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Proceedings Paper

Diffraction contrast as a sensitive indicator of femtosecond sub-nanoscale motion in ultrafast transmission electron microscopy
Author(s): Daniel R. Cremons; Karl B. Schliep; David J. Flannigan
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Paper Abstract

With ultrafast transmission electron microscopy (UTEM), access can be gained to the spatiotemporal scales required to directly visualize rapid, non-equilibrium structural dynamics of materials. This is achieved by operating a transmission electron microscope (TEM) in a stroboscopic pump-probe fashion by photoelectrically generating coherent, well-timed electron packets in the gun region of the TEM. These probe photoelectrons are accelerated down the TEM column where they travel through the specimen before reaching a standard, commercially-available CCD detector. A second laser pulse is used to excite (pump) the specimen in situ. Structural changes are visualized by varying the arrival time of the pump laser pulse relative to the probe electron packet at the specimen. Here, we discuss how ultrafast nanoscale motions of crystalline materials can be visualized and precisely quantified using diffraction contrast in UTEM. Because diffraction contrast sensitively depends upon both crystal lattice orientation as well as incoming electron wavevector, minor spatial/directional variations in either will produce dynamic and often complex patterns in real-space images. This is because sections of the crystalline material that satisfy the Laue conditions may be heterogeneously distributed such that electron scattering vectors vary over nanoscale regions. Thus, minor changes in either crystal grain orientation, as occurs during specimen tilting, warping, or anisotropic expansion, or in the electron wavevector result in dramatic changes in the observed diffraction contrast. In this way, dynamic contrast patterns observed in UTEM images can be used as sensitive indicators of ultrafast specimen motion. Further, these motions can be spatiotemporally mapped such that direction and amplitude can be determined.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 September 2013
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8845, Ultrafast Imaging and Spectroscopy, 884507 (28 September 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2023145
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel R. Cremons, Univ. of Minnesota (United States)
Karl B. Schliep, Univ. of Minnesota (United States)
David J. Flannigan, Univ. of Minnesota (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8845:
Ultrafast Imaging and Spectroscopy
Zhiwen Liu, Editor(s)

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