Laboratory for Ultrafast Microscopy and Electron Scattering
Our laboratory is dedicated to the study of ultrafast phenomena in solids and nanostructures. In particular, we are interested in the investigation of novel superconductors, charge density wave as well as spin density wave solids, and quantum phase transitions in low dimensions.
Our activity is divided into three main subjects of investigaton:
- The fs dynamics of Cooper pairs condensate in superconductors: Here, we take advantage of ultrashort laser pulses to put the superconducting condensate out-of equilibrium in different materials. Subsequently, we probe the reaction of the solid to the perturbation by looking at different observables, either spectroscopic or microscopic. We measure the response of charge carriers via time-resolved optical spectroscopy, and we obtain at the same time information on the structural dynamics via fs electron diffraction. The fs evolution of superconductivity in real space is also followed by capturing snapshots of the vortex lattice by ultrafast Lorentz microscopy.
- Melting dynamics of quantum solids: in this project, we prepare two- dimensional solids of nobel gases such as hidrogen, helium or xenon on different substrates, typically graphite, graphene or SiC. We induce the melting of the structural order via fs laser pulses and follow the consequent atomic motions via electron diffraction. The aim of this study is to provide a direct observation of melting phenomena in low dimensional solids.
- Dynamics of surface electric fields in nanostructures and membranes: In this project, we take advantage of a novel technique capable of imaging electric fields with both spatial and temporal resolution (PINEM). The photoinduced Plasmonic fields in nanostructures or at the interface between materials that can be of very different origin, even biological, can be observed and direct information of the dynamic dielectric properties of membranes can be obtained.