Investigation of the solid-liquid phase transition of carbon at 150 GPa with spectrally resolved X-ray scattering

J. Helfrich*, D. Kraus, A. Ortner, S. Frydrych, G. Schaumann, N. J. Hartley, G. Gregori, B. Kettle, D. Riley, D. C. Carroll, M. M. Notley, C. Spindloe, M. Roth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


We have resolved the solid-liquid phase transition of carbon at pressures around 150GPa. High-pressure samples of different temperatures were created by laser-driven shock compression of graphite and varying the initial density from 1.30g/cm3 to 2.25g/cm3. In this way, temperatures from 5700K to 14,500K could be achieved for relatively constant pressure according to hydrodynamic simulations. From measuring the elastic X-ray scattering intensity of vanadium K-alpha radiation at 4.95keVat a scattering angle of 126°, which is very sensitive to the solid-liquid transition, we can determine whether the sample had transitioned to the fluid phase. We find that samples of initial density 1.3g/cm3 and 1.85g/cm3 are liquid in the compressed states, whereas samples close to the ideal graphite crystal density of 2.25g/cm3 remain solid, probably in a diamond-like state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalHigh Energy Density Physics
Early online date06 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • Laser-driven shock wave
  • Liquid carbon
  • Warm dense matter
  • X-ray Thomson scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Radiation


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