March 30, 2023

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Scientists have discovered a new form of ice

Scientists have discovered a new form of ice

The findings could have implications for our understanding of distant, water-filled planets.

NLV researchers have redesigned the properties of water at high pressure and discovered a new form of ice.

Solid water, or ice, like many other materials, can form different solids based on changing temperature and pressure conditions, such as diamond carbon or graphite. However, water is exceptional in this aspect because there are at least 20 solid forms known to us.

A team of scientists working at UNLV’s Extreme Conditions Laboratory in Nevada has developed a new method for measuring the properties of water under high pressure. The water sample was first squeezed between the opposite ends of the diamonds – frozen into several mixed ice crystals. The ice was subjected to a laser heating technique that melted it temporarily before it quickly regenerated into a row of tiny crystals like a powder.

The team observed a gradual increase in pressure and the occasional blasting of it with a laser beam, shifting the water ice from the well-known cubic phase Ice-VII to the newly discovered intermediate and quaternary phase Ice-VIIT. To another well-known level, Ice-X.

Zach Gronde holds a Ph.D. from UNLV. Taleb also showed that switching to Ice-X occurs when the water hardens, at a much lower pressure than previously thought.

Although it is unlikely that we will find this new phase of ice anywhere on Earth, it will be a common component within the Earth’s crust and on large moons and water-filled planets outside our solar system.

The panel’s results were reported in the March 17, 2022 issue Physical examination b.

Take away

The research team was working to understand the behavior of high-pressure water that may be on the interior of distant planets.

To do this, Grandi and a UNLV physicist Ashkan Salama placed a sample of water between the ends of two diamonds cut in a circle called diamond anvil cells, a standard feature in the field of high-pressure physics. Using a small force on the diamond helped the researchers recreate high pressures similar to those at the center of the earth.

By pressing a water sample between these diamonds, the scientists injected oxygen and hydrogen atoms into a variety of arrangements, including the newly discovered arrangement, the Ice-VIIT.

Not only did the first type of laser heating technique allow scientists to observe a new phase of water ice, but the team also found that the transition to Ice-X occurred at almost three times lower pressure than previously thought – at 300,000. Atmospheres instead of 1 million. This change is a topic that has been hotly debated in the community for decades.

“Sock’s work shows that this change in ionic state occurs at a much lower pressure than previously thought,” Salamat said. “This is the missing piece and the most accurate measurements of water in these conditions.”

Salamat added that this work also revisits our understanding of the formation of extraterrestrials. Researchers believe that the ice-VIIT phase of ice in the crust and upper mantle of water-bearing planets outside our solar system may be abundant, meaning that they may have living conditions.

Note: “Pressure-driven symmetric changes in density H2O Ice ”by Zachary M. Gronde, C. Hoy Palm, Dean Smith, John H.. Boasfert, Qinliang Huang and Jesse S. 17 March 2022, Physical examination b.
DOI: 10.1103 / PhysRevB.105.104109

Collaborators at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory used a large supercomputer to simulate binding reconstructions – predicting that phase changes would occur in the area measured by experiments.

Additional collaborators include UNLV physicists Jason Stephen and John Bosford, UNLV mineralogist Oliver Suner and scientists from the National Laboratory at Argon and the University of Arizona.

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