Detection of Nonthermal Melting by Ultrafast X-ray Diffraction

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Science  12 Nov 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5443, pp. 1340-1342
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5443.1340

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Using ultrafast, time-resolved, 1.54 angstrom x-ray diffraction, thermal and ultrafast nonthermal melting of germanium, involving passage through nonequilibrium extreme states of matter, was observed. Such ultrafast, optical-pump, x-ray diffraction probe measurements provide a way to study many other transient processes in physics, chemistry, and biology, including direct observation of the atomic motion by which many solid-state processes and chemical and biochemical reactions take place.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: csiders{at}

  • Present address: Department of Chemistry, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA.

  • Present address: Institut für Laser- und Plasmaphysik, Universität Essen, D-45117 Essen, Germany.

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