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J Synchrotron Radiat. 2005 Mar;12(Pt 2):177-92. Epub 2005 Feb 22.

X-ray synchrotron studies of ultrafast crystalline dynamics.

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  • 1Chemistry Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.


Ultrafast X-ray experiments at synchrotron sources hold tremendous promise for measuring the atomistic dynamics of materials under a wide variety of transient conditions. In particular, the marriage of synchrotron radiation and ultrafast laser technology is opening up a new frontier of materials research. Structural changes initiated by femtosecond laser pulses can be tracked in real time using time-resolved X-ray diffraction on picosecond time scales or shorter. Here, research at the Advanced Photon Source is described, illustrating the opportunities for ultrafast diffraction with some recent work on the generation of impulsive strain, coherent phonon generation and supersonic diffusion of electron-hole plasmas. The flexibility of time-resolved Bragg and Laue diffraction geometries are both utilized to illuminate the strain generation and evolution process. Time-resolved X-ray science will become increasingly important with the construction of linac-based ultrafast X-ray sources.

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