SLAC makes 'electron camera,' a world-class tool for ultrafast science, available to scientists worldwide

phys.org | 5/28/2019 | Staff
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Over the past few years, the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has developed a new tool to visualize physical and chemical processes with outstanding clarity: an ultra-high-speed "electron camera" capable of tracking atomic motions in a broad range of materials in real time. Starting this week, the lab has made this tool available to researchers worldwide.

The tool is an instrument for ultrafast electron diffraction (MeV-UED). It uses a beam of highly energetic electrons to probe matter and is especially useful for understanding atomic processes occurring on timescales as short as about 100 femtoseconds, millionths of a billionth of a second. These rapid snapshots provide completely new insights into processes in nature and technology, benefitting applications in biology, chemistry, materials science and other fields.

Run - MeV-UED - Instrument - December - Year

The first proposal-driven experimental run of the MeV-UED instrument is scheduled through December this year and will deliver those powerful electron beams to 16 user groups from over 30 institutions. Experiments will initially focus on materials science and hot, dense states of matter.

MeV-UED complements the lab's suite of world-leading methods for studies of ultrafast science, including SLAC's flagship X-ray laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). Utilizing the whole breadth of these methods, scientists can explore very different, yet equally important aspects of speedy processes.

Response - DOE - Workshop - Future - Electron

"In response to a DOE workshop on the future of electron scattering and diffraction in February 2014, SLAC launched an ultrafast electron diffraction initiative with the goal to develop a world-leading instrument whose capabilities would complement those of LCLS," says Xijie Wang, director of the MeV-UED instrument. "Making our cutting-edge technique available to the broad scientific community and supporting SLAC's program in ultrafast science is an exciting milestone for us."

The MeV-UED instrument has been incorporated into the LCLS user facility, adding to the experimental stations that use X-rays.

Pace - Progress

"The pace of progress in...
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