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Welcome to the FEMTO Group

The research focus of the FEMTO group is on the physics of nonequilibrium structural dynamics in solid-state materials. Of particular interest are so-called strongly correlated electron systems, where novel material properties arise from strong interactions among different degrees of freedom. By measuring the real-time dynamics of atomic structure, we can investigate these interactions directly and use them to create novel non-equilibrium states of matter. Subjects of active investigation include coherent phonons, phonon squeezing, and ultrafast phase transitions.

To accomplish this, the FEMTO team investigates ultrafast (femtosecond to picosecond) dynamics in laser-excited systems using x-rays as a primary tool. The team maintains a laser lab which is mainly used to generate femtosecond x-rays at the MicroXAS beamline via the electron-beam "slicing" technique, but also enables ultrafast studies using optical only techniques. The team is also involved in larger collaborations conducting experiments at existing free electron laser facilities such as LCLS, FLASH & SACLA..

SwissFEL ES-B endstation

The FEMTO team is now responsible for the design, installation and operation of the ES-B endstation at SwissFEL dedicated for research on coupled structural and electronic dynamics in complex materials. This endstation is currently developed and will accomodate hard x-ray pump-probe experiments on solid samples including x-ray probe techniques such as asymmetric diffraction, resonant diffraction with polarization analysis, and diffuse scattering. A special emphasis is given to extend the available pump frequencies into the THz range.

Networks and collaborations