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.

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.

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.

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


 ► 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.

► Gualda, G.A.R., Gravely, D.M., Hollman, B., Pamukcu, A.S., Begue, F., Ghiorso, M.S., Deering, C.D., (2018) Climbing the crustal ladder : Magma storage-depth evolution dueing a volvcanic flare-up. Sci. Adv. 4, eaap 7567 DOI : 10.1126/sciadv.aap7567

► Desmau, M., Gelabert, A., Levard, C., Ona-Nguema, G., Vidal, V., Stubbs, J.E., Eng, P.J., Benedetti, M.F. (2018) Dynamics of silver nanoparticles at the solution/biofilm/mineral interface.  Environ. Sci.: Nano. 5: 2394-2405.

► X. Lai, F. Zhu, J. Liu, D. Zhang, Y. Hu, G. J. Finkelstein, P. Dera, B. Chen; The high-pressure anisotropic thermoelastic properties of a potential inner core carbon-bearing phase, Fe7C3, by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. American Mineralogist ; 103 (10): 1568–1574. doi:


GSECARS now has a JEOL Neoscope 6000PLUS scanning electron microscope available to GSECARS and APS users in support of beamline experiments. Click here for more info.


Users interested in using the Raman System or Micromanipulator,
Click here for more info. 

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 

Depositional and diagenetic constraints on the abundance and spatial variability of carbonate-associated sulfate

Here, we have combined X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES) spectroscopy and μ-X-ray Fluorescence (μ-XRF) imaging to map the speciation and abundance of sulfur in carbonate petrographic thin sections in Upper Ordovician carbonates from Anticosti Island, Canada and early Silurian carbonates from Gotland, Sweden, across multiple depositional facies.  The detection and characterization of both inorganic sulfur and organic sulfur compounds provides a platform to understand early processes of biomineralization. This approach will broaden our understanding of the source of inorganically bound sulfate in ancient carbonates, as well as the effect of depositional setting and diagenesis on CAS incorporation, (re)mobilization, and ultimate abundance in sedimentary carbonates. Click

Solubility and speciation of iron in hydrothermal fluids

Here, we conducted hydrothermal diamond-anvil cell experiments using synchrotron-radiation micro-XRF and XANES analyses as well as Raman spectroscopyin situ at hydrothermal temperatures and pressures, to characterize the solubility and speciation of iron in fluids buffered by a variety of mineral assemblages. Click

Immiscibility between two rutile phases in the GeO2–TiO2 system and application as a temperature sensor in high-pressure experiments

The system GeO2–TiO2 was studied experimentally at high pressure and temperature to measure the miscibility of the two components and to test its applicability as a temperature sensor in high-pressure experiments. Click 


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.

GSECARS welcomes Univeristy of Chicago, Department of Physical Sciences, Dean Angela Olinto. She toured Sector 13 to learn about synchrotron research in the earth and planetary sciences conducted by GSECARS.

GSECARS participated in the APS Upgrade video. This short video features members of the APS scientific community speaking about the exciting scientific opportunities the upcoming  APS Upgrade will generate.

GSECARS was pleased to host students from the First Look @ Argonne Program, November 22, 2019.                                                                                           . 
GSECARS welcomed University of Chicago second year STEM undergraduates on a tour of the CARS facilities at APS.




Upcoming Events

10:00 am Technical Working Group (TWG) Me...
Technical Working Group (TWG) Me...
Feb 20 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Technical Working Group (TWG) Meeting
Technical Working Group (TWG) Meeting, Thursday, Feb 20, 10am, Room A1100 This months speaker’s are: Mark Rivers – “The XGLab Dante digital X-ray spectrometer” Joerg Strempfer – “Beamline status web page at 4-ID-D”

Questions & Answers

General User Questions
Nancy Lazarz

Diamond Anvil Cell (DAC)
Vitali Prakapenka

Multi-anvil Press
Yanbin Wang

Mark Rivers

Single Crystal  DAC
Dongzhou Zang

Matt Newville
Tony Lanzirotti

Steve Sutton

Tony Lanzirotti

Powder, single crystal and interface diffraction
Peter Eng
Joanne Stubbs

Gas Loading System
Sergey Tkachev

GSECARS Raman Lab 
Vitali Prakapenka

GSECARS Chemistry Lab 
Joanne Stubbs

GSECARS LVP Sample Prep Lab
Yanbin Wang
Tony Yu