Konstantin Kamenev: Tools for extreme conditions
From Billy Rosendale
In this video Konstantin describes his research on developing
instruments and techniques for making measurements at the extremes of
pressures, temperatures and fields, and applying them to
My research is based at the Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions – an interdisciplinary research institute for studies of properties of materials at high pressure.
Science has always been driven by development of new experimental equipment and the University of Edinburgh has a proud and longstanding tradition of tool-making and instrumentation design. In particularly in the field of high pressure, with perhaps the earliest example being the diving bell developed by the Edinburgh Professor of Mathematics and Experimental Philosophy George Sinclair around the year 1655 and called an Ark in his manuscript Hydrostatical Experiments. A much more recent example is a Paris-Edinburgh cell developed in collaboration between the University of Paris and the University of Edinburgh in the early 1990-ies. It is a very compact hydraulic press which can be used with a variety of techniques requiring a reasonably large sample volume in particular for neutron scattering and yet it can generate the load of over 250 tonnes. The dimensions of the press have been optimized by use of the finite element method which allows to calculate such parameters as stresses and deformations for given loads. This was one of the first applications of the finite element analysis (FEA) computer software to scientific device design. We now use FEA (along with computer aided design packages) routinely in developing new instruments.
We are still working on various enhancements to the Paris-Edinburgh cell such as the gas loader and the rotating device for single-crystal neutron diffraction under applied load of 100 tonnes. On a smaller scale we build pressure cells which use diamonds as anvils for measurements of magnetic, transport or optical properties of materials.
Our goal is not just to achieve higher pressures but also to develop the equipment and techniques which would enable researchers to make at high pressure measurements which until now have only been done at ambient conditions. This is an a fast developing field which by its nature is very interdisciplinary and so not only I get to work on interesting engineering projects but also get to collaborate with top scientists in their field.
Find out more:
Professor Konstantin Kamenev, School of Engineerng Profile: http://www.eng.ed.ac.uk/about/people/prof-konstantin-kamenev
Edinburgh Research Explorer: http://www.research.ed.ac.uk/portal/kvk