Dissociation of CH4 at High Pressures and Temperatures: Diamond Formation in Giant Planet Interiors?

L. R. Benedetti
1999 Science  
Experiments using laser-heated diamond anvil cells show that methane (CH 4 ) breaks down to form diamond at pressures between 10 and 50 gigapascals and temperatures of about 2000 to 3000 kelvin. Infrared absorption and Raman spectroscopy, along with x-ray diffraction, indicate the presence of polymeric hydrocarbons in addition to the diamond, which is in agreement with theoretical predictions. Dissociation of CH 4 at high pressures and temperatures can influence the energy budgets of planets
more » ... dgets of planets containing substantial amounts of CH 4 , water, and ammonia, such as Uranus and Neptune.
doi:10.1126/science.286.5437.100 pmid:10506552 fatcat:kmtzmvyozzcllbpadiwazsalpu