General information

Module title Materials in Extreme Conditions
Language English
Module lecturer Prof Andrzej Katrusiak
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position Profesor
Faculty Faculty of Chemistry
Semester 2021/2022 (summer)
Duration 45
USOS code 02-MECA


Module aim (aims)

The main aim of this course is to provide students with knowledge on conducting experiments at conditions different from ambient i.e. high pressure and high/low temperature. Students will learn:
• why thermodynamic conditions cannot be ignored;
• how the temperature and pressure affect everything;
• preference and phase diagrams versus pressure, temperature, composition, etc.
• temperature/stress - strain relation;
• how to use a diamond-anvil cell;
• experimental set-ups for varied-temperature and -pressure in x-ray diffraction;
• how to process experimental data

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

Knowledge equivalent to that introduced in courses: Crystallography I - Elements; and Crystallography II-Diffraction Methods.


Lecture: 15h; Tutorial: 30h Titles of laboratory classes:
Week 1: drawing phase and preference diagrams of selected compounds, for example H2O, Au:Cu alloys;
Week 2: power of compression: pressure effects on different materials, food sterilization;
Week 3: diamond-anvil cell (DAC) operation: loading samples and increasing pressure;
Week 4: optical microscopy with a DAC: high-pressure freezing and re-crystallization;
Week 5: high-pressure calibration and spectroscopy;
Week 6: high-pressure x-ray diffraction – powder and single crystal experiments;
Week 7: Extreme-conditions data analysis;
Week 8: Strain tensor and the final exam

The course can be performed in the block system: 3 weeks of introductory lectures (2 h per week) and then students will participate in an international Workshop on High Pressure, organised by Department of Materials Chemistry (usually at the end of April), including one-day of lectures on high-pressure techniques, followed by 2 days of practical laboratory classes. This will be also a forum for presents students’ own research, meeting specialists in this field and discussing interesting topics.

Reading list

1. High-Pressure Crystallography, A. Katrusiak, P. F. McMillan, 2004, Kluwer, Dordrecht.
2. A. Katrusiak, Acta Cryst. A, 2008, 64, 135-148.