June Lau of NIST, Yimea Zhu of Brookhaven National Lab, and Chunguang Jing, Eric Montgomery, Yubin Zhao, Wade Rush, Ao Liu, and Ilya Ponomarev of Euclid Labs are recognized for a relatively inexpensive pulsing device that converts an existing transmission electron microscope (TEM) into an ultrafast time-resolved TEM (UTEM). The electron beam produced in a conventional TEM is continuous (dc), so imaging and diffraction are accomplished in a static time-integrated manner. Now it is possible to unite the time domain with the spatial domain to create four-dimensional electron microscopy.
Compared to a time-resolved TEM relying on a sophisticated and expensive pump-probe femtosecond laser system, no laser is required. In addition, the RF pulser technology allows extended ranges of repetition rates and duty cycle tunability, which are not achievable in a laser-based UTEM. Compared to existing commercial systems, a lower price and retrofit compatibility make UTEM affordable for a broader scientific community.