EXTREME CONDITIONS - TUNING THE ENERGY DENSITY

The research goals of our group are focused around light elemental systems (H-C-N-O) and their related compounds relavant for fundamental and the applied sciences. We aim to advance laser heating and pyrometry tools/techniques for high pressure experiments and to explore:

  • Warm Dense Fluids – Probed using both spectroscopic and diffraction techniques.
  • Material Synthesis – The use of nanocrystalline and amorphous precursors for accessing novel semiconductors.
  • Structural and Electronic Transitions – Ceramics

The combination of extreme pressures and temperatures permits access to low-energy configurations and metastable states in condensed matter. In the lab, these extreme conditions can be achieved by applying laser heating in the diamond anvil cell. This highly tunable, controlled experimental approach provides a powerful tool to alternative states, control of reaction pathways, and insight into the behavior of materials up to the most extreme conditions found in planetary interiors and beyond. When applied to synthesis, materials can undergo striking transformations to new phases with unique properties.

Optical Pyrometry - the tools of tomorrow

In addition to generating high-temperature conditions, one of the big challenges lies in accurately measuring and reliably determining sample temperatures. We are currently developing spectrometric temperature analysis methods that include 2D color mapping, thermal emission measurements into the mid-infrared, and a high-temperature Raman spectroscopy system to allow an alternative to traditional pyrometry.