Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

X-ray Laser Used to Produce Movies of Atomic-Scale Motion

26.05.2015

Stroboscopic x-ray pulses scatter from a vibrating crystal and reveal how energy moves

Atoms and the electrons that hold them together store energy in their electronic bonding structure and in their atomic vibrations. X-ray laser scattering techniques, which can record electron and atom motion at ultra-fast time scales, have been used to measure and track the transfer of energy from one atomic-scale storage mode to another.


Image courtesy of SLAC National Accelerator Laborator

A series of x-ray scattering images are taken at ultrafast time intervals (Δt) with an x-ray laser after excitation with an infra-red source that energizes the vibrational modes of a germanium crystal. The time domain images yield a vibrational intensity map (w) relative to the orientation and spacing (q) of the atomic crystalline array.

The Impact

This x-ray scattering technique allows scientists to track the motion of atoms as they respond to sudden changes in their energy state. Tracking the mode of energy flow is critical to understanding the fundamental dynamics of energy conversion materials.

Summary

X-ray scattering can measure and describe the atomic positions in technologically important crystalline solids such as silicon and germanium. After an excitation by heat or radiation, the flow of energy can be tracked as it moves through various storage modes; such as atomic spacing and bonding, atomic vibrations, and electron or magnetic ordering. The new technique uses advances in synchronized infra-red and x-ray laser pulses along with a large area position sensitive x-ray detector, to make x-ray scattering movies that track the response of the material from the moment of excitation. Infra-red light excites electrons and the x-rays measure the vibrational wave length and frequency where electron charge distortions couple strongly to changes in the atomic vibrations. Short-lived transient states can be excited and measured and help determine how energy flows on atomic length scales. The time-domain measurements are a direct way to follow the excitations of solids and the flow of energy well away from their “home” positions and ground state.

Funding

Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences program, for both the research and the use of the Linac Coherent Light Source user facility at SLAC.

Publications

M. Trigo et al., “Fourier-transform inelastic X-ray scattering from time- and momentum-dependent phonon–phonon correlations.” Nature Physics 9, 790 (2013).

Contact Information
Kristin Manke
kristin.manke@science.doe.gov

Kristin Manke | newswise
Further information:
http://www.science.doe.gov

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Linear potentiometer LRW2/3 - Maximum precision with many measuring points
17.05.2017 | WayCon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH

nachricht First flat lens for immersion microscope provides alternative to centuries-old technique
17.05.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New insights into the ancestors of all complex life

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources

29.05.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>