Creating and Probing Extreme States of Materials: From Gases and Clusters to Biosamples and Solids
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Free-electron lasers provide high intensity pulses with femtosecond duration and are ideal tools in the investigation of ultrafast processes in materials. Illumination of any material with such pulses creates extreme conditions that drive the sample far from equilibrium and rapidly convert it into high temperature plasma. The dynamics of this transition is not fully understood and the main goal of this thesis is to further our knowledge in this area.
We exposed a variety of materials to X-ray pulses of intensities from 1013 to above 1017 W/cm2. We found that the temporal evolution of the resulting plasmas depends strongly on the wavelength and pulse intensity, as well as on material related parameters, such as size, density, and composition.
In experiments on atomic and molecular clusters, we find that cluster size and sample composition influence the destruction pathway. In small clusters a rapid Coulomb explosion takes place while larger clusters undergo a hydrodynamic expansion. We have characterized this transition in methane clusters and discovered a strong isotope effect that promotes the acceleration of deuterium ions relative to hydrogen. Our results also show that ions escaping from exploding xenon clusters are accelerated to several keV energies.
Virus particles represent a transition between hetero-nuclear clusters and complex biological materials. We injected single mimivirus particles into the pulse train of an X-ray laser, and recorded coherent diffraction images simultaneously with the fragmentation patterns of the individual particles. We used these results to test theoretical damage models. Correlation between the diffraction patterns and sample fragmentation shows how damage develops after the intense pulse has left the sample.
Moving from sub-micron objects to bulk materials gave rise to new phenomena. Our experiments with high-intensity X-ray pulses on bulk, metallic samples show the development of a transient X-ray transparency. We also describe the saturation of photoabsorption during ablation of vanadium and niobium samples.
Photon science with extremely strong X-ray pulses is in its infancy today and will require much more effort to gain more knowledge. The work described in this thesis represents some of the first results in this area.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. , 66 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 975
free-electron laser, ultrashort X-rays, non-equilibrium plasma, Coulomb explosion, isotope effect, hydrodynamic expansion, ion acceleration, high intensity lasers, ablation, time-of-flight spectroscopy
Research subject Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-180997ISBN: 978-91-554-8477-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-180997DiVA: diva2:555998
2012-11-09, A1:107, Biomedical Center (BMC), Husargatan 3, Uppsala, 09:00 (English)
Sorensen, Stacey, Prof.
Timneanu, Nicusor, Dr.Hajdu, Janos, Prof.
List of papers