Using Coherent Hard X-rays for Materials Science
In recent years, new tools for materials characterization based on Bragg diffraction of coherent hard x-rays have been developed with sensitivity to mesoscale atomic structure and sub-nanosecond time scales. These techniques have the potential for the observation and discovery of materials behavior under complex conditions such as the environments associated with materials synthesis and growth and the stress fields crucial for the performance of modern nanoelectronic devices, among other applications.
In this talk, I will focus on recent progress and future applications of nanoscale coherent x-ray Bragg ptychography imaging as well as sub-picosecond x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy. By applying the ptychography techniques we have been developing over the last few years at the APS, we successfully imaged nanoscale strain and polarization distributions in single crystal thin film systems in two dimensions, and we have recently developed new methods for 3D structural imaging. We have also demonstrated the feasibility of resolving femtosecond-time-scale scattering from liquids using ultrafast x-ray pulses at the LCLS. Using coherent x-rays to probe and visualize local structure in materials enables in-situ studies that go beyond characterizing ensemble structures towards revealing local behavior of materials that are key to understanding and controlling their properties. In light of the ever-improving coherence of light sources around the world, new opportunities to leverage these sources for materials science will be discussed.