Pressure in manufacturing and life sciences is a key parameter in defining the state of matter. In this special issue of MRS Bulletin, we focus on several of the many and diverse domains of advanced materials research where the pressure (or stress) applied is used to alter or otherwise garner information on the material properties. We give an overview of research in which the application of high pressure – often combined with high temperatures and advanced analysis – has led to technological progress in the preparation of superhard materials, in discovering new chemistry for the dense forms of low-Z elements, and in the interplay and mimicking of chemical-induced versus pressure-induced structural and electronic changes to prepare new magnetic and energy materials. In addition, the response of materials such as glasses and perovskites to high stress conditions is discussed, where pressures in the gigapascal regime can easily be achieved in everyday usage. Finally, the structural, dynamical and phase behavior of biological systems is considered.
- high pressure, densification, hardness, elastic properties