The miniature diamond anvil cell with Type IIa diamonds was designed for examining materials in an FTIR spectrometer or an IR microscope. This instrument has been aligned before shipment.


Store the instrument with a piece of cardboard between the two diamond anvils to prevent abrasions. Anvils should be inspected before and after each use.

Width: 3.79 cm across triangular plates
Height: 1.56 cm (thumb screws included)
Weight: 55 grams


The two small holes on the face of the lower support (with three spindles) can be used to attach the guide plate to a slide rack accessory in an FTIR spectrometer or on the stage of an IR microscope.

MA-II Cell Diagram




The anvils can be cleaned by wiping acetone or alcohol across the working surfaces using tissue paper twisted into a pointed tip or using a tweezers wrapped with tissue paper. Do not let the solvent come into contact with the epoxy as it will eventually loosen the bond holding the diamond to its mount. The undersides of the diamond anvils are cleaned by placing a drop of acetone into the aperture and scrubbing with a round toothpick.

MA-II Cell


Failure to follow this procedure may result in damage to the anvils.

  1. Clean the two diamond anvils as instructed above.
  2. Bring the two halves slowly together without placing samples on anvils. Insert three spring-loaded thumb screws into the top plate and slowly turn them with fingers and thumb until firm. DO NOT APPLY PRESSURE YET.
  3. Examining the parallelism:
    Use a low power binocular microscope with transmitted white light. Parallelism is checked by applying the light fringe technique. Only a fraction of one fringe should be visible.
  4. Record the background data from the diamond anvil cell and the spectrometer.
  5. Disassemble the instrument slowly.
  6. Position the diamond anvil cell on a surface with the triangular plate containing three spindles facing upward. Place a piece of the sample onto the lower diamond anvil. Then bring the two halves slowly together.
  7. Insert three spring-loaded thumb screws into the top plate and slowly turn the thumb screws until firm. DO NOT APPLY PRESSURE YET.
  8. Inspect the sample under magnification. Repeat steps 6 through 8 if necessary.
  9. Attach the cell to the guide plate. The guide plate may not be needed if a microscope or a beam condenser is used.
  10. Flatten the sample by squeezing the assembled instrument with fingers and thumbs using both hands. Forceful pressure can be applied. Tightening the thumb screws can lead to unequal pressure on one end of the triangle. Pressure that is less than parallel on the anvils can result in damage.
  11. Position the diamond anvil cell in the focal compartment of an FTIR or on the stage of an IR microscope.
  12. Set the instrument up in transmission or absorption mode and run spectra.
  13. After completing experiments, disassemble the diamond anvil cell by loosening the screws sequentially in small increments.
  14. Clean the anvils and store the diamond cell as instructed.


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Copyright 2008 by High Pressure Diamond Optics, Inc.
Last updated: August 12, 2008