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Faculty of Mathematics, Physics & Computer Science

Laboratory of Crystallography | Prof. Dr. Sander van Smaalen

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Research at the Laboratory of Crystallography

Research Group of Materials Physics and Technology at Extreme Conditions

Group leader: Prof. Dr. Natalia Dubrovinskaia 

Materials physics is a broad area of research directed to collecting fundamental physical knowledge and development of new materials for technological applications. Non-ambient pressures, extremely low or high temperatures, electromagnetic fields, stresses, varying oxidation environments, and so forth are those extreme conditions materials undergo during synthesis, investigations of their physical properties, or industrial exploitation. High pressure research is a part of materials physics and technology at extreme conditions that over the past few decades has become a scientific direction of a broad interdisciplinary importance. Thus, the group of Materials Physics and Technology at Extreme Conditions complements two of the main interdisciplinary research focuses of the University of Bayreuth:

High Pressure High Temperature Research and Novel Materials


Present computational methods, allowing in silico ("performed on computer") materials design, have already modernized materials research. Although in silico materials design aims at decreasing the number of experiments, for materials discovery the computer simulation is inevitably followed by experiment. As an analogy to in silico (Latin for “in silicon”), for synthesis and investigations of compounds at static high pressures we introduce the term in incude (Latin for “in anvil”) which refers to experiments done in anvils and comprises methods ranging from diamond anvil cell (DAC) to large volume press  (LVP) techniques. Our group focuses on in incude  synthesis and studying novel multifunctional strong materials to provide, in particular, verification of in silico predictions.

The group performs an objective, conceptive, and methodical interlinking of important subject fields of physics and materials science and complements research and teaching in the high pressure solid state physics with an emphasis on in situ studies of materials physical properties and their modifications at extreme conditions, methods of high pressure synthesis, as well as novel materials and high pressure nanotechnology. To gain new knowledge on physics of novel materials and to explore ways for their possible applications, the following scientific fields are covered:

  • Physical principles of high-pressure alloying (prediction, synthesis, and study properties of new alloys with unusual mechanical, magnetic, and electronic properties);

  • Structure-property relations in high pressure functional materials with unique combination of physical properties (superhardness, thermal and chemical stability, semi- and superconductivity, optical properties);

  • Physical properties on nanocrystalline compacts;

  • Physics of ultra-high pressure sintering process in ceramics;

  • In situ study of physical properties (first of all elasticity, transport, optical, and magnetic properties) of alloys and (superhard) ceramics using novel in-house and synchrotron X-ray and neutron radiation techniques;
  • Physics of soft matter under pressure;

  • Methodological developments of methods of generation of static extreme pressure –temperature conditions (simultaneous pressures over 100 GPa and temperatures over 3000 K) and apparatus for extension of an industrially available pressure range over 10 GPa;

  • Technological development of scientific instrumentation, in particular, theultra-large volume press (ULVP) with a specially designed large-volume pressure chamber (LVPC), for extension of the industrially available pressure range for materials synthesis to over 10 GPa aiming at producing especially big samples of novel poly-, nanocrystalline materials and single crystals.
A figure with the phrase "in incudibus veritas"


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