European XFEL Science Seminar

Visualizing ultrafast dynamics with femtosecond X-ray pulses

by Christoph Bostedt (Argonne National Laboratory, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University)

E1.173 Campus Schenefeld (European XFEL)

E1.173 Campus Schenefeld

European XFEL

Free-electron lasers are a new class of X-ray sources that deliver extremely intense, coherent x-ray flashes with femtosecond and in the future even attosecond pulse length. The unprecedented brightness of these X-ray lasers opens the door for imaging transient states of matter and non-linear X-ray spectroscopy approaches involving core-level states. I will present selected recent experiments in two areas. First, I will present opportunities in AMO and nanoscale physics arising from ultrafast imaging approaches. Single-shot imaging of individual superfluid helium nanodroplets allows the unambiguous identification of quantum vortices. Ultrafast scattering of highly excited nanoplasmas carries information about their transient electronic states. The combination of optical with X-ray lasers as well as X-ray pump/ X-ray probe schemes allow the investigation of dynamically evolving systems with femtosecond time and nanometer spatial resolution. I will finish my talk with current developments on multi-color and time-resolved X-ray spectroscopy approaches that are opening the door for visualizing electron dynamics and understanding the complex interplay between ultrafast electronic excitations and nuclear response in molecular systems.