The Shim Lab hosts a range of analytical instruments, micro sample preparation equipments, and high-pressure devices to support high pressure research. We also use analytical facilities in the ASU campus and in national labs.

Laser-heated diamond anvil cell

Diamond-anvil cells can generate very high pressures (1-5,000,000 bars) by compressing materials between two gem-quality diamond anvils. Diamond is the strongest among known materials and is transparent to a wide range of electromagnetic radiations, such as X-rays, infrared, and visible light. These properties enable us to carry out diffraction or spectroscopy measurements at in situ high pressure-temperature conditions. Laser heating systems can increase the temperature of the samples in the diamond-anvil cells to 1,000-5,000 K. Temperature can be estimated from black body radiation of the samples at high temperatures. We have both fiber optic laser (1,070 nm) and CO2 laser (10,000 nm) heating systems.

Hydrogen gas loading system

Our gas loading system can compress hydrogen to thousands of bars and inject the compressed hydrogen in diamond-anvil cell. Our gas loading system can also load helium, neon, and oxygen.

Multi-anvil press

Multi-anvil press allows for synthesis of a large amount of sample at 0-28 GPa. Two multi-anvil presses are available at ASU (PI: Leinenweber).


Synchrotron facilities provide extremely bright X-ray beams for diffraction and spectroscopy measurements in diamond-anvil cell. We have performed diffraction and spectroscopy at several synchrotron facilities (Advanced Phton Source, Advanced Light Source, and National Synchrotron Light Source) in the US.

X-ray Free Electron Laser

X-ray free electron laser sources provide extremely bright X-ray pulses with very high time resolution. We have conducted both dynamic and static experiments at XFEL sources (Linac Coherent Light Source at Stanford University and Pohang Accelerator Laboratory X-ray Free Electron Laser). ASU's compact XFEL source would enable us to conduct some unique experiments in near future.

Raman spectroscopy

The phonon spectra allow for phase identification and estimation of thermodynamic properties. Raman spectroscopy is particularly powerful for studying icy materials (e.g., H2O, NH3, CH4, and CO2) and volatile components in materials. Our system is capable of 3D scan of the samples as well as in situ high pressure measurements.

Transmission Electron Microscopy

Aberration corrected electron microscopy provides exciting new opportunities to measure chemical properties of extremely small samples with atomic to nanometer scale spatial resolution with superb spectral resolutions (EDX and EELS). Three microscopy systems are available in LeRoy Eyring Center for Solid State Science at ASU.

Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry

Secondary ion mass spectrometry allows for the measurements of isotopic ratios and volatile contents of the samples synthesized at high pressure. ASU has a secondary ion mass spectrometry system and a NanoSIMS instrument.