Bianca Haberl

Aug 2014 – present - Alvin M. Weinberg Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This is a fully funded research appointment as an ORNL staff associate. The role includes activities as an independent researcher focused on the development of several new aspects of high pressure synthesis as well as significant support of ORNL’s Neutron Science user program through coordination and outreach of the high pressure science program.

Jul 2011 – Apr 2014: Postdoctoral Researcher, Research School of Physics and Engineering, ANU, Canberra, Australia. This was a research position with some teaching responsibilities at undergraduate and graduate level.

Bianca's Full CV


Dec 2006–Jul 2011: PhD in Physics, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, thesis title: “Structural Characterization of Amorphous Silicon”

Nov 1999–Jul 2006: Diplom/ Physics, Universität Augsburg, Germany, thesis title: Structural changes in amorphous silicon induced by nanoindentation”


My research interests are centered on the high pressure synthesis of functional exotic structures of materials based on the Group IVa elements carbon, silicon and germanium.

While I employ a suite of high pressure methods (diamond anvil cells, but also point loading and laser-induced microexplosions) for synthesis, a key focus lies on obtaining an in depth understanding of the phase behavior. This is achieved through detailed in situ study of structural and vibrational changes during compression using X-ray and neutron scattering. The latter is conducted in novel neutron diamond anvils cell I am co-developing at SNS. To minimize kinetic barriers, I use many amorphous or disordered materials with varying degrees of structural ordering and hydrogen contents for synthesis. The large structural variety of these precursor materials is thereby studied using detailed electron, X-ray and neutron scattering together with advanced modelling techniques. This allows me to fully correlate structure and high pressure phase behavior for more controlled synthesis pathways.

Selected Publications

Ten selected publications are shown here and a full publication list is available on:

  1. T.B. Shiell, D.G. McCulloch, J.E. Bradby, B. Haberl, R. Boehler, D.R. McKenzie, “Nanocrystalline hexagonal diamond formed from glassy carbon”, Scientific Reports 6, 37232 (2016).
  2. B. Haberl, T.A. Strobel, J.E. Bradby, “Pathways to exotic metastable silicon allotropes”, Applied Physics Review 3, 040808 (2016).
  3. B. Haberl, M. Guthrie, S.V. Sinogeikin, G. Shen, J.S. Williams, and J.E. Bradby, Thermal evolution of the metastable r8 and bc8 polymorphs of silicon”, High Pressure Research 35, 99 (2015).
  4. L. Rapp, B. Haberl, C. J. Pickard, J. E. Bradby, E. G. Gamaly, J. S. Williams, and A. V. Rode, “Experimental evidence of new tetragonal polymorphs of silicon formed through ultrafast-laser-induced confined microexplosion”, Nature Communications 6, 7555 (2015).
  5. B. Haberl, M. Guthrie, B.D. Malone, J.S. Smith, S.V. Sinogeikin, M.L. Cohen, J.S. Williams, G. Shen, and J.E. Bradby, Controlled formation of metastable germanium”, Physical Review B 89, 144111 (2014).
  6. B. Haberl, M. Guthrie, D.J. Sprouster, J.S. Williams and J.E. Bradby, “New insight into pressure-induced phase transitions of amorphous silicon: The role of impurities”, Journal of Applied Crystallography 46, 758 (2013).  
  7. B.C. Johnson, B. Haberl, S. Deshmukh, B.D. Malone, M.L. Cohen, J.C. McCallum, J.S. Williams, and J.E. Bradby, “Evidence for the R8 phase of germanium”, Physical Review Letters 110, 085502 (2013).
  8. K.B. Borisenko, B. Haberl, A.C.Y. Liu, Y. Chen, G. Li, J.S. Williams, J.E. Bradby, D.J.H. Cockayne, M.M.J. Treacy, “Medium-range order in amorphous silicon investigated by constrained structural relaxation of two-body and four-body electron diffraction data”, Acta Materialia 60, 359 (2012).
  9. B. Haberl, A.C.Y. Liu, J.E. Bradby, S. Ruffell, J.S. Williams, and P. Munroe, Structural characterization of pressure-induced amorphous silicon, Physical Review B 79 155209 (2009).
  10. B. Haberl, J E. Bradby, M.V. Swain, J.S. Williams, and P. Munroe, “Phase transformations induced in relaxed amorphous silicon by indentation at room temperature”, Applied Physics Letters 85, 5559 (2004).

Awards, Honors and Memberships

  • Best Senior Poster Award at Joint AIRAPT/EHPRG 2015.
  • Best Student Presentation at AMAS XI in 2011.
  • MRS Graduate Student Silver Award at the MRS Spring Meeting in 2010.
  • Best Oral Paper Award at the IUMRS-ICEM in 2008.
  • Graduate Student Award at the Australian Nanoindentation Workshop in 2005.

Affiliate of the Department of Energy’s EFree centered at the Carnegie Institution of Science, Washington DC.