Experimental methods for ultrafast microscopy are advancing rapidly. Promising methods combine ultrafast laser excitation with electron-based imaging or rely on super-resolution optical techniques to enable probing of matter on the nano–femto scale. Among several actively developed methods, ultrafast time-resolved photoemission electron microscopy provides several advantages, among which the foremost are that time resolution is limited only by the laser source and it is immediately capable of probing of coherent phenomena in solid-state materials and surfaces. Here we present recent progress in interference imaging of plasmonic phenomena in metal nanostructures enabled by combining a broadly tunable femtosecond laser excitation source with a low-energy electron microscope.
The Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science recognizes outstanding contributions to basic research which uses lasers to advance our knowledge of the fundamental physical properties of materials and their interaction with light. Some examples of relevant areas of research are: nonlinear optics, ultrafast phenomena, laser spectroscopy, squeezed states, quantum optics, multiphoton physics, laser cooling and trapping, physics of lasers, particle acceleration by lasers, and short wavelength lasers. The prize consists of $10,000 plus an allowance for travel to the meeting at which the prize is awarded and a certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient. The prize will be awarded annually.
NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity fired its first laser beam in August, blasting a space rock at more than one million watts per shot to determine whether the red planet could be habitable. The method, called laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), is used to detect not only the composition of space-related soils but also an array of foreign materials. Now, with the help of a $1.12 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, PQI faculty Kevin Chen will build upon the LIBS technique and related instruments to dramatically improve the detection sensitivity of the technology for substances of interest to Homeland Security.