The lead author of the study to be published in Nature, Dr Andrea Cavalleri at the Oxford University Department of Physics, said: ‘We’ve all seen how a stick in a pond appears to be at a different angle depending on whether we look at it from outside or inside the water. At a microscopic level, this effect depends on how stiff atomic bonds are and with how much delay atoms and electrons respond when they are placed in the rapidly wiggling electric field of light.
‘If you want to understand the propagation of light at microscopic level, especially in some the complex materials that are of interest for modern opto-electronic applications, you need to make a ‘molecular movie’ of how the atoms and electrons wiggle in the light field. To do so, you need to find a camera with an extremely quick shutter speed – that of a handful of femtoseconds (which is less than one thousandth of a billionth of a second).
‘This very fast timescale can be reached with modern laser technology – but lasers can’t see where the constituents atoms actually are. If you want to see this ‘shape’ of a molecule you need x-rays, but there are currently no x-rays beams with short enough pulses to take snapshots of atomic motions.
‘What we have managed to do is combine ultrafast laser pulses with electron beams in a particle accelerator, deflecting a small slice of the long electron pulse on a separate orbit of the accelerator. Thus, these electrons radiated short enough x-ray pulses to measure elementary atomic motions on the femtosecond timescale. This enabled us to measure the motion of charged atoms on the ultra fast timescale with an accuracy of less than one thousandth of one billionth of a meter. This means we are capable of resolving in time the displacements of atoms by less than one atomic nucleus.
‘This technology can now be applied to other elementary processes at the microscopic level, and we can measure their displacements with unprecedented speed and resolution.’
Barbara Hott | alfa
APEX takes a glimpse into the heart of darkness
25.05.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie
First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR
24.05.2018 | Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences