Since invention of the diamond anvil cell technique in the late 1950s for studying materials at extreme conditions, the maximum static pressure generated so far at room temperature was reported to be about 400 GPa. Here we show that use of micro-semi-balls made of nanodiamond as second-stage anvils in conventional diamond anvil cells drastically extends the achievable pressure range in static compression experiments to above 600 GPa. Micro-anvils (10–50 μm in diameter) of superhard nanodiamond (with a grain size below ~50 nm) were synthesized in a large volume press using a newly developed technique. In our pilot experiments on rhenium and gold we have studied the equation of state of rhenium at pressures up to 640 GPa and demonstrated the feasibility and crucial necessity of the in situ ultra high-pressure measurements for accurate determination of material properties at extreme conditions.

L. Dubrovinsky, N. Dubrovinskaia, V.B. Prakapenka, A. M. Abakumov, “Implementation of micro-ball nanodiamond anvils for high-pressure studies above 6 Mbar” Nature Communications 3, 2012, Article number : 1163, DOI : 10.1038/ncomms2160

The unit cell volume of nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) as afunction of pressure.

The pressure dependence of the unit cell volume of Re