Which strain cell is right for my experiment?

Which strain cell is right for my experiment?

Razorbill Instruments uniaxial pressure cells are cryogenic-compatible research tools that allow researchers to ‘tune’ the electronic properties of materials by applying stresses and strains to samples.

Razorbill Instruments sell two main types of product:  the CS series which measure applied displacement (strain) and we sell the FC series which are higher performance and measure the applied force (stress). Both our smallest CS cell, the CS100 and the FC100 are designed to fit in a 1-inch diameter magnet bore (such as  a Quantum Design PPMS).

We provide several different models in our CS series, with differing performance depending on the amount of sample space available within the cryostat. In addition we provide a CS200T that incorporates a sample access cone on the rear of the cell that is designed for XRD and other scattering or transmission measurements.

Stress vs Strain: What to measure

A key difference between the CS series strain cells and the FC series stress cells involves the parameter being measured. The CS series has a displacement sensor in parallel with the sample to measure applied displacement, and hence strain, whereas the FC series strain cells have a force sensor in series with the sample to measure applied force, and hence stress. In both types of device, the sample is mounted using epoxy. Because the epoxy itself experiences a strain, not all the displacement applied to the sample will translate into sample strain. This means that force is a parameter that is less susceptible to variations in the way the sample is mounted and a generally more repeatable metric.

Compatible with a wide range of techniques

The uniaxial pressure cells provide a way to tune the electronic properties of materials. In order to measure these changes, the strain application must be combined with one or more measurement techniques. The sample is suspended between two anchors on the top surface of the uniaxial pressure cells so that it is highly accessible to other measurement techniques during straining. It has been successfully combined with transport and susceptibility measurements as well as scanning probe and optical techniques.

Specifications CS100CS200TFC100
Maximum applied displacement at zero loadRoom temperature
Cryogenic temperature
±6 µm
±3 µm
±19 µm
±11 µm
±45 μm
±25 μm
Maximum applied forceRoom temperature
Cryogenic temperature
±45 N
±45 N
±50 N
±50 N
±140 N
±90 N
Maximum sample spring constant5 × 106 N/m5 × 106 N/mUnlimited
Feedback SensorApplied displacementApplied displacementApplied force
24 mm
13 mm
24 g
49 mm
15 mm
55 g
25.4 mm
62 mm
100 g
PPMS CompatibleYesNoYes
Sample access cone for transmission & diffractionNoYesNo
Power supplyRP100RP100RP100

Go to CS1X0 series product page
  • Compact
  • Low-cost
  • Measures applied displacement
Go to CS2X0 series product page
  • Long Range
  • Transmission & diffraction
  • Beamline user facilities
Go to FC series product page
  • Fits 1-inch bore
  • High performance
  • Measures applied force