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Title: Materials science in the time domain using Bragg coherent diffraction imaging

Materials are generally classified by a phase diagram which displays their properties as a function of external state variables, typically temperature and pressure. A new dimension that is relatively unexplored is time: a rich variety of new materials can become accessible in the transient period following laser excitation from the ground state. The timescale of nanoseconds to femtoseconds, is ripe for investigation using x-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) methods. There is no shortage of materials suitable for time-resolved materials-science exploration. Oxides alone represent most of the minerals making up the Earth's crust, catalysts, ferroelectrics, corrosion products and electronically ordered materials such as superconductors, to name a few. Some of the elements have metastable phase diagrams with predicted new phases. There are some examples known already: an oxide 'hidden phase' living only nanoseconds and an electronically ordered excited phase of fullerene C60, lasting only femtoseconds. In a completely general way, optically excited states of materials can be probed with Bragg coherent diffraction imaging, both below the damage threshold and in the destructive regime. Lastly, prospective methods for carrying out such XFEL experiments are discussed.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Univ. College London, London (United Kingdom); Research Complex at Harwell, Oxfordshire (United Kingdom)
  2. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
  3. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
227711; EP/I022562/1; AC02-76SF00515
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Optics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 18; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 2040-8978
IOP Publishing
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC), Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE oxides; coherence; Bragg diffraction; laser excitation; phase transformation; phase retrieval