Facilities: Diamond anvil cell apparatus
Our diamond anvil cell (DAC) high pressure facilities are amongst the best in the UK. We have a number of DACs custom-constructed to our own designs, primarily for optical spectroscopy and X-ray powder diffraction at temperatures from ambient temperature up to 1000 K. Our DACs are equipped with diamond culets up to 1 mm diameter for accurate pressure control at (relatively speaking) low pressures up to about 5 GPa (50 kbar), and also with bevelled diamonds with culet side down to 0.1 mm to obtain extremely high static pressures (165 GPa, 1.65 megabar). High temperatures up to 1000 K are obtained using resistive heating with feedback to ensure temperature stability.
We have facilities for reliable cryogenic loading of diamond anvil cells (for samples such as methane which are gaseous at ambient conditions), and a custom-constructed spark eroder (electric discharge) machine for preparing the sample chambers in rhenium and stainless steel gaskets.
Since the diamond anvil cell high pressure facility was established in 2013 data obtained using the equipment (either from Raman scattering in-house, electrical resistivity measurements at other laboratories or X-ray diffraction at central facilities) have contributed to a large number of research publications. Some highlights: 2020 JRS Read et al., 2017 PRE Smith et al., 2015 ACS Nano Smith et al.
We are available to perform contractual / consultancy work for external users and are open to new academic collaborations. Diamond anvil cell experiments also form a key part of many Ph.D. and M.Res. research projects undertaken in the group. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about using our high pressure facilities, or working with us to develop your own facilities.