Partially Diffusive Helium-Silica Compound under High Pressure
PublisherInstitute of Physics (IOP)
Rights accessOpen Access
Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe, and together with silica, they are important components of giant planets. Exploring the reactivity and state of helium and silica under high pressure is crucial for understanding of the evolution and internal structure of giant planets. Here, using first-principles calculations and crystal structure predictions, we identify four stable phases of a helium-silica compound with seven/eight-coordinated silicon atoms at pressure of 600–4000 GPa, corresponding to the interior condition of the outer planets in the solar system. The density of HeSiO2 agrees with current structure models of the planets. This helium-silica compound exhibits a superionic-like helium diffusive state under the high-pressure and high-temperature conditions along the isentropes of Saturn, a metallic fluid state in Jupiter, and a solid state in the deep interiors of Uranus and Neptune. These results show that helium may affect the erosion of the rocky core in giant planets and may help to form a diluted core region, which not only highlight the reactivity of helium under high pressure but also provide evidence helpful for building more sophisticated interior models of giant planets.
CitationLiu, C. [et al.]. Partially Diffusive Helium-Silica Compound under High Pressure. "Chinese physics letters", 1 Juny 2022, vol. 39, núm. 7, p. 076101:1-076101:6.