The high-pressure laboratory is equipped with piston-cylinder and diamond anvil cell (DAC) capabilities. We employ a 250-ton end-loaded piston cylinder press (Rockland Research) capable of achieving pressures relevant to planetary mantles on samples up to several cubic millimeters in size (up to 4 GPa and 2600°C). A second piston-cylinder is currently being installed. The rig includes a pressure-holding system and both ½” and ¾” pressure vessels.
We have six symmetric diamond anvil cells capable of achieving pressures in excess of a megabar (corresponding to the depth of Earth’s metallic core). The laboratory hosts all the necessary auxiliary equipment (diamonds of various culet sizes, gasket material, WC and CBN seats, EDM drilling, ruby fluorescence, microscopes, needles etc…) for diamond-cell loading. Laser heating is performed off-site at user facilities or through collaborations.
- The piston cylinder is ideal for studying how Earth’s solid interior melts to generate the crust
- Diamond anvil cells are capable of reaching the pressures found at the base of Earth’s mantle (3885km depth), and beyond. Because diamonds are transparent to many wavelengths of radiation, we can perform various types of spectroscopy while the sample is at ultra high pressures and temperatures.