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Book Chapter

In-Situ Observation of the Formation of Laser-Induced Periodic Surface Structures with Extreme Spatial and Temporal Resolution


Cavalleri,  A.
Quantum Condensed Matter Dynamics, Condensed Matter Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

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Sokolowski-Tinten, K., Bonse, J., Barty, A., Chapman, H. N., Bajt, S., Bogan, M. J., et al. (2023). In-Situ Observation of the Formation of Laser-Induced Periodic Surface Structures with Extreme Spatial and Temporal Resolution. In R. Stoian, & J. Bonse (Eds.), Ultrafast Laser Nanostructuring (Springer Series in Optical Sciences 239) (pp. 257-276). Springer Nature Switzerland AG. doi:10.1007/978-3-031-14752-4_6.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-98F1-A
Irradiation of solid surfaces with intense ultrashort laser pulses represents a unique way of depositing energy into materials. It allows to realize states of extreme electronic excitation and/or very high temperature and pressure and to drive materials close to and beyond fundamental stability limits. As a consequence, structural changes and phase transitions often occur along unusual pathways and under strongly nonequilibrium conditions. Due to the inherent multiscale nature—both temporally and spatially—of these irreversible processes, their direct experimental observation requires techniques that combine high temporal resolution with the appropriate spatial resolution and the capability to obtain good quality data on a single pulse/event basis. In this respect, fourth-generation light sources, namely, short wavelength and short pulse free electron lasers (FELs), are offering new and fascinating possibilities. As an example, this chapter will discuss the results of scattering experiments carried out at the FLASH free electron laser at DESY (Hamburg, Germany), which allowed us to resolve laser-induced structure formation at surfaces on the nanometer to submicron length scale and in temporal regimes ranging from picoseconds to several nanoseconds with sub-picosecond resolution.