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Published September 1, 2017 | public
Journal Article

Ultrafast lattice dynamics of single crystal and polycrystalline gold nanofilms


Ultrafast electron diffraction is employed to spatiotemporally visualize the lattice dynamics of 11 nm-thick single-crystal and 2 nm-thick polycrystalline gold nanofilms. Surprisingly, the electron-phonon coupling rates derived from two temperature simulations of the data reveal a faster interaction between electrons and the lattice in the case of the single-crystal sample. We interpret this unexpected behavior as arising from quantum confinement of the electrons in the 2 nm-thick gold nanofilm, as supported by absorption spectra, an effect that counteracts the expected increase in the electron scattering off surfaces and grain boundaries in the polycrystalline materials.

Additional Information

© 2017 Elsevier B.V. Received 3 March 2017, Accepted 6 April 2017, Available online 8 April 2017. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (grant FA9550-16-1-0200) in the Physical Biology Center for Ultrafast Science and Technology at Caltech, funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Dr. B. Chen and Dr. X. Fu for the TEM characterizations, and of Dr. G. Vanacore and Dr. J. Tang for helpful discussions. J.H. acknowledges the support from China 1000-Young Talents Plan.

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