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Diamonds and Dust for Better Cement Print
Monday, 12 December 2011 00:00

Structural studies at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source could point to reduced carbon emissions and stronger cements.

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At Calipso, the California High-Pressure Science Observatory at beamline 12.2.2 of the Advanced Light Source, materials can be squeezed to tremendous pressures in diamond anvil cells, where they are trapped between the two diamonds in a small central chamber. The x-rays from the beamline pass through the diamonds and the sample, throwing diffraction patterns on a CCD detector that reveal the material’s structure. (Signals from diamond and corundum in the anvil cell mechanism must be subtracted from the diffraction patterns.) (Beamline photo by Roy Kaltschmidt)