I investigated the optimal experimental setup for measuring the magneto-optical(MO) Kerr Effect under high isotropic pressure. Currently, most MO digital data storage devices use red laser light to read/write data. Theoretical calculations predict that MO materials will show a larger Kerr Effect at shorter wavelengths if placed under high pressure. 1 If shorter wavelength lasers could be used in data storage devices, data density might be increased 2-3 times. A brass sapphire ball cell(SBC), similar to a diamond anvil
cell, is used to create the isotropic pressures. Theoretically, up to 2 GPa of pressure may be created. The Kerr Effect is measured using an intensity-stabilized laser, a photoelastic modulator, and an electromagnet. This setup is normally used to measure the hysteresis curves for thin films, but the hysteresis curves can be rescaled to show Kerr Rotation or Kerr Ellipticity as a function of applied magnetic field. I investigated various issues including alignment, sample creation and preparation, chemical mechanical
polishing of the sapphire spheres and creation of the gaskets, calibration of the setup, measuring pressure, and optimizing pressure in the chamber.