Building a high pressure cell for a microscope is very difficult, but building a pressure cell that you can also control the temperature of, is a extremely difficult. Just google it and see how many people have actually done it. We're talking 175bar up to 250C or 40bar up to 400C.
In order to build a high pressure cell you need to use materials with very high tensile strength, so you are pretty much limited to metals. As we all know, metals expand with heating. As soon as the material your cell is made out of starts to expand, you get leaks. So what do you do? You need to use more tension on your cell and hence you need more material to make it stronger. More material means more mass, so now you have a temperature control problem. Added to that, when you pressurize a material you change the temperature, so now you have to have to compensate for that. Don't get me started about the health and safety aspects of a failure at high pressure when pressurizing samples with gas. It's like a gunshot going off. And so the nightmare goes on.
Hopefully that gives you an idea of the challenges faced in developing such a product.
Why would we want to tackle this? Well part of it is because nobody else has, at least not commercially and to the resolution that we have, but mostly it is because our R&D guys love a challenge, often to the point of despair in the sales department!
We have two new pressure cells available for beta testing.
The HPC250 - Up to 175bar and 250C
The HPC400 - Up to 40bar and 400C
Temperature control is +/- 0.5C at rates up to 30C/min
Samples are loaded into a small chamber of 2.4mm diameter x 4mm deep and sandwiched by sapphire windows to enable both transmitted and reflected light observation.
Please contact us if you want to beta test before this item goes on commercial release.
The stages are already being used by high profile laboratories in Canada and Switzerland.