GSECARS Developed an Efficient and Affordable N95 Mask Disinfection System

Dr. Peter Eng with help from Mike Proskey and Dr. Joanne Stubbs, developed an efficient system of disinfecting N95 masks in large quantities.  This system will be invaluable for hospitals, factories, schools and offices as America re-opens during the current health crisis.

GSECARS Scientists Continue to Decode Moon's Mysteries 50 Years Later

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Argonne explores its early lunar research as it anticipates studies at the Advanced Photon Source of pristine moon rocks from the final lunar landing missions.

Tomography at 13 BMD

A. Herring, OSU, uses tomography at 13 BMD to quantify pore scale trapping and to analyze how mechanisms affect the efficiency of capillary trapping of CO2 in saline aquifers.

What Diamond Impurities Tell Us About Earth's Mantle

Pockets of water may lay deep below Earth’s surface.

High Pressure X-ray Tomographic Microscopy Module

The HPXTM module helps researchers study the texture change of their sample under extreme pressure and temperature conditions by collecting in-situ HP/HT 3D x-ray tomographic images.

GSECARS Outreach

GSECARS hosts experiments at 13 IDE for high school students in the Exemplary Student Research Program (ESRP) representing local area high schools.

X-ray diffraction patterns from a diamond anvil cell.

X-ray diffraction is the most powerful technique for crystal structure determination. From left to right, patterns from a single crystal, polychrystalline, nano-cyrstalline and amorphous crystals.

*** Updated Coronavirus Information  ***

The Advanced Photon Source Limited Operations

Update on status and plans at GSECARS, August 25, 2020

Please note the following information:
Current APS guidance for the 2020-3 run mandates that external users will not be allowed on-site.  Based on this current policy, GSECARS is only scheduling users for 2020-3 that can mail-in samples, with partial or full remote access to control selected beamline computers to perform experiments in-close collaboration with GSECARS beamline staff. 

Users that wish to have remote computer access to run their experiments at GSECARS will be considered “Remote Users” and noted so on their ESAF.  “Remote Users” are still required to have all their APS safety training up to date for ESAF approval, ANL site access must be current and an approved 593 in place for foreign nationals. 

Contacting beamline staff prior to your experiment is required.  This can be arranged either via email, phone, or online (Zoom or Bluejeans are preferred). 

Samples should be sent to your primary beamline contact at least one week ahead of scheduled beamtime.  Please send the shipment tracking number to your host.  We recommend FedEx as the most reliable option for shipping samples.

Send samples to :
Beamline Contact
The University of Chicago
Building 434A, Argonne National Laboratory
9700 South Cass Ave.
Lemont, IL   60439

GSECARS is a national user facility for frontier research in the earth sciences using synchrotron radiation at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory.

GSECARS provides earth scientists with access to the high-brilliance hard x-rays from this third-generation synchrotron light source. All principal synchrotron-based analytical techniques in demand by earth scientists are being brought to bear on earth science problems:

High-pressure/high-temperature crystallography and spectroscopy using the diamond anvil cell
High-pressure/high-temperature crystallography and imaging using the large-volume press
Powder, single crystal and interface diffraction
Inelastic x-ray scattering
X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy
X-ray fluorescence microprobe analysis


►  Wang, Y., Xu, M., Yang, L. et al. Pressure-stabilized divalent ozonide CaO3 and its impact on Earth’s oxygen cycles. Nat Commun 11, 4702 (2020). 

►  Xintong Qi, Nao Cai, Siheng Wang, Baosheng Li; Thermoelastic properties of tungsten at simultaneous high pressure and temperature,  J. Appl. Phys. 128, 105105 (2020);

► Huawei Chen, Sheng-Yi Xie, Byeongkwan Ko, Taehyun Kim, Carole Nisr, Vitali Prakapenka, Eran Greenberg, Dongzhou Zhang, Wenli Bi, Alp E. Ercan, Yongjae Lee, Sang-Heon Shim,
A new hydrous iron oxide phase stable at mid-mantle pressures, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 550, 2020,  116551, ISSN 0012-821X,

