Laboratory

We simulate the conditions inside Earth and other planets using experiments in the laser-heated diamond anvil cell at high pressures (up to 2.5 Mbar) and temperatures (up to 6000 K). We are interested in the effects of these extreme conditions on phase equilibria and physical properties of planetary materials including mantle silicates and carbonates. Our laboratory probes crystal structures and compositions in situ using synchrotron diffraction and spectroscopy and ex situ using electron microscopy techniques.

Join us!

Our research:

Physical properties of deep Earth minerals

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Example publications:

Lv, M., J. Liu, F. Zhu, J. Li, D. Zhang, Y. Xiao, and S. M. Dorfman, “Spin transitions and compressibility of ε-Fe7N3 and γ’-Fe4N: implications for iron alloys in terrestrial planet cores,” Journal of Geophysical Research – Solid Earth 125, no. 11 (2020), e2020JB020660. (full text requires journal access)

Liu, J., S. M. Dorfman, F. Zhu, J. Li, Y. Wang, D. Zhang, Y. Xiao, W. Bi and E. E. Alp, “Valence and spin states of iron are invisible in Earth’s lower mantle,” Nature Communications 9 (2018), 1284. (open access)

Dorfman, S. M. and T. S. Duffy, “Effect of Fe-enrichment on seismic properties of perovskite and post-perovskite in the deep lower mantle,” Geophysical Journal International 197, no. 2 (1 May 2014), pgs. 910-919. (open access full text on ResearchGate)

Redox chemistry in the mantle

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Example publications:

Lv, M., S. M. Dorfman, J. Badro, S. Borensztajn, E. Greenberg, and V. B. Prakapenka, “Reversal of carbonate-silicate cation exchange in cold slabs in Earth’s lower mantle,” Nature Communications 12 (2021), 1712. (open access)

Liu, J.S. M. Dorfman, M. Lv, J. Li, and Y. Kono, “Loss of immiscible fluid from Fe-rich metallic melt explains Earth’s missing nitrogen,” Geochemical Perspectives Letters 11 (2019), pgs. 18-22. (open access)

Liu, J., S. M. Dorfman, F. Zhu, J. Li, Y. Wang, D. Zhang, Y. Xiao, W. Bi and E. E. Alp, “Valence and spin states of iron are invisible in Earth’s lower mantle,” Nature Communications 9 (2018), 1284. (open access)

Dorfman, S. M., J. Badro, F. Nabiei, V. B. Prakapenka, M. Cantoni, and P. Gillet, “Carbonate stability in the reduced lower mantle,” Earth and Planetary Science Letters 489 (1 May 2018), pgs 84-91. (full text requires journal access)

Strength and deformation of materials at high pressures

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Example publications:

Straley, E. M., S. M. Dorfman, and J. D. Nicholas, “Correlation between the Wafer Curvature and Fluorescence of Pulsed Laser Deposited Ruby Thin Films Stressed to ~2 GPa,” Journal of Applied Physics 125 (2019), 245904.

Dorfman, S. M., S. R. Shieh and T. S. Duffy, “Strength and texture of Pt compressed to 63 GPa,” Journal of Applied Physics 117 (2015), 065901. (open access full text on ResearchGate)