures, the properties of superionic ice are largely unknown. Here we report evidence that from 280?GPa to 1.3?TPa, there are several competing phases within the close-packed oxygen sublattice. At even higher pressure, the close-packed structure of the oxygen sublattice becomes unstable to a new unusual superionic phase in which the oxygen sublattice takes the P2(1)/c symmetry. We also discover that higher pressure phases have lower transition temperatures. The diffusive hydrogen in the P2(1)/c superionic phase shows strong anisotropic behaviour and forms a quasi-two-dimensional liquid. The ionic conductivity changes abruptly in the solid to close-packed superionic phase transition, but continuously in the solid to P2(1)/c superionic phase transition.