PerspectiveULTRAFAST X-RAY DIFFRACTION

Watching Matter Rearrange

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Science  12 Nov 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5443, pp. 1310-1311
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5443.1310

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Summary

Worldwide efforts are underway to delop ultrafast x-ray probes for monitoring time-dependent structural changes in complex systems such as crystals and biomolecules. Siders et al. (page 1340) use an ultrafast x-ray probe to monitor the melting of a semiconductor sample that was subjected to an intense, ultrafast visible pulse. The use of ultrafast x-rays will complement earlier achievements in femtochemistry with optical pulses. The author is in the Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Room 6-235, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. E-mail: kanelson@MIT.EDU