Sandia National Labs NM Partnerships Collaboration Report 2021-2022

X-ray diffraction for probing phase transition behavior at extreme high pressures

The arrangement of atoms in a material—layers stacked like apples at a farmers’ market or lined up as squares—influence many physical properties of materials. Sandia’s nuclear mission requires understanding the response of materials to high pressure, including the complexities of pressure induced solid phase transitions and important transient kinetic effects. This 3-year project, led by PI Matthew Lane, developed a powerful new in situ X-ray diffraction (XRD) diagnostic capability to capture and characterize the extreme compression states found during dynamic compression on both the Z Pulsed Power Facility and the pulsed power driver THOR to measure this structure under dynamic loading, then tested its capabilities at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. The XRD developed by the team

successfully measured structural phase transitions during all impulsive extreme pressure events. Partners at UNM and the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory aided in synthesis of well-characterized nanostructured materials and state-of the-art static high-pressure diamond-anvil compression experiments. The Advanced Materials Lab and UNM team were able to step up production of target Cadmium Sulfide (CdS) films and travel twice to the Advanced Photon Source High Pressure Collaborative Access Team facility to conduct quasi-static experiments on nanoparticle samples. These experiments led to three articles in the Journal of the American Chemistry Society and two articles published in MRS Advances .

Sandia researchers Tom Ao, left, and Sakun Duwal tested X-ray diffraction to interrogate materials at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.


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