Electrical Resistance Measurements at High Pressures Using Designer Diamond Anvils

(Faculty Mentor – Dr. Yogesh Vohra) In this research project, an undergraduate student will learn the role of high pressure in modifying material properties using a diamond anvil cell. The student will be able to use the latest designer diamond technology developed by physicists at UAB and at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The designer diamond anvils have built in sensors that allow measurements of electrical resistance of the sample at high pressures. REU student will learn assembly, alignment, and sample preparation of a diamond anvil cell. The sample studied would be Gallium Arsenide that shows a semiconductor to metal transition at 16 GPa. Our experience is that this transition can be reproduced very well and is simple to comprehend for an undergraduate student. In the last three years, REU students Timothy Banks, Joseph Tarwoe, and Philemon Spencer have worked on similar projects and published results in top journals like Physical Review Letters [1] and Applied Physics Letters [2].