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Special Colloquium | Materials Science Special Colloquium | Materials Science Division

Seeing Matter from Ultrasmall to Ultrafast with Electrons

Materials Science Special Colloquium

Abstract: One of the grand challenges in modern science and engineering is the ability to directly observe materials behavior in ultimate space (the ultrasmall world) and time (the ultrafast world). While the ultrafast can unravel how the fundamental building blocks of matter respond to applied stimulus, the ultrasmall may allow us someday to design and assemble novel energy materials at atomic level.

In this presentation, I will give a brief overview of our recent work on the study of charge-orbital-lattice interplay in strongly correlated electron systems using state-of-the-art electron microscopy that is barely matched by any other methods. Two examples will be given: 1) the development of atomically resolved surface imaging in an aberration corrected transmission electron microscope, allowing us to probe the same sample area using simultaneously secondary electron emerging from the surface and the transmitted electrons passing through the bulk, and 2) The development of an 2.8 MeV-130 fs ultrafast electron diffraction system that enables us to reveal lattice dynamics, competing orders of electrons and phonons, and hidden states far-from equilibrium to address some key issues in superconductors and quantum materials as well as in condensed matter physics. Detailed quantitative analysis and modeling will also be discussed.