My main area of research interest focuses on understanding the nature of the Earth and planetary interiors through direct examination of the properties of planetary materials under high pressure-temperature conditions. In most of my research, I conduct high pressure-temperature experiments using high-pressure diamond anvil cell techniques combined with in-house and synchrotron-based facilities to understand mineral physic of the Earth's mantle and core. These studies aim to understand crystal structures, phase relations, physical and transport properties (e.g., sound velocities, electronic spin transitions, equation of state, etc), and chemical reactions of planetary materials under extreme high pressure-temperature conditions. The results are combined with results from other disciplines to enhance our understanding of the interiors of the Earth and other planets.

Areas of Expertise

Mineral physics, physics and chemistry of planetary materials, solid-Earth geophysics and geochemistry, high-pressure diamond anvil cell, X-ray and laser spectroscopy


Current Research Programs & Projects

NSF-IF: Acquisition of an Impulsive Stimulated Light Scattering (ISLS) System for Elasticity and Thermal Conductivity Studies ( view )

NSF-IF: Acquisition of a Piston Cylinder Apparatus for Research in Experimental Petrology and Mineral Physics

NSF-EAR: CAREER: Phase Diagrams and Elasticity of Iron Alloys in the Earth’s Core

NSF-EAR: Electronic Spin Transition of Iron in the Earth's Lower Mantle

NSF-REU: Electronic Spin Transition of Iron in the Earth's Lower Mantle

EFRCs, DOE: Energy Frontier Research in Extreme Environments (EFree)

DOE CDAC: Transition Metal Oxides and f-band Metals under Extreme Environments


NSF CAREER Award - NSF (2011)

Lawrence Livermore Fellowship - Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (2005 - 2008)

Carnegie Postdoc Fellowship - Geophysical Lab, Carnegie Institution of Washingon (2002 - 2003)

Graduate Students

Xinyue Tong, M.S., expected 2014
My research interest focuses on understanding the deep-Earth geodynamics and seismology using laboratory mineral physics results. Specifically, I am interested in using laser spectroscopic techniques coupled with high-pressure diamond anvil to investigate transport properties of mantle minerals at extreme pressures and temperatures.

Jing Yang, Ph.D., expected 2016

Jun Liu

Jun "Jeff" Liu, Ph.D.


Electronic and Elastic Properties of Iron-Containing Minerals in Earth’s Interior, Dynamic Properties of Earth and Planetary Materials Workshop, CECAM (Centre Européen de Calcul Atomique et Moléculaire), Lausanne, Switzerland (2011)

Electronic spin transition of iron in Earth’s lower mantle, The 31st International Conference on the Applications of the Mössbauer Effect (ICAME2011), Kobe, Japan (2011)

Elasticity of iron alloys in Earth’s inner core; Electronic spin and valence states of iron in the Earth’s lower mantle, The Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) Meeting, Taipei, Taiwan (2011)

Efficient energy transportation and generation: iron pnictide superconductors in extreme environments, Energy Frontier Research in Extreme Environments (EFree) Annual Meeting, Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington (2011)

Electronic spin and valence states of iron in lower-mantle silicate perovskite and post-perovskite, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2011, San Francisco (2011)

Elasticity of iron alloys in Earth’s inner core, APS User Meeting, Argonne National Laboratory, Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Advanced Photon Source (2011)

Electronic spin transitions of iron in the Earth’s deep mantle, Nassau-Argonne Mössbauer Symposium, New York (2011)

A new spin on understanding mineral physics of the Earth's deep mantle, German Mineralogical Society (DMG), 86th Annual Meeting (keynote speaker), Berlin (2008)

A New Spin on Mineral Physics of the Earth's Lower Mantle, The 3rd Center of Excellence-21st International Symposium: Origin, Evolution and Dynamics of the Earth: a Tribute to Prof. Eiji Ito, 2008 (keynote speaker), Okayama University at Misasa (2008)

Spin transitions of iron in Earth's lower mantle, Universitaet Bayreuth, Bayerisches Geoinstitut (2008)

Inelastic X-ray scattering at high pressures and temperatures: applications to mineral physics of the Earth's interior (Workshop to "Introduce High-Resolution Inelastic X-ray Scattering on Earth Materials using Synchrotron Radiation", Advanced Photon Source, Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory (2008)

A new spin on understanding mineral physics of the Earth's deep mantle, Institute for Shock Physics and School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman (2007)

Spin transitions of iron in Earth's lower mantle Mineral physics of iron and light elements in Earth's core, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin (2007)

Geophysical implications of the spin transition in the Earth's lower mantle, Virtual Laboratory for Earth and Planetary Materials, University of Minnesota (2007)

