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  1. Abstract Recent discoveries of water-rich Neptune-like exoplanets require a more detailed understanding of the phase diagram of H 2 O at pressure–temperature conditions relevant to their planetary interiors. The unusual non-dipolar magnetic fields of ice giant planets, produced by convecting liquid ionic water, are influenced by exotic high-pressure states of H 2 O—yet the structure of ice in this state is challenging to determine experimentally. Here we present X-ray diffraction evidence of a body-centered cubic (BCC) structured H 2 O ice at 200 GPa and ~ 5000 K, deemed ice XIX, using the X-ray Free Electron Laser of the Linac Coherent Light Sourcemore »to probe the structure of the oxygen sub-lattice during dynamic compression. Although several cubic or orthorhombic structures have been predicted to be the stable structure at these conditions, we show this BCC ice phase is stable to multi-Mbar pressures and temperatures near the melt boundary. This suggests variable and increased electrical conductivity to greater depths in ice giant planets that may promote the generation of multipolar magnetic fields.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. 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 constructedmore »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.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023