Effect of salt on the H-bond symmetrization in ice
The richness of the phase diagram of water reduces drastically at very high pressures where only two molecular phases, proton-disordered ice VII and proton-ordered ice VIII, are known. Both phases transform to the centered hydrogen bond atomic phase ice X above about 60 GPa, i.e., at pressures experienced in the interior of large ice bodies in the universe, such as Saturn and Neptune, where nonmolecular ice is thought to be the most abundant phase of water. In this work, we investigate, by Raman spectroscopy up to megabar pressures and ab initio simulations, how the transformation of ice VII in ice X is affected by the presence of salt inclusions in the ice lattice. Considerable amounts of salt can be included in ice VII structure under pressure via rock-ice interaction at depth and processes occurring during planetary accretion. Our study reveals that the presence of salt hinders proton order and hydrogen bond symmetrization, and pushes ice VII to ice X transformation to higher and higher pressures as the concentration of salt is increased.