I study the behavior of materials under the high pressure and temperature conditions of the Earth’s interior. These studies are performed both experimentally and theoretically.
I simulate the high-pressure, high-temperature conditions of the Earth’s interior using the laser-heated diamond anvil cell (right). Current experimental efforts include: melting of metals at high pressure using isotopically marked samples for absolute determination of melt, solubility of volatile elements (e.g. H, C) in octahedrally-coordinated silicates, and high-pressure, high-temperature equations of state. My work uses infrared laser heating, synchrotron-based high-temperature, high-pressure x-ray diffraction and infrared spectroscopy, laser-ablation ICP-MS and nano-SIMS.
Through the first-principles calculation of a material’s electronic structure (left), I derive the energetics of materials and the effects of pressure and defects on the thermodynamics properties. My work on the calculation of complex systems addresses minor (e.g. Al and Fe) and trace (e.g. H, C) element incorporation in deep mantle minerals and defect-formation processes in pyrochlore. Calculations are performed on an IBM cluster at The Ohio Supercomputer Center.