Project Description

Research Highlights

National Newspapers

  • LUXEM projects ERC StG ULTRAIMAGE and ERC PoC HYPER highlighted in the Italian newspaper “Il Sole24Ore”. In the article appeared on Wednesday 20th December 2023, on “Il Sole24Ore”, Prof. Mancini explains relevance and breakthrough impact of the 2 ERC projects @LUXEM.

    Find out more


  • Ptychography – With a “P” As in “Pterodactyl”

    In this invited blog from DECTRIS Dr. Charles Bevis and Prof. Giulia Mancini discuss the development of Ptychographic Coherent Diffractive Imaging and the possibilities it offers. What is ptychography? How does it work? Is it worth all the hype?

    Find out more

Journals & Covers

  • Cover – OPTICA

    Vol. 11, Issue 3, pp. 403-411

    Twisted-phase OAM illumination and its resulting diffraction pattern in single-shot ptychography experiments at an FEL source.

    Find out more

  • Cover – The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters

    Volume 13, Issue 14, pages 3310-3528

    We provide a comprehensive atomic-scale description of the purely thermal response of lead-halide perovskites in a temperature range relevant for realistic applications. Thermal-induced changes are rationalized in terms of displacive phase transitions, which are a consequence of the phonon anharmonicity of the inorganic lattice.

    Find out more

  • Cover – Journal of the American Chemical Society

    Volume 143, Issue 24, pages 8949-9276

    Light activation of lead-halide perovskites induces polaronic lattice distortions, here quantified with atomic-level precision. Electron-phonon coupling drives the crystal changes, which are unlocked upon charge-carrier recombination and in the absence of thermal effects. This study clarifies the structure-property relationships in out-of-equilibrium conditions, underpinning the developments of perovskite-based devices. 

    Find out more

  • Cover – Structural Dynamics

    Volume 6, Issue 6, 064303

    Most chemical and biochemical reactions in nature and in industrial processes are driven by thermal effects that bring the reactants above the energy barrier for reaction. In aqueous solutions, this process can also be triggered by the laser driven temperature jump (T-jump) method, in which the water vibrational (stretch, bend, or combination) modes are excited by a short laser pulse, leading to a temperature increase in the irradiated volume within a few picoseconds. 

    Find out more

  • 5232 – The magazine of the Paul Scherrer Institute

    Fast-paced action

    How do colored solar cells work and what is behind them the new brilliant mobile phone displays? The ultra-short X-ray pulses at SwissFEL cover the chemical reactions inside and should make the devices even more efficient and cheaper. 

    Find out more

    View in

Press Releases

  • Swiss Science Concentrates – A CHIMIA Column

    CHIMIA 2021, 75, No. 10

    “The authors elegantly illustrate that photoinduced lattice changes in the system are due to a specific polaronic distortion, associated with the activation of a longitudinal optical phonon mode, and show that carrier recombination reversibly unlocks structural deformation at both Br and Pb sites. These results provide a thorough description of the CsPbBr3 perovskite’s photophysics, offering novel insights on the light-induced response of the system.”

    Find out more

  • Charge mobility in perovskites: a new insight

    EPFL NEWS – 2021

    Understanding charge mobility of the very popular lead-halide perovskite materials is crucial for their very promising photovoltaic applications. Using Time-Resolved X-ray spectroscopy, the structural deformations affecting the charge mobility, which plays a central role in solar energy conversion, have been identified and quantified with atomic precision – for the first time.

    Find out more

  • A universal structural deformation in all heme proteins

    EPFL NEWS – 2020

    The structure-function relationship is at the heart of biology: specific structural changes in proteins are usually associated with specific functions. This is particularly the case with hemoproteins, which have a wide range of functions, such as oxygen fixation and transport, and neurotransmission.

    Find out more

  • Unraveling the initial molecular events of respiration

    EPFL NEWS – 2020

    Respiration is a fundamental process of all living things, allowing them to produce energy, stay healthy, and survive. In cells, respiration involves what are known as “respiratory proteins”, e.g. hemoglobin in the blood and myoglobin in muscles. Physicists from Switzerland, Japan and Germany have unveiled the mechanism by which the first event of respiration takes place in heme proteins.

    Find out more

  • Research demonstrates the use of X-ray spectroscopy to study thermally-induced reactions

    AIP Scilight 2019

    Light-driven reactions are only a subset of chemical and biochemical processes. An extension of time-resolved spectroscopic methods to thermally driven reactions would include a much larger variety of such processes. In a new paper, Cannelli et al. demonstrate the first use of a time-resolved X-ray spectroscopy probe in a temperature jump experiment to observe structural changes over the course of a chemical reaction.

    Find out more

  • The Sharpest Images

    JILA News – Laser Physics Nanoscience 2017

    The world’s most powerful CDI (Coherent Diffractive Imaging) microscope at a wavelength of 13 nm­­. Remarkably, it contains no lenses. Rather, a nanoscale object is illuminated with coherent high-harmonic beams of extreme ultraviolet light. The scattered light is collected and used with a powerful algorithm to create an image of the object with sub-wavelength spatial resolution.

    Find out more

  • An innovative device studies gold nanoparticles in depth

    EPFL NEWS – 2016

    Ultrafast Electron Diffraction exploits the high sensitivity that electrons have for interacting with matter. A unique UED device developed by Giulia Mancini and Fabrizio Carbone (EPFL), in collaboration with Jom Luiten (TU/e) and Tatiana Latychevskaia (PSI), can study monolayers and very thin samples containing light elements, e.g. hydrogen and carbon. And when it comes to dense aggregates and small molecules, the small-angle time-resolved electron diffractometer can achieve the extreme sensitivity of a traditional Free Electron Laser, but at a fraction of the cost. This set-up is a reference for the implementation of new similar set-ups or the upgrade of pre-existing ones worldwide

    Find out more

  • ACS Editors’ Choice

    Nano Letters – 2016

    The design and characterization of functionalized nanoparticle supracrystals require atomically resolved information on both the metallic core and the external organic ligand shell. Ultrafast small-angle electron diffraction has enabled to resolve both static ordering properties and photo-induced motions of supracrystals of alkanethiol-capped gold nanoparticles, with combined fs temporal and Å spatial resolution. Key to this advance was the unique capability to retrieve the local symmetry of the real-space objects creating an electron speckle pattern by computing angular cross-correlation functions. This method, well known in the X-rays community, has been applied to the analysis of time-resolved small-angle electron diffraction patterns for the first time.

    Find out more