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Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Apr 1;94(12):125508. Epub 2005 Apr 1.

Dynamic ionization of water under extreme conditions.

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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of California, 7000 East Avenue, Livermore, California 94551, USA.


Raman spectroscopy in a laser heated diamond anvil cell and first principles molecular dynamics simulations have been used to study water in the temperature range 300 to 1500 K and at pressures to 56 GPa. We find a substantial decrease in the intensity of the O-H stretch mode in the liquid phase with pressure, and a change in slope of the melting line at 47 GPa and 1000 K. Consistent with these observations, theoretical calculations show that water beyond 50 GPa is "dynamically ionized" in that it consists of very short-lived (<10 fs) H2O, H3O+, and OH- species, and also that the mobility of the oxygen ions decreases abruptly with pressure, while hydrogen ions remain very mobile. We suggest that this regime corresponds to a superionic state.

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