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Published January 6, 2012 | public
Journal Article

Subparticle Ultrafast Spectrum Imaging in 4D Electron Microscopy


Single-particle imaging of structures has become a powerful methodology in nanoscience and molecular and cell biology. We report the development of subparticle imaging with space, time, and energy resolutions of nanometers, femtoseconds, and millielectron volts, respectively. By using scanning electron probes across optically excited nanoparticles and interfaces, we simultaneously constructed energy-time and space-time maps. Spectrum images were then obtained for the nanoscale dielectric fields, with the energy resolution set by the photon rather than the electron, as demonstrated here with two examples (silver nanoparticles and the metallic copper–vacuum interface). This development thus combines the high spatial resolution of electron microscopy with the high energy resolution of optical techniques and ultrafast temporal response, opening the door to various applications in elemental analysis as well as mapping of interfaces and plasmonics.

Additional Information

© 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 2 September 2011; accepted 19 October 2011. Supported by NSF grant DMR-0964886 and Air Force Office of Scientific Research grant FA9550-11-1-0055 to the Gordon and Betty Moore Center for Physical Biology at the California Institute of Technology. R.M.V. was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation. We thank S. T. Park for helpful discussions regarding the theoretical calculations.

Additional details

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October 24, 2023