A proposal for fs-electron microscopy experiments on high-energy excitations in solids
Recent advances in ultrafast technology enable both the study and the control of materials properties thanks to the ability to record high temporal resolution movies of their transformations, or the ability to generate new states of matter by selecting ad hoc an excitation to drive the system out of equilibrium. The holy grail of this type of experiments is to combine a high tuneability of the excitation with a wide observation window. For example, this is achieved in multidimensional optical spectroscopy where the response to several excitation energies is monitored in a broad energy range by a large bandwidth optical pulse. In this article, the possibility to combine the chemical sensitivity of intense tuneable X-rays pulses from a free electron laser, with the wide range of observables available in an ultrafast transmission electron microscope is discussed. The requirements for such experiments are quantified via estimates based on state of the art experiments and simulations, and it is proposed that ultrafast electron imaging, diffraction and spectroscopy experiments can be performed in combination with a chemically selective X-ray excitation of materials. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.