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 Discovery allows scientists to look at how 2-D materials move with ultrafast precision.

Using a never-before-seen technique, scientists have found a new way to use some of the world's most powerful X-rays to uncover how atoms move in a single atomic sheet at ultrafast speeds.

The study, led by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and in collaboration with other institutions, including the University of Washington and DOE's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, developed a new technique called ultrafast surface X-ray scattering. This technique revealed the changing structure of an atomically thin two-dimensional crystal after it was excited with an optical laser pulse.

"Extending [surface X-ray scattering] to do ultrafast science in single-layer materials represents a major technological advance that can show us a great deal about how atoms behave at surfaces and at the interfaces between materials," said Argonne scientist Haidan Wen.

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Category: Science