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Published August 2010 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Nonchaotic Nonlinear Motion Visualized in Complex Nanostructures by Stereographic 4D Electron Microscopy


Direct electron imaging with sufficient time resolution is a powerful tool for visualizing the three-dimensional (3D) mechanical motion and resolving the four-dimensional (4D) trajectories of many different components of a nanomachine, e.g., a NEMS device. Here, we report a nanoscale nonchaotic motion of a nano- and microstructured NiTi shape memory alloy in 4D electron microscopy. A huge amplitude oscillatory mechanical motion following laser heating is observed repetitively, likened to a 3D motion of a conductor's baton. By time-resolved 4D stereographic reconstruction of the motion, prominent vibrational frequencies (3.0, 3.8, 6.8, and 14.5 MHz) are fully characterized, showing evidence of nonlinear behavior. Moreover, it is found that a stress (fluence)−strain (displacement) profile shows nonlinear elasticity. The observed resonances of the nanostructure are reminiscent of classical molecular quasi-periodic behavior, but here both the amplitude and frequency of the motion are visualized using ultrafast electron microscopy.

Additional Information

© 2010 American Chemical Society. Received for review: 06/17/2010. Published on Web: 07/22/2010. We thank D. A. Flannigan for his help in data processing. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation and Air Force Office of Scientific Research in the Physical Biology Center for Ultrafast Science and Technology supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation at Caltech.

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