Deep Earth Interior

Recent research topics

ESRF researchers explore the inaccessible Earth and planetary interiors through in-situ high P/T experiments to unravel the geological processes that shape a planet.


Georgios Aprilis (Post-Doc at ID18) in close collaboration with researchers from Bayerisches Geoinstitut (Bayreuth, Germany) studies the chemistry and magnetism of geomaterials at the HP/HT conditions of the deep Earth’s interior using pulsed laser heating inside the diamond anvil cell and time-resolved synchrotron Moessbauer spectroscopy.



Jean-Alexis Hernandez (Junior Scientist at ID24-HPLF) investigates the structure, melting and properties of dense silicates using a combination of laser-driven dynamic compression experiments coupled to ultrafast X-ray probes and atomistic simulations. This research aims at constraining our knowledge of the early Earth and other large terrestrial planet interiors. It is done in collaboration with colleagues from ISTerre (France), LULI (France), IMPMC (France), CEED (Norway), Stanford University (USA), and Osaka University (Japan).



Jean-Alexis Hernandez (Junior Scientist at ID24-HPLF) is studying the phase diagram and the properties of hydrogen-rich planetary ices (H2O, NH3, CHNO mixtures) at extreme PT conditions (100s GPa range) encountered in the interiors of potential water-rich super-Earths to Neptune-like planets. This research involves both atomistic simulations and laser-driven dynamic compression experiments (coupled to X-ray diffraction or static compression devices). It is done in collaboration with groups from LULI (France), IMPMC (France), ENS Lyon (France), University of Rostock (Germany), Stanford University (USA), and Osaka University (Japan).



Guillaume Morard (Visiting Scientist at ID27/ID24/BM23) studies the phase diagrams (phase transitions, melting), chemical reactions and mechanical properties (equation of states) of geomaterials at the extreme high P/T conditions of the Earth’s interior down to the core conditions.



Wolfgang Morgenroth (Scientist at ID27, Univ. Potsdam, Germany) is currently working on the stability of minerals at conditions of the upper mantle. He is part of the German BMBF project "Nano-focus end-station with double-sided CO2 laser heating for experiments at extreme conditions at the ESRF, Grenoble" (Univ. Potsdam, Univ. zu Köln) supporting the upgrade of beamline ID27 with unique nano-focus instrumentation for rapid parallel XRD and XRF.



Anna Pakhomova (Scientist at ID27) studies chemical reactions and mechanical properties of crystalline geomaterials building interiors of the Earth and icy satellites. The research is largely based on in situ single-crystal X-ray diffraction with usage of diamond anvil cell technique that allows unambiguous determination of crystal structures in a wide range of pressure-temperature space.


Angelika D. Rosa (Scientist at ID24-DCM/BM23) is presently investigating the behaviour of volatiles and fluid mobile elements at the extreme high P/T conditions of the deep Earth’s interior. Her research aims at reconstructing the evolution of the atmosphere and planetary interior dynamics by constraining large-scale volatile distribution processes since Earth’s formation (4.5 Gyrs ago). For this research she is using X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction.


Christoph Sahle (Scientist at ID20) is using non-resonant inelastic X-ray scattering spectroscopy to measure the local atomic and electronic structure of low-Z elements at pressures up to lower-mantle conditions via X-ray Raman scattering (XRS) of shallow absorption edges. Examples include the fate of silicate- and carbonate glasses and molecular systems such as supercritical liquids.


Raffaella Torchio (Scientist at ID24-HPLF) is studying geo and planetary materials up to extreme P/T conditions obtained by laser- induced dynamic compression. The aim of this research is to elucidate the Warm Dense Matter regime that is found in the interior of the Earths and other (extra solar) planets. This research is carried out in collaboration with LULI, IMPMC, ISTERRE, HZDR and CEA groups.