In a strong international collaboration with our partners from institutes at the Stanford University (California, USA), the University of Stockholm (Sweden), Hamburg University and the Fritz-Haber Institute in Berlin , we are conducting surface science experiments at free-electron lasers, like LCLS at SLAC in Stanford, and FLASH at DESY in Hamburg.
In these experiments, we apply the high selectivity of soft X-ray surface science spectroscopy to surface science systems that are irradiated by ultrashort laser pulses. With 100fs time resolution we can then selectively follow how the surface evolves and how femtochemistry happens, i.e. how bonds are broken and formed.
On the longer time scale of several picoseconds, the surface system is in a hot state with high coverage that does not exist under standard ultra-high vacuum conditions. In this state we can study transient states of the surface, for example precursor states etc., that are often highly reactive and that are typically the states that are responsible for chemical reactions on the surface.