Print this page Geophysical Laboratory on Facebook Geophysical Laboratory on Flickr Click for RSS

Materials Physics

A wide range of problems in materials physics from ambient to extreme conditions are investigated. These include condensed matter studies as a function of pressure and temperature as well the development of new potentially useful materials.

The Geophysical Laboratory has made important advances in the growth of diamond by chemical vapor deposition (CVD).  Methods have been developed to produce single-crystal diamond at low pressure having a broad range of properties. Video- "Growing Synthetic Diamonds"

Ferroelectrics are very interesting not only in their manifold useful applications, but also are very interesting in their fundamental physics. What makes these materials so extraordinarily sensitive to applied electrical and stress fields? How can their properties be optimized? Can we design new materials that have better properties?

NEW  Postdoc with optics and laser expertise will work as part of Energy Frontier Research in Extreme Environments Center at the Geophysical Labora

Scientists have found that in addition to chemical manipulation, superconductivity can be induced by high pressure in high-temperature superconductors. The high critical temperatures on record were first measured here (164 K). 

Materials Physics News


Washington, D.C., 12 November 2013—Motivated by a strong interest in understanding the effects of pressure on these materials, the Geophysical Laboratory's Muhtar Ahart and  Russell J. Hemley, employed high-pressure x-ray diffraction techniques to investigate the phase behavior of the Fe0.81Ga0.19 alloy at 300 K. 

Washington, D.C., 2 July 2013—New research from a team that include the Geophysical Laboratory's Viktor Struzhkin and Takaki Muramatsu found unexpected superconductivity that could help scientists better understand the structural changes that create this rare conducting ability. 

Washington, D.C., 11 June 2013—Using revolutionary new techniques, a team led by the Geophysical Laboratory's Malcolm Guthrie has made a striking discovery about how ice behaves under pressure, changing ideas that date back almost 50 years.