 ►Mingda Lv, Jiachao Liu, Eran Greenberg, Vitali B. Prakapenka, Susannah M. Dorfman; Thermal equation of state of post-aragonite CaCO3-Pmmn. American Mineralogist ; 105 (9): 1365–1374. doi:

► Huawei Chen, Kurt Leinenweber, Vitali Prakapenka, Martin Kunz, Hans A. Bechtel, Zhenxian Liu, Sang-Heon Shim; Phase transformation of hydrous ringwoodite to the lower-mantle phases and the formation of dense hydrous silica. American Mineralogist ; 105 (9): 1342–1348. doi:

► M. Cil, J. Schabelski, A. Packman, and G. Buscarnera, “A Miniaturized Testing Apparatus to Study the Chemo-Mechanics of Porous Media,” Geotechnical Testing Journal 43

► Terzano, R., Denecke, M., Falkenberg, G., et al. (2019). Recent advances in analysis of trace elements in environmental samples by X-ray based techniques (IUPAC Technical Report). Pure and Applied Chemistry, 91(6), pp. 1029-1063. DOI :10.1515/pac-2018-0605

► Shearer,C.K.,  Bell, A.S., Herd, C.D.K., Burger, P.V., Provencio, P., Sharp, Z.D., Papike, J.J.,  The Northwest Africa 8159 (NWA 8159) Martian Meteorite Part 2. Spinel-orthopyroxene intergrowths. A record of fO2 and crust-basalt interactions, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Volume 258, 2019, Pages 242_257,

► Qin,F., Wu, X., Qin, S., Zhang, D., Prakapenka, V.B., Jacobsen, S.D., Pressure-induced dehydration of dioptase: A single-crystal X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy study, (2019) Comptes Rendus Geoscience, Volume 351, Issues 2–3, 121-128,

► Zhang, D., Hu, Y., Xu, J., et al. (2019). High-pressure behavior of liebenbergite: The most incompressible olivine-structured silicate. American Mineralogist, 104(4), pp. 580-587., from doi:10.2138/am-2019-6680

► E-Wen Huang, Chih-Ming Lin, Jenh-Yih Juang, Yao-Jen Chang, Yuan-Wei Chang, Chan-Sheng Wu, Che-Wei Tsai, An-Chou Yehd, Sean R. Shieh Ching-Pao Wang, Yu-Chun Chuang, Yen-Fa Liao, Dongzhou Zhang, Tony Huang, Tu-Ngoc Lama, Yi-Hung Chen. (2019). Deviatoric Deformation Kinetics in High Entropy Alloy under Hydrostatic Compression, J Alloys and Compounds 792 : 116.

► Xu, J., Zhang, D., Fan, D., Wu, X., Shi, F., Zhou, W. (2019) Compressional behavior of natural eclogitic zoisite by synchrotron X-ray single-crystal diffraction to 34 GPa. Phys Chem Minerals. 46 (3):333.

► Yong, T., Dera, P., Zhang, D., (2019). Single-crystal X-ray diffraction of grunerite up to 25.6 GPa: a new high-pressure clinoamphibole polymorph. Phys Chem Minerals. 46 (3): 215.

► Hao, M., Zhang, J. S., Pierotti, C. E., Ren, Z., & Zhang, D. ( 2019). High‐pressure single‐crystal elasticity and thermal equation of state of omphacite and their implications for the seismic properties of eclogite in the Earth’s interior. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 124, 2368– 2377.

LVP Users Successfully Run Experiments Remotely

DAC Users Rock the New Norm!

(Click image to enlarge)

From the safety of their homes or with face masks in their offices our users remotely controlled data acquisition, including laser heating, at the 13-IDD station performing some of the most fascinating experiments we have seen yet.  Within the three weeks of the mail-in close collaboration work in the 2020-2 run we had over 30 Zoom meetings with users, almost 300 e-mails and 1000 text-message exchanges in order to coordinate the collections of over 55 diamond anvil cells and samples with pressures ranging from 1 bar to 5 Mbar and temperatures up to 6000 K.  We were excited to have worked with you and look forward to welcome you and many more back at GSECARS soon!”

