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Project Overview
Water and life-related systems
Molecular systems: Physical properties and chemical reactivity
Structure, stability and reactivity of minerals
Development of new high pressure cells:anvil and large volume devices
Development of new optically active materials
Design of a novel laser heating system for DACs
Implementation of diagnostic devices in high pressure industrial equipments

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Development of new high pressure cells: anvil and large volume devices

The simplicity and versatility of the opposed anvil cells, especially the diamond anvil cell, is such that some models can be used in a large variety of optical and X-ray spectroscopy experiments. Nevertheless, as the MALTA project illustrates, the variety of research problems and experimental techniques in which high pressure can provide added value is so large, that it is necessary to design and build new pressure for specific applications.

On the one hand, opposed anvil cells cannot meet the requirements of a large variety of experiments, especially those foreseen in our general goal "Water and life-related systems". Those experiments either require a sample chamber volume much bigger than those typically found in opposed anvil cells or require the recovery of the liquid sample treated at high pressure. For these experiments large volume liquid cells remain the only possible choice, and must be purposely designed as models existing in the market lack versatility.

On the other hand, there is also a large set of experiments for which even the most flexible model of diamond anvil cell is not well adapted, because of the diamond anvil size or because of the cell body size. In particular, in experiments in which only a relatively low pressure range is needed, with a larger volume of the pressure chamber, moissanite, sapphire or cubic-zirconia anvil can be a far more judicious choice. Let us also mention electric or dielectric experiments whose implementation in a diamond anvil cell presents extreme difficulties, while they can be more reasonable carried out with larger anvils made out of cheaper materials.

For the above reasons we plan to design and construct a series of tailored high pressure devices within MALTA. This technology will be mainly developed in UCM in strong collaboration with CAB, IF, and UAB, and recommendations and directions of all the MALTA groups.

Anvil cells

Field Coordinator

M. Taravillo

Technological Questions

Opposed anvil cells

-    Trials with different applied force mechanisms: clamp, screw membrane

-  Basic designs to be modified: Mao-Bell (clamp cells), modified Basset (screw), modified Merrill-Basset and gas/liquid driven membrane. 

-  Versatility in the accommodation of different types of anvils: diamond, moissanite, sapphire, cubic-zirconia


Leading Groups



Supporting Groups



Specific Goals

Opposed anvil cells

- Implementation of two novel anvil-alignment designs recently implemented by some MALTA:

            - hemispherical anvil supports

            - teflon-ring deformation

- Target pressures to be attained routinely with 300mm anvils: diamond (60 GPa), moissanite (30 GPa), sapphire (10 GPa).


Related Fields


Molecular systems



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