PerspectiveHigh Pressure

Extreme diamond-based quantum sensors

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Science  13 Dec 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6471, pp. 1312-1313
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz4982

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Summary

We spend our entire lives at pressures near 1 atm. But most of the matter in our planet exists at far higher pressures. Experiments conducted under applied pressure are crucial to understanding condensed matter. High-pressure experiments have provided data on the matter in planetary interiors that have improved our understanding of seismic events. Most notably, applied high pressures permit the synthesis and study of new materials with extraordinary properties, such as extreme hardness. Recent experiments on hydride materials compressed to greater than 1 million atm have revealed near-room-temperature superconductivity (13), finally pushing past record critical temperatures that had stagnated since the 1990s. On pp. 1349, 1359, and 1355 of this issue, Hsieh et al. (4), Lesik et al. (5), and Yip et al. (6), respectively, report on a comprehensive set of experiments that demonstrate that quantum sensors based on so-called nitrogen vacancy (NV) centers offer powerful new tools for probing matter at extreme pressures.

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