Impacting materials by light and seeing their structural dynamics
Institut de Physique de Rennes, Université de Rennes 1 – CNRS, UMR 6251, Rennes, France
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Revised: 12 May 2013
Published online: 15 July 2013
The emergence of the field of photo-induced transformation triggered by intense and ultra-short light pulse in a material has opened a new route to acting on matter. It combines many of today's issues such as far away from equilibrium phenomena, coherence and quantum control, complex correlations and non linear responsiveness, inter-conversion of energy and information. The advent of ultrafast structural dynamics motivated developing new tools to directly watch how matter works, by probing the time- and length-scales on which photo-induced processes take place. Different points will be briefly overviewed: (i) the development of laser pump and X-ray probe for watching ultrafast structural dynamics, (ii) the physical features resulting from this way of impacting materials by light, (iii) the presentation of some examples investigated by time-resolved X-ray diffraction and diffuse scattering experiments to illustrate the complex structural dynamics of a photo-induced transformation.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2013