Washington, DC, 15 September 2011- A new study including Wenge Yang from Carnegie reveals a new phase of high energy Aluminum produced using an ultrafast laser induced confined micro-explosion inside a sapphire.

This new phase is confirmed with a high energy synchrotron x-ray micro-diffraction technique.

As demonstrated in figure 1, by focusing single short laser pulses of light onto a sapphire, the scientists were able to induce a micro explosion to create local high-pressure and high-temperature conditions inside the materials. This process mimics the kind of seismic forces that have shaped the earth and other planets, melting and reforming materials under intense pressure, allowing us to synthesize the superdense aluminum materials. The new stable high pressure BCC-Al phase is preserved inside the amorphous compressed sapphire produced from a hot, dense, non-equilibrium and short-lived plasma. The sapphire constituents aluminum and oxygen become spatially separated in the hot expanding plasma due to the differences in the ion diffusion velocity, and the new bcc-Al phase is “frozen” within the compressed sapphire, which was confirmed later with synchrotron micro-diffraction.

This study can be found at: A. Vailionis et al., Nat. Comm. 2, 445 (2011)

Related News: https://www.gl.ciw.edu/news/2011/12/12/happy-holidays-carnegie-geophysic...

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