Nanoscience makes possible the use of focused x-rays to probe submicron samples at multimegabar pressures in diamond anvil cells. Scientists, led by Lin Wang, EFree scientist at the Geophysical Laboratory, worked closely with colleagues at the Advanced Photon Source, National Cheng Kung University, and Stanford University, at APS's nanofocused beamlines 34-ID-E and 2-ID-D. The results show the power and precision of state-of-the-art synchrotron radiation techniques in continuing high pressure research.
The feature picture shows x-ray transmission through a sample of platinum, tungsten, and iron measured at close to 3 million atmospheres pressure with a 250 nm beam. The image is 15 µm across. The above figure shows indicate the experimental layout for these experiments.
See also "Nanoprobes at Megabars". The article is Wang et al., Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 10.1073,1001141107 (2010) (PDF). Related referrences: Nanotimes story.