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A breakthrough for extreme conditions: Combined high pressure and pulsed magnetic field



Pulsed magnetic fields allows to obtain a very strong field (the record is around 100T) but on a very short time, less than the second. Putting a pressure cell in a pulsed magnetic field involves specific challenges, and no instrument for such routine measurements has existed so far.

Published on 27 February 2017

Combined extreme conditions of high pressure and strong magnetic field are an extremely powerful tool to tune microscopic interactions in order to attain and study new states of matter. While high pressure measurements in static magnetic fields present no particular difficulty, the maximum static field available is limited. Pulsed magnetic fields can produce much higher fields (the record is about 100T) but for a very short time, less than one second. Using a pressure cell for pulsed field measurements presents specific challenges and up to now, no setup allowed routine measurements of this kind.

In collaboration with the pulsed field laboratory LNCMI Toulouse, and in the framework of the ANR project PRINCESS, we have developed a pressure cell allowing resistivity measurements in pulsed magnetic fields up to 60T, at pressures up to at least 4GPa and at temperatures down to 1.5 K. The first study permitted to establish the full 3D (T,H,p) phase diagram of an Ising type antiferromagnetic system (CeRh2Si2), and to compare the quantum phase transitions when the antiferromagnetic order is suppressed by pressure, field, or a combination of the 2 parameters.

This tool, unique worldwide, opens many perspectives in a wide range of subjects including the study of high-TC superconductors and the presently very exciting topic of systems presenting exotic topological states.


a): The pressure cell on the pulsed field probe. b): The sample in the pressure chamber together with a Pb sample used as a monometer. c): Magnetoresistance curves up to 60T of the antiferromagnetic system CeRh2Si2 at several pressures close to the critical pressure. d): 3D phase diagram of CeRh2Si2 illustrating how the antiferromagnetic order can be suppressed by temperature, pressure, and field with the possibility to tune all these parameters.

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