This year’s highlights in dynamics and extreme conditions include the study of fundamental phenomena such as dynamics in glasses and clathrates, and magnetism at very high pressures beyond 200 GPa. This chapter also comprises work on the synthesis and in situ characterisation of novel materials at extreme conditions, the investigation of correlated electron systems, and unique insights into the structure and dynamical phenomena of Earth’s interior. In addition, the chapter hosts a contribution on the atomic motion in network glasses revealed by coherent X-rays from beamline ID10A. Experiments performed at the Dynamics and Extreme Conditions Group’s beamlines resulted in about 100 publications in peer reviewed journals with 20 papers in high-impact journals.

Besides user operation, the beamline teams and support groups were highly active in developing and implementing new instruments and facilities.

The technical design report for the hard X-ray microscope (HXRM) project at beamline ID06 has been completed, and the project has entered its implementation phase. In parallel, proof-of-concept experiments were conducted, and first results were recently published in Nature Communications (H. Simons et al., Nat. Commun. 6, 6098 (2015), doi: 10.1038/ncomms7098).

The large volume press (LVP at ID06) continued to operate at 30% of the standard allocation time for an ESRF beamline. Deformation experiments are now possible up to 10 GPa and 1700 K, with strain rates of 10-6 to 10-4 sec-1 and 35% maximum total strain. Two-stage X-ray transparent anvils were successfully commissioned, allowing fully open 2D solid-angle diffraction up to 20 GPa and 2000 K. Furthermore, new detection and data acquisition schemes are under development.

The technical design report for the move of ID09A to ID15B has been completed, and the current planning foresees the closure of the high-pressure branch of ID09 at the end of 2015. ID15B will be available for user operation from scheduling period II/2016 onwards.

New capabilities at ID27 comprise a Soller slit system interfaced to the CO2 laser heating bench for the collection of high quality X-ray diffraction patterns at high pressures and temperatures, and the full remote control of the rotational-tomography Paris-Edinburgh cell (rotoPEC) for diffraction and imaging applications.

At the Nuclear Resonance Beamline (ID18), the portfolio of available Mössbauer isotopes was expanded to include the Ru-99 resonance (at 89 keV) and the Os-187 resonance (at 9.8 keV). The synchrotron Mössbauer source (SMS) setup took up nearly half of the available beamtime in 2014, focusing on investigations of magnetic and electronic properties under extreme conditions, including double sided laser heating capabilities.

The new inelastic X-ray scattering beamline, ID20, has reached all its target performances, and has been 100% available for user operation since 1 March 2014. As a consequence, the UPBL6 project was officially closed on 31 December 2014.

The high-throughput diffuse scattering diffractometer project, a side-station of beamline ID28, was officially launched in February 2014, and is well under way. First commissioning experiments are expected to take place towards the end of 2015.

External funding has become a significant complement to the investment and staff capacity of the group. The HXRM project at ID06 profits from collaboration with Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)and Utrecht University. A BMBF grant under the leadership of the Bayerisches Geoinstitut Bayreuth aims at the further development of high-pressure sample environment in materials at extreme conditions at ID18. Further support for ID18 has been received in the framework of the Helmholtz Russia Joint Research Group (“Sapphire ultra optics for synchrotron radiation”; FZ Jülich) and the XNAP collaboration for the development of a two-dimensional counting pixel X-ray detector based on silicon avalanche photodiodes. A further BMBF grant, led by the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, supports the installation of the high-throughput diffractometer for diffuse scattering studies as a side-station to beamline ID28. A second grant for ID28 (ANR-DPG grant; Goethe-Universität and ESRF) is dedicated to the understanding of the role of dynamic disorder in carbonates. Finally, ID27 profits from the ANR Blanc grant MOFLEX “Structure and dynamics of simple molecular fluids under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature“, coordinated by IMPMC Paris and CEA Bruyères.

This year’s achievements would not have been possible without a vibrant user community and the continuous support and effort of all the other ESRF divisions. The advent of the ESRF Upgrade Phase II provides a further stimulus for a sustained R&D programme. The significantly higher photon flux density will allow studies to be carried out on much smaller sample volumes at much higher pressures and temperatures, and on much shorter time scales. The increased coherence of the X-ray beam at high energies will allow new techniques to be used at extreme conditions such as imaging methods using phase contrast, coherent diffraction, and ptychography. For further details, please consult the chapter on matter at extreme pressures and temperatures in the recently published Orange Book.

M. Krisch