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Title: Structure and density of silicon carbide to 1.5 TPa and implications for extrasolar planets
Abstract There has been considerable recent interest in the high-pressure behavior of silicon carbide, a potential major constituent of carbon-rich exoplanets. In this work, the atomic-level structure of SiC was determined through in situ X-ray diffraction under laser-driven ramp compression up to 1.5 TPa; stresses more than seven times greater than previous static and shock data. Here we show that the B1-type structure persists over this stress range and we have constrained its equation of state (EOS). Using this data we have determined the first experimentally based mass-radius curves for a hypothetical pure SiC planet. Interior structure models are constructed for planets consisting of a SiC-rich mantle and iron-rich core. Carbide planets are found to be ~10% less dense than corresponding terrestrial planets.  more » « less
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Nature Communications
Medium: X
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National Science Foundation
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