We conduct a broad-based experimental, analytical and computational scientific program into novel materials and properties, which result from processing at extremely high pressures. The group uses pressure (1) as a tool to probe the structure, bonding, energetics, and physical properties of solids to improve fundamental understanding of high-pressure chemical and physical phenomena, (2) to develop unique materials and materials with unusual properties, (3) to study novel meta-stable or permanent materials that do not revert to their ambient low-pressure state.

NRL’s Novel Materials by High Pressure Processing Group primarily employs a pressless split-sphere apparatus (Беспрессовая Аппаратура высокого давления "Разрезная Сфера” or БАРС = BARS) equipped with an 8-6 type multi-anvil system. Originally designed for industrial scale diamond growth, the BARS apparatus is known as the most compact, efficient, and economical of industrial diamond producing devices. The extreme pressure/temperature environment and large reaction volume (1cm3) required for diamond growth makes the apparatus a versatile scientific research and development tool by allowing the application of pressures to 12 GPa (1,740,000 psi) and temperatures of 2500°C for sustained operation.

We have used the BARS apparatus to study:

  • Intrinsic Super-Hardness of Nanostructured Ceramics
  • Nanocomposite Materials
  • Novel Conductive Super Hard Structures