The High Pressure Science and Engineering Center is proud to be member of a synchrotron sector, a unique example in the state of Nevada. In particular, HiPSEC is a member of one of the best high pressure laboratories in the world: the High Pressure Collaborative Access Team, HPCAT. HPCAT runs the 4 beamlines of Sector 16 of the Advanced Photon Source, APS, of the Argonne National Laboratory. HiPSEC members have a very privileged access to one of the most oversubscribed beamlines in the country. This is an excellent opportunity for students — visiting regularly a state of the art national laboratory guarantees unique experimental possibilities as well as contact and exposure within a broad scientific community.
X-rays are an extremely powerful tool to probe matter. X-rays are routinely used to determine crystals and amorphous materials structures, electronic structures, lattice dynamics, imaging, etc. Synchrotron x-rays are indispensable in high pressure research. Synchrotron radiation in extremely intense; its spectrum has a broad energy range that can be monochromatized to a very narrow range and focused to a very small size. Static high pressure samples are typically small and enclosed in bulky environmental cells. Synchrotron radiation can penetrate the cell windows and produce observable scattering and absorption from such small samples. At HPCAT, micro-focused hard x-rays are used to probe samples under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature. Several techniques are available: diffraction, tomography, absorption spectroscopy, emission spectroscopy, etc. HPCAT is equipped with state of the art pressure and temperature control systems, including resistive and laser heating, cryostats, membranes and gearboxes for remote pressure control and an on-line Paris-Edinburgh apparatus.
Several HiPSEC members are involved in technical developments in collaboration with HPCAT staff.