CeSMEC is an interdisciplinary center which combines physics, chemistry, geosciences, and materials engineering. All its activities are interdisciplinary.

The building of the center started in the summer of 2000 and has been completed recently with all the state-of-art facilities operating for frontiers research in the areas of materials science, high-pressure physics and geophysics with many cross-disciplinary linkages to programs in metallurgy, ceramics and chemistry.

CeSMEC Goals


Scientific goals

Use theoretical and experimental tools of CeSMEC to study terrestrial planetary interiors by studying the physical and chemical interactions among solids and fluids at extreme conditions Build and maintain a superdatabase on inorganic materials to explore regularities of physical and chemical behavior and develop semi-empirical models to understand the physics and chemistry of materials


Engineering goals

Synthesize new materials with unusual properties and improve the existing materials Unusual properties may require unusual chemical and physical conditions


Technology development

Reach the highest static pressures in hot materials for in situ x-ray and spectroscopic characterization with precise simultaneous determination of pressure and temperature Reach the highest temperatures in the laboratory with precise measurement of temperatures



Why is the CeSMEC unique?

In the State of Florida , CeSMEC is the only high pressure research center where materials can be studied at extremes of pressure and temperatures (see below):

X-ray diffraction

Raman Spectroscopy

.0001- 500,000 atm

300- 3000 K

to 300,000 atm T:300-1500 K

.0001-3 Million atm

300-1300 K

P to 300,000 atm T:300-1500


High P and T Imaging

Reactions and thermophysics

.0001-3 Million atm

300- 3000 K

P to 300,000 atm T:300-1500 K

Laser heating and
ablation Several 1000 K

P to 3Million atm T to 4000 K Laser

P to 3Million atm and T to1300 K (electric)


CeSMEC's Research Activity

Development of high pressure-temperature technology : CeSMEC is aiming at reaching extreme conditions of pressure and temperature with precise measurements of physical properties and determination of structural states. We are perfecting both resistive heating cells for high pressure studies and the laser-heating techniques for high-temperature and/or high-pressure synthesis of materials.

Microchip Nanoceramic Lasers : The goal of this project is to create monolithic microchip nanoceramic laser structures. These structures will contain two parts: an active medium and the saturable absorber. The basic monolithic microchip laser is made from one piece of gain material. Saturable absorber is passive Q-switch for obtaining short and high power pulses. Microchip lasers are capable of of high output power (several KW under pulsed condition) from very small device. Microchip lasers can be cost-effectively mass-produced. The applications are numerous: Collision-avoidance systems,  Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy,  Monitoring of effluents,  Ultraviolet laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy,  Micromachining,  Microsurgery,  Dermatology, Non-destructive testing,  Photolithography, Visible laser pointers,  Laser projection displays

Compressibility and Yield Strength of Carbides and nitrides

Using analysis of the X-ray diffraction data, we have launched on determining the yield strength of several classes of oxides, nitrides and carbides.

•  Superdatabase : CeSMEC is developing an integrated materials database of thermal, physical and engineering properties of materials. The goal here is to seek systematics in the behavior of solid properties. The database has currently about 3000 solids with entries of about 50 properties.

•  Thermodynamics database and calculations : Computation of equilibrium and non-equilibrium geophysical and industrial processes.

•  New materials synthesis : Physical phase transformations and chemical interactions as determined by heating the solids under various conditions of pressure and stress.

•  Iron : Earth's core and the core-mantle interaction.

•  Hydrogen project : Chemical reaction synthesis of hydrogen.

•  Carbon project : Despite the vast number of efforts, many aspects of carbon remain unexplored.

•  Nanomaterials : Our emphasis is on understanding the physics and chemistry of nanomaterials.

•  Pressure-Volume-Temperature Equation of State of solids : An effort to obtain formulations and data for geophysical applications.


Novel electrode material synthesis for energy storage applications:  is the synthesis of novel electrode materials with microstructures engineered for efficient charge storage for applications including lithium-ion batteries, electrochemical capacitors, biofuel cells, etc. A host of materials both pristine and composites, with different morphologies have been fabricated including transition metal oxides (TMOs), nano-confined SnO2, lithium containing TMOs, nanostructured carbons, etc. using electrostatic spray deposition (ESD), electrospinning, and electrophoretic deposition (EPD).

Microsupercapacitors: The development of miniaturized electronic systems such as smart cards, wireless sensors and sensor networks, RFID tags, miniaturized MEMS and implantable devices, etc. has stimulated the demand for miniaturized power sources. Typically, the power consumption for most implantable devices ranges from µW-mW. In order to address the energy and power demands for microsystems, Dr. Wang has actively worked toward fabricating micro-electrochemical energy storage devices – including microsupercapacitors and also micro-hybrid capacitors. The device realization comprises a three-step process: i) synthesis of Au or C microelectrodes; typically the carbon microelectrodes are synthesized using carbon microelectromechanical systems (C-MEMS), which involves the pyrolysis of patterned photoresists; ii) material development and integration onto the microelectrode platform; and iii) electrochemical characterization of the final device.

C-MEMS based micro-biofuel cells: Biofuel cells, which convert biochemical energy into electrical energy, are expected to be a potential solution to the drawbacks presented by conventional batteries, but the power density and operational lifetime requirements for implanted devices have not been met by the current biofuel cells. In order to address the aforementioned shortcomings of biofuel cells, Dr. Wang’s group has investigated C-MEMS based electrodes for micro-biofuel cell applications both theoretically and experimentally. The work includes i) finite element approach for the optimization of electrode design in both steady state and transient state; ii) construction of carbon microelectrodes via C-MEMS; iii) functionalizing different functional groups such as –COOH and –NH2 on the surface of the carbon microelectrodes; iv) immobilizing enzymes on the carbon micro-pillar electrode arrays, and v) characterizing the final device.

C-MEMS based bio-sensing:  Dr. Wang’s group has also focused on investigating different strategies to develop functionalized high surface area bio-carbon interface for electrochemical and biosensing applications. The research efforts were mainly dedicated toward 3D carbon microelectrode array synthesis, conformal coating of nanostructured carbons onto the microelectrode, comparing different surface functionalization methods including direct amination, oxygen plasma treatment, diazonium grafting, vacuum UV-treatment, UV/ozone treatment, electrochemical activation, quantification of functionalization, verification of biomolecule attachment, and testing different types of biosensors, i.e., DNA sensor, H2O2 sensor, and protein sensor, based on C-MEMS/NEMS electrode arrays

Research Collaboration

Our research has very wide applications that transcend the fields of physics, chemistry and materials science. CeSMEC has established colaborations with national and international scientist on several projects, such as:

•  Superdatabase project and modeling

•  Experimental Study of Materials at high-temperatures and/or high pressures