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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Dec 5;103(49):18427-31. Epub 2006 Nov 27.

Four-dimensional ultrafast electron microscopy of phase transitions.

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1
Physical Biology Center for Ultrafast Science and Technology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.

Abstract

Reported here is direct imaging (and diffraction) by using 4D ultrafast electron microscopy (UEM) with combined spatial and temporal resolutions. In the first phase of UEM, it was possible to obtain snapshot images by using timed, single-electron packets; each packet is free of space-charge effects. Here, we demonstrate the ability to obtain sequences of snapshots ("movies") with atomic-scale spatial resolution and ultrashort temporal resolution. Specifically, it is shown that ultrafast metal-insulator phase transitions can be studied with these achieved spatial and temporal resolutions. The diffraction (atomic scale) and images (nanometer scale) we obtained manifest the structural phase transition with its characteristic hysteresis, and the time scale involved (100 fs) is now studied by directly monitoring coordinates of the atoms themselves.

PMID:
17130445
PMCID:
PMC1693681
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0609233103
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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