HiPSEC is the High Pressure Science and Engineering Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).
We are a multidisciplinary group who collaborates to consider fundamental experimental, computational, and engineering problems of materials under high pressure. A central focus is properties of materials relevant to the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Stockpile Stewardship Program. We give high priority to measuring static and dynamic high-pressure studies for validating and improving computational models over a largely unexplored range of very high pressures and temperatures.
Recent work from UNLV HiPSEC includes shock recovery studies that aid in understanding meteorite impact processes, the greater than diamond indentation strength of wurtzite-type boron nitride (w-BN), pressure induced pairing of outer shell electrons in FeCO3, and the pressure induced phase transitions of the FeSe superconductor and the NH3BH3 hydrogen storage compound. Briefs of this work are available on our Science Highlights page.
NNSA's Stockpile Stewardship Program
A central focus of our work is properties of materials relevant to NNSA's Stockpile Stewardship Program. That is, we give high priority to measuring static and dynamic high-pressure studies for validating and improving computational models over a largely unexplored range of very high pressures and temperatures. Materials under study include d- and f-band metals, energetic materials and their detonation products, foams, and hydrogen and other and low-Z elements and their compounds.
HiPSEC staff measure equilibrium thermochemical properties, mechanical properties, reaction kinetics, and reaction products at static pressures using in situ x-ray diffraction; absorption, emission, light-scattering spectroscopy from infrared to x-ray velengths, and other chemical and physical methods.
Our mission also encompasses shock experiments at NNSA's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratory Albuquerque and recovering samples from these experiments for chemical, physical, and mechanical analysis.
Theoretical and computational studies focus on material properties under extreme conditions such as high pressure, high stress and/or high temperature. Staff in the theory group develop and implement a wide range of first-principles and many-body modeling and simulation approaches in theoretical exploration and also work closely with experimental groups.