The application of laser heating in the diamond anvil cell has been well demonstrated since the pioneering studies carried out in the early seventies, and provides an excellent approach for the synthesis and exploration of solid-state systems over a very wide range of pressures and temperatures (P–T).
This interplay between P–T opens the possibility of accessing low-energy configurations and metastable or new states in condensed matter. The experimental approach of the laser-heated diamond anvil cell (LH-DAC) provides a pathway to those regions within energy landscapes where such states can be found, and it has been well documented as a very powerful research tool.
The LH-DAC technique takes advantage of the mechanical and optical properties of diamond, which enable P–T conditions in excess of 330 GPa and 5000 K to be achieved. The high transparency of diamonds for near-infrared (near-IR) and IR radiation permits in situ heating inside the DAC using high power lasers via absorption of the focused IR radiation by the sample.