Transverse axis: Pushing the boundaries of extreme sciences

Material response to extreme conditions is key to many fundamental and applied sciences. Experiments are our only gateway to the extreme’s realm.


Principal Investigator: Damien Freitas

Vast quantities of materials, resources and processes are only available at conditions where Humans can’t operate. Such extreme conditions, common in our universe, imply variables such as pressure, temperature, chemistry, etc.

To explore these inaccessible realms, the development of specific experimental apparatus able, for us, to withstand these conditions became a necessity. However, building safe experimental devices often preclude the direct observation of the processes happening in the materials while at extreme conditions.

At UoMaH, we develop novel apparatus which allow in situ observations with X-ray and neutron characterisation methods (imaging, diffraction, etc.) at national facilities such as Neutron and Synchrotron light sources. It encompasses a set of translucent mechanical pressure testing devices, thermal reactors, and fluid flow apparatus at large sample volumes (>cm3).

This transverse axis complements and provides new devices for the mineral physics (geological materials at extremes), subsurface energy and storage, advanced engineering materials and manufacturing themes at UoMaH.

We work closely with research councils and this work is supported by a AFOSR/EOARD grant for the adaptation of these devices for energetic and reactive materials for subsurface engineering.