Project A05

A05 Nanoscopic probing of spatio-temporal relaxation in heterogeneous structures using ultrafast transmission electron microscopy

We will study active control mechanisms of nanoscale metal-to-insulator phase transitions in the prototype van-der-Waals material 1T-TaS2 by externally applied currents and fields, aiming at a comprehensive understanding of the energy pathways facilitating controlled metastability. To this end, we will combine expertise from ultrafast spectroscopy and microscopy with high-precision electrical transport, nanostructure lithography and near-field optical microscopy. We will investigate the nanometer spatial and femtosecond to picosecond temporal evolution of charge-density wave domains exposed to pulsed optical or electrical excitation, characterizing the roles of thermal transport, strain propagation and hot electron diffusion