X-Ray Optics Solutions for Studying Mesoscale Science

Stefan Hau-Riege | 18-ERD-014

Project Summary

We have developed and demonstrated a novel x-ray optics solution, called x-ray tomographic-delay-line (XTEL), for studying pico- to nanosecond dynamics of mesoscale materials processes at existing x-ray light sources. This optic lays the groundwork for taking snapshot movies of materials processes, as well as single-pulse 3D images of materials by recording multiple views simultaneously. The XTEL has been designed to match the time resolution required to probe materials processes in the picosecond to nanosecond (ns) range.

Mission Impact

Diffraction experiments aimed at deciphering the relevant parameters to describe the kinetics of phase transitions are just beginning. Our unique ability to perform variable-delay diffraction studies in a non-colinear geometry over ns timescales will allow us to observe the in-situ progression of transitions. Of particular interest are mechanisms for nucleation (e.g., homogeneous vs. heterogeneous), nucleus growth and transport processes, grain growth and evolution, and strain field dynamics around dislocations. Being able to measure the evolution of a single sample has great potential to address these issues. This work has improved our science, technology, and engineering capabilities at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory by developing advanced experimental platforms for materials dynamics and energetic materials to better understand nuclear weapons physics issues, and to cost-effectively refurbish, and enhance the safety of the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

Publications, Presentations, and Patents

Z. Chen et al., "Ultrafast multi-cycle terahertz measurements of the electrical conductivity in strongly excited solids," Nat. Comm. 12, 1638 (2021). IM #1028521.

T.R. Preston et al., "Design and performance characterization of the HAPG von Hamos Spectrometer at the High Energy Density Instrument of the European XFEL," J. Instr. 15, P11033 (2020). IM #1031306.

T. Burian et al., "Subthreshold Erosion of an Organic Polymer Induced by Multiple Shots of an X-Ray Free-Electron Laser," Phys. Rev. Appl. 14, 034057 (2020). IM #1031305.

P. Zalden et al., "Femtosecond x-ray diffraction reveals a liquid-liquid phase transition in phase-change materials," Science 364, 1062 (2019).