Behind every great discovery is a great instrument. That’s why we put so much effort into transforming conventional electron microscopes into time-resolved instruments. We disassemble and modify the microscopes ourselves, which allows us to tailor them for the specific experiments we want to conduct. A mirror installed above the upper pole piece of the objective lens directs a laser pulse to the sample, providing a way to stimulate (pump) it. Once the desired dynamics are initiated, another laser illuminates the emitter of the gun assembly and generates a short electron pulse, which images (probes) the sample at a precise time.
We have two JEOL transmission electron microscopes that are capable of performing time-resolved experiments. They are each equipped with multiple laser systems that allow us to observe nanoscale processes across many orders of magnitude (femtoseconds to seconds). The microscopes can be operated in single shot or stroboscopic modes, giving us the ability to observe irreversible and reversible dynamics.
Atomic-Resolution Imaging of Fast Nanoscale Dynamics with Bright Electron Pulses. P.K. Olshin, G. Bongiovanni, M. Drabbels, U.J. Lorenz. Nano Lett. 21 (1), 612–618 (2021)
Characterization of a Time-Resolved Electron Microscope with a Schottky Field Emission Gun. P.K. Olshin, M. Drabbels, U.J. Lorenz. Struct. Dyn. 7, 054304 (2020)