Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory used the Omega Laser Facility to flash freeze water into an exotic water ice phase. Using x-ray diffraction, the superionic ice???s atomic structure was able to be directly identified for the first time. This research may give more insight into the interior structures of giant planets in our galaxy. The scientists used the powder x-ray diffraction image plate (PXRDIP) to record the data from the OMEGA experiments. PXRDIP allows the measurements of x-ray diffraction patterns of dynamically compressed materials in situ. This enabled characterization of the evolution of the atomic structure under high pressure, temperature, and strain rate. The research was performed as part of the Omega’s Laboratory Basic Science program at LLE.
M. Millot et al.,Nature 569, 2512019