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Journal Article

Femtosecond electron diffraction: Preparation and characterization of (110)-oriented bismuth films

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Moriena, G., Hada, M., Sciaini, G., Matsuo, J., & Miller, R. J. D. (2012). Femtosecond electron diffraction: Preparation and characterization of (110)-oriented bismuth films. Journal of Applied Physics, 111(4): 043504. doi:10.1063/1.3684975.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-18CB-9
Here, we present a new approach to synthesize (110)-oriented ultrathin membranes of bismuth (Bi). This rather exotic orientation was achieved by directing the growth through rationale control of lattice matching. Bi films were hetero-epitaxially grown on the (100)-surface of freshly cleaved potassium chloride crystals. The sample orientation was characterized by x-ray and electron diffraction. In addition, high quality free-standing films were obtained after dissolution of the substrate in water and controlled evaporation. Femtosecond electron diffraction(FED) was, therefore, used to monitor the coherent shear acoustic phonons in (110)-oriented free-standing Bi films produced by impulsive femtosecond optical excitation. The small de Broglie wavelength (flat Ewald sphere) of keV-electrons combined with an off-Bragg detection scheme provided a magnified view of shear atomic motions, i.e., lattice distortions in the transverse direction. All-optical pump-probe experiments are usually insensitive to shear displacements, a fact that makes FED a unique non-contact method to achieve the complete characterization of elastic properties of nanoscale materials.