The general goal of the project is to gain a deep understanding of the structure – function relationship of complex and highly functionalized materials. In the project, we are particularly interested in the dynamics of this relationship on ultra-fast time scales. X-rays are the main tool employed in the project. Thanks to the short x-ray wavelength, the experimental methods of project 3.3 represent the most direct way to study structural dynamics of the lattice, the electron and the spin system with ultrahigh spatial and temporal resolution on the relevant length (micrometer to Ångström) and time scales (nanosecond to femtosecond). The x-ray methods applied include diffraction, imaging, and absorption spectroscopy using short and ultrashort pulses in the XUV, soft and hard x-ray range. On the one hand, these X-ray pulses are generated by laser-driven laboratory sources with partly unique performance parameters. On the other hand, experiments are carried out at large-scale facilities such as synchrotron-radiation sources and free-electron lasers.
Our fundamental and basic research is divided into two core topics: