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Published May 28, 2008 | Published
Journal Article Open

4D electron imaging: principles and perspectives


In this perspective we highlight developments and concepts in the field of 4D electron imaging. With spatial and temporal resolutions reaching the picometer and femtosecond, respectively, the field is now embracing ultrafast electron diffraction, crystallography and microscopy. Here, we overview the principles involved in the direct visualization of structural dynamics with applications in chemistry, materials science and biology. The examples include the studies of complex isolated chemical reactions, phase transitions and cellular structures. We conclude with an outlook on the potential of the approach and with some questions that may define new frontiers of research.

Additional Information

© The Authors 2008. This journal is © the Owner Societies 2008. Received 29th January 2008, Accepted 3rd March 2008. First published on the web 1st April 2008. This research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to members of our laboratories, past and present (see Fig. 13), who contributed significantly to the research discussed here in UED, UEC and UEM.

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