Although temperature, T, is the usual variable in most of chemical reactions, the use of high pressures has constituted, in the last hundred years, an additional variable which has allowed to extent the knowledge of the matter, specially in the solid state and in the so-called Material Sciences. In fact, the conjunction of Pressure and Temperature, permits the access to extreme regions of the phase diagram of chemical species and yields new materials. Among the many processes in which high pressures have been successfully used, the diamond manufacture is a remarkable example and a vector for the development of this technique.
The High Pressure Complutense Laboratory was settled down in 1995 at the basement of the Faculty of Chemistry. This laboratory, unique in Spain, is devoted to the synthesis under high pressures (until 100 kbar) together with high temperatures (until 1700 K) in order to obtain new inorganic materials and, in particular, high Tcsuperconductors. Previous works carried out by Prof. Alario-Franco in the “Laboratoire de Cristalographie” at the CNRS in Grenoble, France, in the 70´s and subsequent ones by Prof. E. Morán who, in his Doctoral Thesis (Madrid, UCM; 1981), settled down and optimized an equipment for hydrothermal synthesis (up to 1.5 kbar y 900 K), paved the way for the development of this laboratory. The collaboration with the “Laboratoire de Cristalographie” has been continued in this topic and in other new ones, giving rise to extensive series of joint publications in scientific journals, communications in symposia and a international patent, bought by the Rhône-Poulenc Multinational.