Pressure changes the physical, chemical, and electrical properties of the material. To produce high-pressure conditions, researchers usually place the samples inside diamond anvil cells (DACs).
In fact, the diamond anvil cell allows researchers to study the different properties of matter at high pressure. However, monitoring the sample features within a DAC is challenging. Now scientists introduce the nano-scale sensor platform, which consists of nitrogen-vacancy centers, or NVs, inside diamond anvil cells. To this end, they have utilized the inherent sensing features of NV centers to perform experiments that are not possible for conventional sensors. Most conventional sensors cannot be used to measure experimental results inside a diamond anvil cell because they cannot withstand its strong forces.
nitrogen-vacancy centers can act as sensors because their energy levels are sensitive to pressure and magnetic fields. These sensors glow red when excited by laser light. By investigating this luminosity, the researchers were able to determine how these sensors respond to small environmental changes. They then increased the pressure and with the help of NV sensors found that the flat center of the diamond anvil began to bend. Another experiment was the phase transition study. This time, the researchers placed a mixture of methanol and ethanol inside the diamond anvil cell. They found that as the liquid phase transitioned to the solid phase, the diamond surface became uneven and textured.