Exploring extreme thermodynamics in nanoliter volumes through stimulated Brillouin-Mandelstam scattering

in: Nature Physics (2023)
Geilen, Andreas; Popp, Alexandra; Das, Debayan; Junaid, Saher; Poulton, Christopher G.; Chemnitz, Mario; Marquardt, Christoph; Schmidt, Markus A.; Stiller, Birgit
Examining the physical properties of materials—particularly of toxic liquids—under a wide range of thermodynamic states is a challenging problem due to the extreme conditions the material has to experience. Such temperature and pressure regimes, which result in a change in the refractive index and sound velocity, can be accessed by optoacoustic interactions such as Brillouin–Mandelstam scattering. Here we demonstrate the Brillouin–Mandelstam measurements of nanolitre volumes of liquids in extreme thermodynamic regimes. This is enabled by a fully sealed liquid-core optical fibre containing carbon disulfide. Within this waveguide, which exhibits tight optoacoustic confinement and a high Brillouin gain, we are able to conduct spatially resolved measurements of the local Brillouin response, giving us access to a resolved image of the temperature and pressure values along the liquid channel. We measure the material properties of the liquid core at very large positive pressures (above 1,000 bar) and substantial negative pressures (below –300 bar), as well as explore the isobaric and isochoric regimes. The extensive thermodynamic control allows the tunability of the Brillouin frequency shift of more than 40% using only minute volumes of liquid.

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