Ultrashort light pulses as a tool for atomic-scale control of solids

Prof. Steven Johnson, ETHZ Ultrafast Dynamics Group (link)


The long-standing idea of using intense, short light pulses as a means of reversibly controlling the structure of condensed matter systems holds interest from an applications perspective and additionally serves as a fundamental challenge for understanding the strongly out-of-equilibrium properties of materials. Here I discuss several representative examples of light-driven structural excitations that are quantitatively characterized using time-resolved x-ray diffraction, with a perspective on how light-initiated dynamics can both give a better understanding of important interactions in materials and how in the future they might be leveraged into a highly flexible means of materials control.

Abstract PDF file

Ecole de Physique, Auditoire Stuckelberg,
24, Quai Ernest-Ansermet, 1205 Genève