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The macroscopic characteristics of a material are determined by its elementary excitations, which dictate the response of the system to external stimuli. The spectrum of excitations is related to fluctuations in the density–density correlations and is typically measured through frequency-domain neutron 1 or X-ray 2–4 scattering. Time-domain measurements of… (More)
We show that light drives large-amplitude structural changes in thin films of the prototypical ferroelectric PbTiO3 via direct coupling to its intrinsic photovoltaic response. Using time-resolved x-ray scattering to visualize atomic displacements on femtosecond time scales, photoinduced changes in the unit-cell tetragonality are observed. These are driven… (More)
Measurement and understanding of the microscopic pathways materials follow as they transform is crucial for the design and synthesis of new metastable phases of matter. Here we employ femtosecond single-shot X-ray diffraction techniques to measure the pathways underlying solid-solid phase transitions in cadmium sulfide nanorods, a model system for a general… (More)
Nanoscale dimensions in materials lead to unique electronic and structural properties with applications ranging from site-specific drug delivery to anodes for lithium-ion batteries. These functional properties often involve large-amplitude strains and structural modifications, and thus require an understanding of the dynamics of these processes. Here we use… (More)
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Time-resolved X-ray diffraction with ultrashort X-ray pulses from a laser-produced plasma is used to study the lattice response of a thin FeRh-film during a fs laser-driven anti-ferromagnetic to ferromagnetic phase transition.