|Project Leader: Tomasz Jaroń, PhD||Project period: 2017 - 2021|
|Project funding: SONATA 11, NCN|
Extremely high pressures, over million atmospheres, dramatically influence matter: under such pressures some of the non-metallic elements may conduct electricity, while some of the metals become insulators. Nitrogen – the main ingredient of the Earth’s atmosphere – polymerizes, while hydrogen sulfide becomes a superconductor, showing lossless electrical conductivity even at the temperatures recorded in Earth (-70oC), which is currently the highest temperature at which superconductivity has been observed.
Such pressures are achieved in diamond anvil cells, in which the sample is squeezed in the cave between two diamonds and a gasket in a hydrostatic pressure medium, like compressed helium. The pressure is measured here with the use of a small piece of ruby. Such system is presented in the picture below. While the typical size of a sample is one tenth of a millimeter, this device still allows detection of above-mentioned extraordinary phenomena occurring under the pressures close to those in the Earth’s interior.
Laboratory of Chemical Energy Carriers