Energy Research in Extreme Environments

Ho-kwang (David) Mao, Carnegie Institution

The critical shortage of abundant, affordable, and clean energy calls upon novel materials that are superior to any known material existing today with extreme properties for energy production, storage, conversion, and transfer. The extreme pressure-temperature (P-T) environments present a vast, unexplored ground to search for transformative materials and phenomena. A focused effort has led to accelerated discoveries of novel materials and phenomena in the extreme environments and recoveries of the favorable properties for energy applications. Novel high-pressure chemistry of hydrogen-rich materials has been revealed.  New mechanism of tuning the maximum superconducting temperature has been discovered.  Pressure-induced insulator-metal transitions have been investigated.  Fundamental excitonic structure of solid helium has been determined at ambient temperature.  Novel nano phases, mesoporous diamond, and amorphous materials have been synthesized at high pressures and preserved at ambient conditions.

Abstract Author(s): Ho-kwang (David) Mao