Reaching Earth's Inner Core pressures and temperatures requires dedicated experimental setups, either relying on static and dynamic compression facilities. Last week, HotCores members joined a large work-wide group of over 100 scientists for the commissioning of experiments with the DIPOLE laser at the European XFEL.
DiPOLE 100-X is a world-class laser that can deliver up to 150 J over up to 15 ns pulses, with a repetition rate up to 10 Hz. It is now installed at the High-Energy Density (HED) beamline of the European XFEL. By shining DIPOLE pulses into polymers in the back of our samples, we can generate pressure and temperature conditions well over 100 GPa and 10 000 K. The trick is that those extreme conditions, found inside the interior of planets and exoplanets, can only be held over 10 ns, 10 billionths of a second! This is where the European XFEL comes into play. The 3.4 km long European XFEL generates extremely intense X-ray flashes that last less than 100 fs, well below the duration of the pressure wave, and provide enough X-ray photons for classical experiments such as in-situ X-ray diffraction, in one single pulse!
Thanks to the contribution of a very large team of scientists from laboratories world-wide, we were able to run the first successful campaign of data collection with the facility. The week was tough, with teams working around the clock to optimize procedures, samples, and layouts for the most successful experiments. And we got data!
Stay tuned for more...