An international team of researchers led by Natalia Dubrovinskaia Y Leonid Dubrovinsky, from the University of Bayreuth (Germany), has achieved a milestone in physics: reaching the pressure of 1 billion pascals in the laboratory, triple what we can find in the Earth's core.
This finding, published in the magazine Science Advances, opens up new perspectives in physics, solid state chemistry, materials science, geophysics and astrophysics.
Until now, it was believed impossible to reach such pressure in a laboratory. To achieve this, the researchers synthesized spherical nano-crystalline diamonds, each with a diameter of 10-20 micrometers, which are extremely robust against external pressures, which allowed to reach this new brand.
Through the use of a concentrated ion beam, the first diamond spheres were separated into two halves. They were then installed in a double-sided diamond anvil cell. With material samples exposed to increasing pressures, they were subjected to x-rays at the electron synchrotron facility in Chicago.
Previous studies have been limited because the only way to reach such pressures was to use dynamic compression (shock waves), which also generate high temperatures and only allow observations of nanoseconds. The discovery of a way of applying static pressures allows experimental studies of the physical and chemical properties of materials on-site at high pressures