Ames Laboratory; Physics and Astronomy
Ames Laboratory, Physics and Astronomy
Review of Scientific Instruments
Uniaxial stress, as well as hydrostatic pressure are often used to tune material properties in condensed matter physics. Here, we present a setup that allows for the study of the combined effects of quasi-uniaxial stress and hydrostatic pressure. Following earlier designs for measurements under finite stress at ambient pressures [e.g., Chu et al., Science 337, 710 (2012)], the present setup utilizes a piezoelectric actuator to change stress in situ inside the piston–cylinder pressure cell. We show that the actuator can be operated over the full temperature (from 30 K up to 260 K) and pressure range (up to ≈2 GPa), resulting in a clear and measurable quasi-uniaxial strain. To demonstrate functionality, measurements of the elastoresistance (i.e., the change of resistance of a sample as a response to quasi-uniaxial strain) under finite hydrostatic pressure on the iron-based compound BaFe2As2 are presented as a proof-of-principle example and discussed in the framework of electronic nematicity. Overall, this work introduces the combination of in situ tunable quasi-uniaxial stress and large (up to ≈2 GPa) hydrostatic pressure as a powerful combination in the study of novel electronic phases. In addition, it also points toward further technical advancements which can be made in the future.
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