August 16, 2022
Dr. Melissa Sims, an NSF postdoctoral scholar in the Wicks Lab, published her work on phase transitions in shock-compressed copper in the Journal of Applied Physics. Her paper, titled “Experimental and theoretical examination of shock-compressed copper through the fcc to bcc to melt phase transitions,” was selected as an Editor’s Pick article. The work is a synthesis of in situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction measurements, texture models used to deduce the phase transition mechanism, and equations of state used to determine the stability field of each phase. Melissa’s experiments were conducted at the Dynamic Compression Sector of the Advanced Photon Source synchrotron, in collaboration with scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This is the first study to constrain the fcc-bcc phase transition mechanism in copper. This is the first of many projects Melissa hopes to carry out using intense X-rays to examine in situ microstructure of materials at high pressure.