The recent publication from the upgraded Artemis lab space at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Central Laser Facility (CLF) marks a significant milestone for the facility. By utilizing short light pulses from the 1 kHz beamline, researchers at Artemis were able to delve into the intricate world of tantalum diselenide (1T-TaSe2), a quantum material. This groundbreaking study enabled the visualization of electron and ion motion within materials in real-time, unveiling valuable insights into their complex behaviors.
The research findings emphasize the crucial role played by crystal lattices in driving and stabilizing phase transitions in quantum materials. By comprehending these mechanisms, scientists can potentially engineer materials with exceptional electronic properties. This achievement was made possible due to the advanced capabilities of the state-of-the-art Artemis lab space, situated at the STFC Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire as part of the Research Complex at Harwell (RCaH). Artemis, inaugurated in late 2021, specializes in investigating the ultrafast motion of electrons in molecules and novel materials. Its contributions have been particularly valuable in unraveling the behavior of charge-density-wave (CDW) transitions in quantum materials.
Condensed matter physics has witnessed intense research efforts dedicated to comprehending quantum materials, which exhibit extraordinary characteristics. The STFC Artemis lab space plays a pivotal role in unraveling the fundamental interactions that occur within these materials. Equipped with cutting-edge technologies such as ultrafast laser sources, XUV beamlines, and end-stations tailored for molecular dynamics, condensed matter physics, and imaging, the facility stands among the select few in the world capable of capturing and recording processes that transpire at femtosecond timescales.
The capabilities of Artemis extend beyond technological advancements, offering a deeper understanding of the intricate physics underlying the interactions between light and matter. In addition to fostering innovative technologies, the results obtained from this cutting-edge facility broaden our fundamental comprehension of these complex phenomena.
Led by Dr. Enrico Da Como from the University of Bath, the recent research involved collaboration with Dr. Charles James Sayers from the Polytechnic University of Milan and Dr. Ettore Carpene from the Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnologies of the Italian National Research Council (CNR). The outcomes of this study have been published in the esteemed journal Physical Review Letters.
Dr. Charles James Sayers, a Research Fellow in the ultrafast spectroscopy group at the Polytechnic University of Milan, emphasizes the significance of utilizing ultrashort femtosecond light pulses, which Artemis provides. This advanced technique enables the direct observation of electron and ion motion within materials, unraveling crucial insights into the intricate interactions occurring within these extraordinary substances.
Dr. Ettore Carpene, a Researcher at the Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnologies of the CNR, highlights one of the critical scientific inquiries surrounding quantum materials: understanding the origin of phase transitions leading to ordered states of matter.
Dr. Carlotte Sanders, a Senior Experimental Scientist at the STFC Central Laser Facility, expresses immense satisfaction in the operational Artemis lab and its publication achievements. With the upcoming HiLUX upgrades planned over the next four years, the facility is poised to offer users even more advanced capabilities. Dr. Sanders affirms the excitement surrounding this fruitful period, emphasizing the fruitful collaboration with colleagues from the University of Bath, Politecnico di Milano, and CNR-IFN. Anticipating a wealth of cutting-edge scientific endeavors with these partners and the broader user community, Dr. Sanders looks forward to the promising future ahead.