Inspired By Excellence & Innovation

LUXEM collaborates with several academic & industry partners
towards R&D of innovative ultrafast techniques for imaging science,
advances in reconstruction algorithms, and novel
computational imaging methods.

Our Funded Research Projects

ERC Funding

National Funding

ERC funding

ERC Starting Grant 851154

Advanced EUV/soft X-ray microscopy in the ultrafast regime: imaging functionality of nanomaterials across length scales – ULTRAIMAGE

Imaging charge, spin, and energy flow in functional materials when hit by a light pulse, is a current grand challenge in nanotechnology relevant to a host of systems including photovoltaics, optoelectronic and spin devices. The design of such materials relies critically on the availability of accurate characterization tools of how light-induced function and performance are related to nano-to-mesoscale electronic and lattice structural properties.

To address this challenge, ULTRAIMAGE will introduce ground-breaking capabilities in microscopy of nanomaterials, providing access to their far-from-equilibrium states, with resolution on nanometer-to-Ångstrom length and femtosecond time scales. Key to this advance is the combination of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) to soft X-ray tabletop coherent light sources with a technique for coherent diffractive imaging called ptychography, in which multiple diffraction patterns from overlapping fields of view are processed by iterative algorithms to recover amplitude and phase images of sample and beam, separately.

Nanoscale movies of the sample’s impulsive response, irradiated by ultrafast laser pulses, will be obtained with extremely high fidelity and in a non-destructive approach, with sub-20nm transverse resolution, 0.5Å axial precision, and ≈10fs temporal resolution. Each movie frame will be characterized by amplitude and phase images of the sample, with exquisite quantitative contrast to material composition, and to its topography.

ULTRAIMAGE aims to introduce a world-class tabletop facility for ultrafast ptychography with coherent short-wavelength EUV light, which will enable the understanding with unprecedented detail of fundamental nanoscale behaviour, vital to a better design of energy-efficient next generation devices.

ERC Proof of concept 101123123

Real-time, High-throughput, Coherent X-ray Microscopy: from Large-Scale Installations to Tabletop Device – HYPER

HYPER aims to expand impact and purpose of the innovative technology implemented by ULTRAIMAGE, by increasing its robustness, throughput, speed, and availability to the public, while retaining cost-effectiveness. Key to this advancement are: the implementation of beamline diagnostics, the development of efficient imaging algorithms, and the use of fast XUV detection technology. Accessibility to a broader range of stakeholders and end-users will be deployed through a network of academe and industry partners.


NEXT: An international network for Non-linear Extreme Ultraviolet to hard X-ray techniques

The focus of the NEXT Action is to create a network to develop new EUV/X-ray non-linear schemes at High-Harmonic Generation (HHG) table-top and X-ray Free Electron Laser sources, capable to selectively detect charge, spin, lattice and orbital dynamics in molecules and condensed matter while having a robust theoretical understanding of the underlying processes. This network stems from a collective effort involving several XFELs, world class laboratories with HHG table-top sources of EUV to soft X-ray attosecond-to-femtosecond pulses, and a unique expertise in theory and experiment within Europe.

National Funding

PRIN 2022 – MUR

Ultrafast dynamics in next generation sustainable materials – DynaMAT

DynaMAT proposes a correlative approach aimed to a comprehensive atomic-level characterization of the next generation perovskite-based materials for optoelectronics applications. The novelty of the proposed approach relies in combining cutting-edge time-resolved methods of Ultrafast Electron Diffraction and Stimulated Raman Spectroscopy that allow to create nanoscale movies of charge and lattice in motion upon photo-carrier injection, i.e. while the response to light triggers occurs, with resolution on Ångstrom-to-nanometer length and femtosecond (fs) to nanosecond (ns) time scales, the relevant space and time scales in these systems’ response. Italian research consortium units: LUXEM (UniPV) and Femtoscopy (La Sapienza).


Probing functionality at the nanoscale: multimodal electron and soft X-ray ultrafast imaging – NANOFAST

NANOFAST tackles the need for novel strategies in characterizing and engineering innovative functional nanomaterials, through the study of their fundamental structure-property relationships. In achieving this goal, NANOFAST leads to the creation of a consortium for transformative advances in nano-imaging, aimed at bridging competences in colloid & interface materials science, in modeling and theory of nanomaterials’ electronic and structural properties, and in ultrafast and computational imaging modalities with electron pulsed sources.

FARE Ricerca in Italia – MUR

Tailoring intra- and inter-structural interactions in hybrid suPerlattices: correlative ultrafast X-ray and cryo-electron microscopy – PiXiE

PiXiE integrates strategically LUXEM Projects in both technological and scientific advances. It fosters the implementation of cutting-edge correlative methods for ultrafast imaging, aimed to a better understanding of light-activated functionality in programmable materials too complex to be modelled from first principles.
The functional materials to be studied are two-dimensional superlattices of metallic or semiconductor nanoparticles (NPs) covered by organic ligand shells. These samples are highly relevant in photovoltaics and LED devices, sensing and targeted drug delivery: they present order at different length-scales and contain elements of very different atomic weight; they can be efficiently designed for application-specific functionalities by controlling intra- and inter-structural interactions through ligand/core chemistry and external light excitations.
For the first time, it will be possible to combine in a single experiment pulsed electrons and soft X-rays to study complementary aspects these systems while functionality occurs, with resolution on Ångstrom-to-nanometer length and femtosecond (fs) time scales.

Completed Projects

101067016 HORIZON MSCA-2021-PF-01

Dynamic Electron Imaging with Phase Retrieval – DECIPHER

Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, DECIPHER contributed to the development of cutting-edge image reconstruction techniques with advances in pulsed electron beam technology.
Host: LUXEM, UniPV
Proposer: Dr. Charles S. Bevis


Development of collaboration agreement with Universities for Research, Innovation and Technology Transfer

The collaborative framework Highlight, supported by Regione Lombardia and the University of Pavia, fostered the development of a new line of research with a strong multidisciplinary character, by creating a new platform for the advanced characterization and engineering of nanostructured and composite nanomaterials through the implementation of highly innovative instrumentation.