Rajkrishna Dutta
Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow

Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow Rajkrishna Dutta

Research Interests

High pressure and temperature conditions; analogs of silicates and oxides; density functional theory; dynamic compression experiments


B.Sc., Geological Sciences, Jadavpur University, 2010; M.Sc., Applied Geology, Jadavpur University, 2012; Ph.D., Geophysics, Princeton University, 2019

Contact & Links


scheelite-powellite series
Variation in peak positions and intensity of the scheelite (CaWO4)-powellite (CaMoO4) series with varying Molybdenum content. The Raman spectra can be used to understand the chemical composition of an unknown sample.

I primarily use laser-heated diamond anvil cells (DAC) to understand the behavior of materials at high-pressure and temperature conditions. My work mostly focuses on analogs of silicates and oxides, which are the major components of the Earth's mantle. Analogs show a similar sequence of phase transition as the Earth-forming oxides and silicates, but at much lower pressures. This lets us explore phase transitions which are theoretically predicted to occur at terpascal pressures and are beyond the reach of even the most state-of-the-art experimental techniques.

To complement the experiments, I use theoretical calculations based on density functional theory (DFT). I am interested in understanding the electronic structure and physical properties like elasticity of materials under extreme conditions. My theoretical work has focused on ubiquitous crustal minerals like zircon and important semiconductors like ZnO.

I am interested in learning about different spectroscopic techniques. For my research, I have mostly used Raman spectroscopy. We have looked at in situ Raman spectra of sodalime glass at high-pressure. We have also tried to characterize the scheelite-powellite series using their Raman shifts.

I am also very interested in pursuing dynamic compression (shock) experiments. Unlike DAC experiments, these experiments are done under much higher strain rates and shorter time scales. This gives us the unique oppurtunity to understand natural phenomenon like meteorite impacts. I plan to use the 2-stage gas gun at the Dynamic Compression Sector, combined with synchrotron x-ray diffraction to characterize SiO2 analogs.

Dutta's Ph.D. work at Princeton involved studying analogs of silicate and oxide mineral phases at multi-megabar pressures using laser-heated diamond anvil cells combined with in-situ powder x-ray diffraction. At Carnegie Science, he will be focusing on he will be focusing on dynamic compression techniques, particularly using gas guns. Dutta will work with Dr. Sally June Tracy to understand the high-pressure phase transitions in geophysically important mantle phases and their analogs. Dutta's research interests center around studying materials under extreme pressure and temperature conditions using a wide array of experimental techniques.