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Ultrafast Electron Microscopy: a New Tool to Study Chemical Dynamics at the Nanoscale

Date Mo, 22.10.2018 - Mo, 22.10.2018
Time 14:00
Speaker Prof. Renske van der Veen, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
Location ETH Hönggerberg, HCI J243
Program The advancement of techniques that can probe the behavior of individual nanoscale objects is of paramount importance in various disciplines, including photonics, electronics, catalysis and data storage. Ultrafast electron microscopy (UEM) combines the time resolution of time-resolved optical spectroscopy with the excellent spatial resolution of electron microscopy techniques. The structural and electronic changes in the material are initiated by short (fs, ps, ns) laser pulses, which are followed by similarly short electron pulses for probing the dynamics by means of imaging, diffraction, or energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) within the electron microscope. The inherent spatial resolution and imaging capabilities of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) are ideal to pinpoint individual nanostructures and to investigate size effects and the influence of the surroundings. Here, I will present our results on the ultrafast photoinduced spin-state switching of metalorganic nanoparticles, demonstrating for the first time the unique sensitivity and selectivity of UEM for the in situ visualization of single-nanoparticle dynamics. Electron diffraction and real-space imaging were used to follow the unit cell expansion/contraction, and morphology changes accompanying the spin-state change. In the second part of my seminar, I will present the first implementation of ultrafast core-electron energy-loss spectroscopy in UEM as an element-specific probe of nanoscale dynamics by using the femtosecond and nanosecond resolved dynamics of a graphite thin film as a test case example. Finally, an overview and update will be given on the development of a dynamic environmental TEM apparatus at the University of Illinois.

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