Science Highlights

Ultrahigh-pressure isostructural electronic transitions in hydrogen

High-pressure transitions are thought to modify hydrogen molecules to a molecular metallic solid and finally to an atomic metal, which is predicted to have exotic physical properties and the topology of a two-component (electron and proton) superconducting superfluid condensate. Therefore, understanding such transitions remains an important objective in condensed matter physics. However, measurements of the crystal structure of solid hydrogen, which provides crucial information about the metallization of hydrogen under compression, are lacking for most high-pressure phases, owing to the considerable technical challenges involved in X-ray and neutron diffraction measurements under extreme conditions. Here we present a single-crystal X-ray diffraction study of solid hydrogen at pressures of up to 254 gigapascals that reveals the crystallographic nature of the transitions from phase I to phases III and IV.  Click 

Pressure-Induced Superconductivity and Flattened Se6 Rings in the Wide Band Gap Semiconductor Cu2I2Se6

The two major classes of unconventional superconductors, cuprates and Fe-based superconductors, have magnetic parent compounds, are layered, and generally feature square-lattice symmetry. We report the discovery of pressure-induced superconductivity in a nonmagnetic and wide band gap 1.95 eV semiconductor, Cu2I2Se6, with a unique anisotropic structure composed of two types of distinct molecules: Se6 rings and Cu2I2 dimers, which are linked in a three-dimensional framework. Click 

An upgraded and integrated large-volume high-pressure facility at the GeoSoilEnviroCARS bending magnet beamline of the Advanced Photon Source

The multi-anvil, large-volume high-pressure facility at the bending magnet beamline (13-BM-D) runs a unique setup permitting an unusually wide range of high-pressure and high-temperature experiments combined with X-rays and other in-situ probing techniques.  Here we provide a detailed description of the current large-volume press (LVP) setup at 13-BM-D, including hardware, software, and all experimental capabilities. Click 

Phase transitions beyond post-perovskite in NaMgF3 to 160 GPa

The high-pressure behavior of NaMgF3 is of interest due to its role as a low-pressure analog for phase transitions in the MgSiO3 system. In this work, we have used the diamond anvil cell and synchrotron X-ray diffraction techniques to study structural transitions in NaMgF3 to 1.6 Mbars. Our work has identified a sequence of high-pressure phases beyond post-perovskite in this ABX3 system.  Click 


GSE welcomes Anna Wanhala. She is a postdoctoral scholar working with Joanne Stubbs and Peter Eng conducting research into mineral-fluid interface processes. 

CNN, CNET and APS  highlight work done at 13 IDD by Dan Shim’s Lab for Earth and Planetary Materials at Arizona State University and scientists from the University of Chicago on how the interiors of carbon-rich exoplanets could create diamonds through high pressure and temperature conditions. APS  CNN  CNET


Scheduled to start in June, 2022, this APS video explains the cutting edge science which will result from the upcoming APS Upgrade. Mark Rivers, GSECARS Co-Director, featured at 1:22. 


Click here to view video

Tony Lanzirotti and Mark Rivers presented a virtual tour to the ANL summer interns on earth and planetary synchrotron research at GSECARS.

Matt Newville presented a virtual talk to  the ANL high school camp, “Coding for Science”. In this camp students learned Python and how to apply it to scientific problems.

GSECARS welcomes summer student Alex Nicolellis. He will be working for Matt Newville on a project, “Web-based X-ray properties of the elements and absorption calculations”.

GSE staff scientist Matt Newville showed physics majors and their professors from Hastings College, Nebraska synchrotron reasearch techniques used at GSECARS.

GSE Staff scientist Joanne Stubbs worked with eighth graders from local schools in Argonne’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. This day gives young female students a unique opportunity to discover engineering careers alongside world-class scientists and engineers.

GSECARS hosted a group of University of Chicago Lab School chemistry students. The group visited all three CARS sectors and learned about synchrotron radiation research in material science,  biology and earth and mineral sciences.

GSECARS hosted high school students from Glenbard East High School. The students ran an experiment at 13 IDE,
“Manganese hyperaccumulation in Brassica juncea when co-cropped with Lupinus perennis”. They will present their results at the APS User Meeting Poster Session in April.

GSECARS was pleased to host a tour from The University of Chicago Principal Gifts and Leadership Engagement groups.

Upcoming Events

all-day APS Storage Ring Maintenance
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APS Storage Ring Maintenance
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