- Number 410 |
- March 31, 2014
Ultra-fast laser spectroscopy probes mysterious properties
Ames Laboratory scientists use ultra-fast
laser spectroscopy to "see" tiny actions in
real time in materials. Scientists apply a
pulse laser to a sample to excite the
material. Some of the laser light is absorbed
by the material, but the light that passes
through or reflected from the material can
be used to take super-fast “snapshots” of
what is going on in the material following
the laser pulse.
Scientists at DOE's Ames Laboratory are revealing the mysteries of new materials using ultra-fast laser spectroscopy, similar to high-speed photography where many quick images reveal subtle movements and changes inside the materials. Seeing these dynamics is one emerging strategy to better understanding how new materials work, so that we can use them to enable new energy technologies.
Physicist Jigang Wang and his colleagues recently used ultra-fast laser spectroscopy to examine and explain the mysterious electronic properties of iron-based superconductors.
“Ultra-fast laser spectroscopy is a new experimental tool to study dynamic, emergent behavior in complex materials such as these iron-based superconductors,” said Ames Lab scientist Jigang Wang. “Specifically, we answered the pressing question of whether an electronically-driven nematic order exists as an independent phase in iron-based superconductors, as these materials go from a magnetic normal state to superconducting state. The answer is yes. This is important to our overall understanding of how superconductors emerge in this type of materials.”
[Breehan Gerleman Lucchesi, 515.294.9750,