Shock Compression Microscope

A High throughput benchtop setup

The shock compression microscope (depicted in image) uses a pulsed Nd:YAG laser to launch hypervelocity (1-5 km/s) plates and a photon Doppler velocimeter (PDV) to measure their velocities and the velocity of the materials impacted by the flyer plate. Each shot destroys the sample, so samples are mass-produced in the form of arrays with many elements, typically around 200. We can also fabricate multielement arrays of tiny cuvettes for liquid studies.

Figures to the right, show the schematics of (a) complete shock compression microscope experimental setup and (b) a cross-section of sample holder consisting of flyer substrate from which the flyer is punched out by the flat top laser beam, spacer and target array containing sample wells.

One of the biggest problems in shock experiments is measuring the temperature. We have developed a multichannel spectrograph that functions as an optical pyrometer as shown in the figure to the right. It monitors the time-dependent thermal emission from the shocked material and determines the temperature by fitting the spectrum to Planck’s blackbody law.

Click on other research directions to explore how the Shock Compression Microscope is used to study various phenomena.