HPSynC: About Us

We have witnessed an unprecedented surge in high-pressure research that greatly improved our fundamental understanding of materials under high compression. The research has benefited from the integration of high-pressure, high- and low-temperature instrumentation and analytical probes at synchrotron facilities. Indeed, the integration has gone a long way. During the first-generation approach in the 1980's, high-pressure researchers brought the entire experimental setup and high-pressure apparati to an empty synchrotron station. Experiments were restricted to simple ones that could be assembled and dissembled within very limited beam time allotment.

During the second generation since the 1990's, dedicated high-pressure beamlines established permanent setups that allow users to conduct sophisticated high-pressure experiments efficiently. This mode of operation has been very successful, but also has noticeable shortcomings. Most significantly, many cutting-edge synchrotron techniques that have been advancing rapidly at specialized beamlines are unavailable at dedicated high-pressure beamlines which must consider their primary role in supporting routine, general, high-pressure operations. The development or usage of novel high-pressure techniques at specialized beamlines are left in the hands of high-pressure researchers and beamline scientists who are facing the insurmountable barrier of adapting the high P-T conditions to the beamlines analogous to the first generation mode 20 years ago, except it is even harder now due to the sophistication of the advanced beamlines.

The High Pressure Synergetic Consortium at the Advanced Photon Source provides a new approach to high-pressure science using synchrotron radiation. Our mission is to establish high-pressure environments at many beamlines of the APS for the science community, to make novel synchrotron techniques available to high-pressure researchers, and to establish a gateway for high-pressure scientists to many beamlines of the APS.

The HPSynC concept is beyond the normal "extreme environment" infrastructure that is limited to sharing gas-filling equipment, sample preparation laboratory, diamond cells, etc. In addition to these functions, the main role of HPSynC is to facilitate the next level of scientific and technical integration. The HPSynC staff who have the scientific agendas and technical know-how will improve both high-pressure apparati and beamline parameters interactively to optimize the extraordinary capabilities and resource of the synchrotron facility for novel high-pressure experimentation.