Nuclear Magnetic Resonance at multi-megabar pressures
Dr. Thomas Meier
View inside a diamond anvil cell for NMR measurements.
Implementation of spectroscopic methods probing local electronic properties of electrons or nuclei in condensed matter at extreme conditions remains a challenging endeavor. Under sufficient conditions, significant band overlap occurs altering a manifold of material properties such as electronic conductivity, topological behavior, magnetism and superconductivity. A suitable spectroscopic method investigating these phenomena is nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). An implementation of NMR in diamond anvil cells (DACs) was, however, widely considered impossible over the last decades.
My research focuses on specific solutions for NMR in DACs using novel types of radio-frequency resonators. With this approach, my peers from the Dubrovinsky/Dubrovinskaia group and I succeeded in reaching pressures as high as 200 GPa recently. Such a dramatic paradigm shift in high pressure NMR leads to the possibility to investigate the behavior of complex quantum matter at extreme conditions.
One of the core questions of my work in the high pressure behavior of hydrogen atoms in metal hydrides and molecular hydrogen. Here, NMR represents an ideal tool to verify theoretical predictions under high pressure and temperature conditions and will lead to new insights in the quest for the search of novel hydrogen-based high temperature superconductors.