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Unité Matériaux et Transformations
CNRS UMR 8207 - Université de Lille

UMET - High pressure lab

Diamond anvil cell


Research teams involved:

Lab phone:

  • +33 320 43 44 73

Diamond-anvil cells

Cellule diamant

Diamond anvil cells are useful tools to generate pressures and temperatures comparable to those of the Earth's interior. The sample is compressed between two gem-quality diamond anvils and we carry out in situ diffraction or spectroscopic measurements at extreme pressure-temperature conditions.

Several different types of the diamond-anvil cells are available in the high pressure lab, allowing in-situ experiments to pressures above 1Mbar.

Multi-anvil press

The new press at beamline ID06 of ESRF (Grenoble, France). Photo : Wilson Crichton.

The Mineral Physics team has long been involved in multi-anvil press experiments. They are run in dedicated centers, such as LMV in Clermont-Ferrand, BGI in Bayreuth, Germany, and MPI in Stony Brook, USA and/or at synchrotron beamlines at APS, NSLS and ESRF.

The multi-anvil press allows us to reproduce pressure (P) and temperature (T) conditions down to 600km depth in Earth (typically 20 GPa and 1800°C) on millimeter size samples. One can use the Kawaii module, a two stage assembly in which the heater and sample are placed within an octahedron compressed between 8 tungsten carbide anvils, or the DIA module, a one stage assembly in which the cubic setup is compressed between 6 anvils. Since 2003, the Deformation-DIA (D-DIA), for which the top and bottom anvils can be moved independently, allows deformation experiments to be performed under upper mantle P-T conditions. In order to allow in-situ x-ray measurements, one or more tungsten carbide anvils is replaced by sintered diamond or cubic boron nitride, which are particularly hard and x-ray transparent.

Kawaï ModuleDIA Module, schematic courtesy Mickael VaughanOlivine samples radiography while deforming at mantle P and T

Sample preparation

Samples in diamond cell experiments are small. Thus, we use a dedicated sample preparation room that includes, among others, a Leica MZ16 binocular and a Minitools microdrill. We are able to prepare and work with sample whose size do not exceed 100 microns.

Microperceuse  Binoculaire

Fluorescence and Raman spesctroscopy

Système de fluorescence

The lab includes a small spectrometer used for fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy.

Ruby is used to calibrate pressure as the position of its fluorescence line evolves with pressure and is well calibrated.

Raman spectroscopy can be used to probe structural and vibrational properties. It is a useful tool for the study of phase transitions under pressure.

Laser heating

Ca chauffe à l'ESRF!

Samples can be heated to temperatures of several thousands of degrees by focusing high power lasers on the sample (10 to 100W, infra-red). This technique is used to activate phase transitions with slow kinetics, relax stresses in samples, and reproduce deep Earth conditions.

At the moment, we do not have such a system, but we have easy access to those available at the IMPMC in Paris or the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble.

X-ray diffraction

L'ESRF à Grenoble

Most of our research work uses x-ray diffraction.

We use intense x-ray sources in large facilities such as the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble or the Advanced Photon Source at the Argonne National Laboratory in the USA to study the physical properties of our samples. Using the results of x-ray diffraction synchrtron experiments, we can extract information on the structure and plastic properties of our sample.

In-situ x-ray diffraction multi-anvil experiments are mostly performed at X17-B2 at the National Synchroton Light Source (Upton, NY, USA), with the support of COMPRES. We are also involved with the setup of a new device on beamline ID09 at ESRF, a first in Europe! In those experiments, deformation of the sample is measured using X-ray tomography while stress is measured using x-ray diffraction by quantifying the elastic deformation induced by the compression.

Synchrotron experiments are performed according to fixed schedule fixed by the synchrotron administrations. At the moment, we run 5 to 10 campaigns per year.

UMET - Unité Matériaux et Transformations
Université de Lille
Bâtiment C6
59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq
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