Condensed matter geophysics: from electronic states to planetary interiors, Physics and Advanced Technology, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (2007)

Electronic spin transition of iron in the Earth's deep mantle (17th GRC International Frontier Seminar), Geodynamics Research Center, Ehime University (2007)

Iron in Earth's core and water in planetary interiors, Geodynamics Research Center, Ehime University (2007)

Electronic spin transition of iron in the Earth's deep mantle and Hot dense iron and water in planetary interiors (17th GRC International Frontier Seminar), Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University (2007)

New synchrotron lights on the Earth's core and mantle (APS review panel), Advanced Photon Source, Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory (2007)

Iron in the Earth's interior and H2O and SiO2 in planetary interiors, Institute of Mineralogy, Petrology, and Economic Geology, Tohoku University, Japan (2006)

New synchrotron lights on the Earth's core and mantle, Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2006)

Iron in the Earth's interior and H2O and SiO2 in planetary interiors, Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, Taiwan (2006)

Hot dense H2O ices in planetary interiors and New synchrotron lights on the Earth's core and mantle, National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, Taiwan (2006)

New light on earth and planetary interiors: from the Earth's core to hot dense H2O, Physics and Advanced Technology, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (2005)

Iron as a new window into the Earth's core and lower mantle, Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taiwan (2005)

Phase diagram of H2O under extreme conditions, Department of Earth Sciences, Taiwan, National Cheng-Kung University (2005)

Iron in the Earth's interior: from sound velocities of iron in Earth's core to electronic transition of iron in Earth's mantle, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California-Berkeley (2005)

Iron as a new window into the Earth's core and lower mantle, Advanced Photon Source, Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory (2005)

Iron as a new window into the Earth's core and mantle, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University (2005)

Recent advances in laser-heated diamond anvil cell techniques: Applications to planetary interiors, Physics and Advanced Technology, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (2004)

Understanding Earth's mantle and core by state-of -the-art IXS techniques (APS review panel), Advanced Photon Source, Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory (2004)

Understanding sound velocities in the Earth's core by Nuclear Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering" (Inelastic X-ray Scattering Workshop), Advanced Photon Source, Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory (2004)

Nuclear resonant inelastic x-ray scattering and synchrotron Mossbauer spectroscopy with laser-heated diamond anvil cells (Nuclear Resonant Workshop), Advanced Photon Source, Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory (2004)

Phase transitions of alumina and magnesiowustite at megabar pressures (Megabar Pressures Workshop), Advanced Photon Source, Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory (2004)

Using laser-heated diamond anvil cell to study planetary interiors (Laser Heating Workshop), Advanced Photon Source, Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory (2004)

Recent and future advances in high-pressure research and Understanding mineral physics of planetary interiors under extremely high pressures and temperatures, National Laboratory for Superhard Materials, Jilin University, China, Jilin University (2004)

Mineral physics of the Earth's lower mantle and the core under extreme pressures and temperatures, Institute of Geophysical Sciences, Taiwan, National Taiwan Ocean University (2004)

In situ Raman spectroscopy in a laser-heated diamond cell: applications to materials in the planetary interiors, GEORAMAN Meeting, Honolulu, University of Hawaii at Honolulu (2004)

Mineral physics of the Earth's lower mantle and the core, Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taiwan (2003)

Stability of magnesiowustite in the Earth's lower mantle, SMEC Conference, Florida International University (2003)

Mineral stability and alloying effects in the Earth's mantle and the core: applications of laser heating DAC technique, Mineral Physics Institute, Stony Brook University (2003)

Understanding alloying effects of nickel and silicon on iron in the Earth's core, Advanced Photon Source, Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory (2002)

Alloying effects of silicon and nickel on iron in the Earth's core, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Geophysical Laboratory (2002)

Alloying effects of silicon and nickel on iron in the Earth's core, Department of Geophysical Sciences, Chicago, The University of Chicago (2001)

Graduate Student Position in Mineral Physics Lab (Graduate)
The mineral physics lab at the Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, the University of Texas at Austin invites applications for graduate student positions towards a Master's or Ph.D. degree in mineral physics. The Jackson School of Geosciences has exceptionally well-funded research programs and offers a number of scholarships to support graduate students for an extended period of time. Candidates with strong background and/or interest in physics (solid state physics), math, and geophysics/geochemistry are strongly encouraged to apply. Our mineral physics research programs focuses on high pressure-temperature experimental studies on materials properties using synchrotron X-ray and optical spectroscopies in a diamond anvil cell. Information about the graduate student programs at the Jackson School is available at: http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/.
Please contact Dr. Jung-Fu Lin at afu@jsg.utexas.edu for further information.