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Published October 2012 | Published
Journal Article Open

Four-probe electrical measurements with a liquid pressure medium in a diamond anvil cell


We describe a technique for making electrical transport measurements in a diamond anvil cell using an alcohol pressure medium, permitting acute sensitivity while preserving sample fidelity. The sample is suspended in the liquid medium by four gold leads that are electrically isolated by a composite gasket made of stainless steel and an alumina-loaded epoxy. We demonstrate the technique with four-probe resistivity measurements of chromium single crystals at temperatures down to 4 K and pressures above 10 GPa. Our assembly is optimized for making high precision measurements of the magnetic phase diagram and quantum critical regime of chromium, which require repeated temperature sweeps and fine pressure steps while maintaining high sample quality. The high sample quality enabled by the quasi-hydrostatic pressure medium is evidenced by the residual resistivity below 0.1 μΩ cm and the relative resistivity ratio ρ(120 K)/ρ(5 K) = 15.9 at 11.4 GPa. By studying the quality of Cr's antiferromagnetic transition over a range of pressures, we show that the pressure inhomogeneity experienced by the sample is always below 5%. Finally, we solve for the Debye temperature of Cr up to 11.4 GPa using the Bloch-Gruneisen formula and find it to be independent of pressure.

Additional Information

© 2012 American Institute of Physics. (Received 2 August 2012; accepted 17 September 2012; published online 8 October 2012). The work at the University of Chicago was supported by National Science Foundation Grant No. DMR-1206519. The work at the Advanced Photon Source of the Argonne National Laboratory was supported by the U.S. DOE-BES under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.

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