Measurement of transient atomic displacements in thin films with picosecond and femtometer resolution

M. Kozina, T. Hu, J. S. Wittenberg, E. Szilagyi, M. Trigo, T. A. Miller, C. Uher, A. Damodaran, L. Martin, A. Mehta, J. Corbett, J. Safranek, D. A. Reis, A. M. Lindenberg

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23 Scopus citations


We report measurements of the transient structural response of weakly photoexcited thin films of BiFeO3, Pb(Zr,Ti)O3, and Bi and time-scales for interfacial thermal transport. Utilizing picosecond x-ray diffraction at a 1.28MHz repetition rate with time resolution extending down to 15 ps, transient changes in the diffraction angle are recorded. These changes are associated with photo-induced lattice strains within nanolayer thin films, resolved at the part-per-million level, corresponding to a shift in the scattering angle three orders of magnitude smaller than the rocking curve width and changes in the interlayer lattice spacing of fractions of a femtometer. The combination of high brightness, repetition rate, and stability of the synchrotron, in conjunction with high time resolution, represents a novel means to probe atomic-scale, near-equilibrium dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034301
JournalStructural Dynamics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

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