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- Coherent phonons (1)
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- N-temperature model (1)
- Thermoelasticity (1)
- Ultrafast dynamics (1)

We measured the ultrafast optical response of metal-dielectric superlattices by broadband all-optical pump-probe spectroscopy. The observed phase of the superlattice mode depends on the probe wavelength, making assignments of the excitation mechanism difficult. Ultrafast x-ray diffraction data reveal the true oscillation phase of the lattice which changes as a function of the excitation fluence. This result is confirmed by the fluence dependence of optical transients. We set up a linear chain model of the lattice dynamics and successfully simulated the broadband optical reflection by unit-cell resolved calculation of the strain-dependent dielectric functions of the constituting materials.

We present ultrafast X-ray diffraction (UXRD) experiments which sensitively probe impulsively excited acoustic phonons propagating in a SrRuO3/SrTiO3 superlattice and further into the substrate. These findings are discussed together with previous UXRD results (Herzog et al. in Appl. Phys. Lett. 96, 161906, 2010; Woerner et al. in Appl. Phys. A 96, 83, 2009; v. Korff Schmising in Phys. Rev. B 78, 060404(R), 2008 and in Appl. Phys. B 88, 1, 2007) using a normal-mode analysis of a linear-chain model of masses and springs, thus identifying them as linear-response phenomena. We point out the direct correspondence of calculated observables with X-ray signals. In this framework the complex lattice motion turns out to result from an interference of vibrational eigenmodes of the coupled system of nanolayers and substrate. UXRD in principle selectively measures the lattice motion occurring with a specific wavevector, however, each Bragg reflection only measures the amplitude of a delocalized phonon mode in a spatially localized region, determined by the nanocomposition of the sample or the extinction depth of X-rays. This leads to a decay of experimental signals although the excited modes survive.

Normalization schemes for ultrafast x-ray diffraction using a table-top laser-driven plasma source
(2012)

We present an experimental setup of a laser-driven x-ray plasma source for femtosecond x-ray diffraction. Different normalization schemes accounting for x-ray source intensity fluctuations are discussed in detail. We apply these schemes to measure the temporal evolution of Bragg peak intensities of perovskite superlattices after ultrafast laser excitation.

We report on synchrotron-based high-repetition rate ultrafast x-ray diffraction (UXRD) experiments monitoring the transport of heat from an epitaxial La(0.7)Sr(0.3)MnO(3)/SrTiO(3) superlattice (SL) into the substrate on timescales from 100 ps to 4 mu s. Transient thermal lattice expansion was determined with an accuracy of 10(-7), corresponding to a sensitivity to temperature changes down to 0.01 K. We follow the heat flow within the SL and into the substrate after the impulsive laser heating leads to a small temperature rise of Delta T = 6 K. The transient lattice temperature can be simulated very well using the bulk heat conductivities. This contradicts the interpretation of previous UXRD measurements, which predicted a long-lasting expansion of SrRuO(3) for more than 200 ps. The disagreement could be resolved by assuming that the heat conductivity changes in the first hundred picoseconds.

