The opening of the European X-ray Free Electron Laser near Hamburg (EuXFEL) offers promising new experimental opportunities for studying materials. It can deliver X-rays with energies up to 25 keV and its brightness is so large, that a single pulse exhibits enough intensity to generate a diffraction image. In combination with the 4.5 MHz (220 ns separation) rate of pulse delivery, and new detector technologies (AGIPD), the EuXFEL enables unique capabilities for time resolved diffraction experiments.
Coupling these new capabilities with laser heated diamond anvil cells, enables the study of materials under planetary conditions with unprecedented time resolution, possibly overcoming previous issues with chemical reactions between the sample and its environment as well as the study of transient phenomena such as phase transformations.
We will present first results and challenges of experiments investigating silicates under extreme conditions at the “High Energy Density” (HED) instrument of the European XFEL during two community proposals which brought together around fifty international participants (proposal numbers #2292 and #2605).