This activity supports basic research on the fundamental interactions of photons with matter to achieve an understanding of atomic, electronic, and magnetic structures and excitations and their relationships to materials properties. The main emphasis is on x-ray scattering, spectroscopy, and imaging research, primarily at major BES-supported user facilities. Instrumentation development and experimental research in ultrafast materials science, including research aimed at generating, manipulating, and detecting ultrashort and ultrahigh-peak-power electron, x-ray, and laser pulses to study ultrafast physical phenomena in materials, is an integral part of the portfolio.
Ultrafast materials science involves time domain investigations examining, for example, the early stages of chemical reactions, bond breakage and formation in catalytic reactions, the nucleation of defects in materials that result in the degradation of their properties, and the differences in electronic configurations and transport mechanisms that govern the flow of energy in devices engineered with attention to novel nanoscale property effects. Potential applications involve the coherent control of surface chemical reactions and structures, switching and control of magnetic spin and electrical polarization domains, and non-equilibrium optical processing during material synthesis.
To obtain more information about this research area, please see our Core Research Area descriptions and the proceedings of our Principal Investigators' Meetings. To better understand how this research area fits within the Department of Energy's Office of Science, please refer to the Basic Energy Science's organization chart (52KB) and budget request.
For more information about this research area, please contact Dr. Lane Wilson.