Reactivity of Xenon with Ice at Planetary Conditions

Chrystèle Sanloup, Stanimir A. Bonev, Majdi Hochlaf, Helen E. Maynard-casely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report results from high pressure and temperature experiments that provide evidence for the reactivity of xenon with water ice at pressures above 50 GPa and a temperature of 1500 K—conditions that are found in the interiors of Uranus and Neptune. The x-ray data are sufficient to determine a hexagonal lattice with four Xe atoms per unit cell and several possible distributions of O atoms. The measurements are supplemented with ab initio calculations, on the basis of which a crystallographic structure with a Xe4O12H12 primitive cell is proposed. The newly discovered compound is formed in the stability fields of superionic ice and η-O2, and has the same oxygen subnetwork as the latter. Furthermore, it has a weakly metallic character and likely undergoes sublattice melting of the H subsystem. Our findings indicate that Xe is expected to be depleted in the atmospheres of the giant planets as a result of sequestration at depth.
Original languageEnglish
Article number265501
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2013


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