The UDKM1DSIM toolbox is a collection of MATLAB (MathWorks Inc.) classes and routines to simulate the structural dynamics and the according X-ray diffraction response in one-dimensional crystalline sample structures upon an arbitrary time-dependent external stimulus, e.g. an ultrashort laser pulse. The toolbox provides the capabilities to define arbitrary layered structures on the atomic level including a rich database of corresponding element-specific physical properties. The excitation of ultrafast dynamics is represented by an N-temperature model which is commonly applied for ultrafast optical excitations. Structural dynamics due to thermal stress are calculated by a linear-chain model of masses and springs. The resulting X-ray diffraction response is computed by dynamical X-ray theory. The UDKM1DSIM toolbox is highly modular and allows for introducing user-defined results at any step in the simulation procedure.
Program summary
Program title: udkm1Dsim
Catalogue identifier: AERH_v1_0
Program summary URL: http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AERH_v1_0.html
Licensing provisions: BSD
No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 130221
No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 2746036
Distribution format: tar.gz
Programming language: Matlab (MathWorks Inc.).
Computer: PC/Workstation.
Operating system: Running Matlab installation required (tested on MS Win XP -7, Ubuntu Linux 11.04-13.04).
Has the code been vectorized or parallelized?: Parallelization for dynamical XRD computations. Number of processors used: 1-12 for Matlab Parallel Computing Toolbox; 1 - infinity for Matlab Distributed Computing Toolbox
External routines:
Optional: Matlab Parallel Computing Toolbox, Matlab Distributed Computing Toolbox Required (included in the package): mtimesx Fast Matrix Multiply for Matlab by James Tursa, xml io tools by Jaroslaw Tuszynski, textprogressbar by Paul Proteus
Nature of problem:
Simulate the lattice dynamics of 1D crystalline sample structures due to an ultrafast excitation including thermal transport and compute the corresponding transient X-ray diffraction pattern.
Solution method:
Restrictions:
The program is restricted to 1D sample structures and is further limited to longitudinal acoustic phonon modes and symmetrical X-ray diffraction geometries.
Unusual features: The program is highly modular and allows the inclusion of user-defined inputs at any time of the simulation procedure.
Running time: The running time is highly dependent on the number of unit cells in the sample structure and other simulation parameters such as time span or angular grid for X-ray diffraction computations. However, the example files are computed in approx. 1-5 min each on a 8 Core Processor with 16 GB RAM available.

Femtosecond x-ray diffraction provides direct insight into the ultrafast reversible lattice dynamics of materials with a perovskite structure. Superlattice (SL) structures consisting of a sequence of nanometer-thick layer pairs allow for optically inducing a tailored stress profile that drives the lattice motions and for limiting the influence of strain propagation on the observed dynamics. We demonstrate this concept in a series of diffraction experiments with femtosecond time resolution, giving detailed information on the ultrafast lattice dynamics of ferroelectric and ferromagnetic superlattices. Anharmonically coupled lattice motions in a SrRuO3/PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3 (SRO/ PZT) SL lead to a switch-off of the electric polarizations on a time scale of the order of 1 ps. Ultrafast magnetostriction of photoexcited SRO layers is demonstrated in a SRO/SrTiO3 (STO) SL.

Laser-driven plasma sources of femtosecond hard X-ray pulses have found widespread application in ultrafast X- ray diffraction. The recent development of plasma sources working at kilohertz repetition rates has allowed for diffraction experiments with strongly improved sensitivity, now revealing subtle fully reversible changes of the geometry of crystal lattices. We provide a brief review of this development and present a novel plasma source with an optimized mechanical and optical design, providing a high flux of several 10(10) photons/s at the Cu-K alpha energy of 8.04 keV and a pulse duration of a parts per thousand currency sign300 fs. First experiments, including the generation of Debye-Scherrer diffraction patterns from Si powder, demonstrate the high performance of this source.

We have developed and characterized a hard x-ray accumulating streak camera that achieves subpicosecond time resolution by using single-photon counting. A high repetition rate of 2 kHz was achieved by use of a readout camera with built-in image processing capabilities. The effects of sweep jitter were removed by using a UV timing reference. The use of single-photon counting allows the camera to reach a high quantum efficiency by not limiting the divergence of the photoelectrons.

A diffractometer setup is presented, based on a laser-driven plasma X-ray source for reciprocal-space mapping with femtosecond temporal resolution. In order to map out the reciprocal space, an X-ray optic with a convergent beam is used with an X-ray area detector to detect symmetrically and asymmetrically diffracted X-ray photons simultaneously. The setup is particularly suited for measuring thin films or imperfect bulk samples with broad rocking curves. For quasi-perfect crystalline samples with insignificant in-plane Bragg peak broadening, the measured reciprocal-space maps can be corrected for the known resolution function of the diffractometer in order to achieve high-resolution rocking curves with improved data quality. In this case, the resolution of the diffractometer is not limited by the convergence of the incoming X-ray beam but is solely determined by its energy bandwidth.