FLASH News

01 October 2021

FLASH2020+: Lucas Schaper Takes Over as Head of the Project


The FLASH2020+ project is DESY’s latest upgrade for the free-electron laser FLASH. Many technological improvements will increase the flexibility of the machine and enable the production of even brighter light in the future for the users. Since July 2020, the project has been led by seeding expert Enrico Allaria. On September 2021, he handed over the management of the ambitious ...

08 September 2021

Barbara Mez-Starck Prize for Melanie Schnell


DESY researcher Melanie Schnell has received this year's International Dr. Barbara Mez-Starck Prize. The DESY Lead Scientist at Photon Science was honoured for her outstanding studies of structural changes in water complexes with increasing amounts of water molecules as well as for her pioneering investigations of enantiomers and the separation of these chirally different molecules, as the jury ...

21 July 2021

Novel computational framework streamlines ptychography imaging at FLASH


Microscopic imaging using X-ray free-electron lasers like FLASH enables studies of structural features with a resolution down to a few nanometers and has become a major field of these facilities worldwide. Among the pure imaging routines, X-ray ptychographic microscopy combines the advantages of X-ray scanning microscopy with the recently developed techniques of ...

08 July 2021

Timing molecular structural dynamics both excited and probed by extreme ultraviolet light


A large international collaboration of scientists from the Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg, DESY, Heidelberg University, University of Münster and many others demonstrated for the first time an all-XUV (extreme ultraviolet) time-resolved absorption spectroscopy investigation of a small molecule: the photoinduced structural dynamics of diiodomethane. By ...

13 April 2021

Microscopic origins of electrical conductivity in superheated solids revealed at FLASH


In-depth understanding of the electrical conductivity of matter is the key to many cutting-edge research and applications, ranging from phase-change memory in microelectronics to magnetospheres rooted in planetary interiors due to the motion of the conductive fluid. Unique states of material created by ultrafast table-top lasers or free-electron lasers (FEL) allow us to gain insight ...

24 February 2021

Direct observation of charge separation in an organic light-harvesting system


Molecular heterojunctions receive significant attention due to their key role in a wide variety of emerging organic semiconductor applications, such as organic light-emitting diodes, field-effect transistors, spintronic devices, and photovoltaic cells. Understanding ultrafast dynamics of photon-to-charge conversion is paramount for optimising novel light-harvesting ...

08 February 2021

Measuring chirps at extremely high frequencies at FLASH


A new method provides an ultra-fast plasma switch, which temporally cuts off parts of high-frequency light flashes. Carried trillions of times faster by light waves than by sound waves, these flashes sound like birdsong and cricket songs. This understanding opens up new possibilities for optimising state-of-the-art light sources and controlling elementary motions in ...

29 January 2021

Online user meetings discuss Corona research and future facility developments


Due to the Corona pandemic, the annual users' meetings 2021 for the Hamburg X-ray light sources took place completely online for the first time this year. The users of PETRA III and FLASH met from 25 to 29 January at the DESY Photon Science Users' Meeting and traditionally at the same time as the users of the European X-ray laser European XFEL. The interest was undiminished: In total, more than ...

18 January 2021

Clocking the movement of electrons inside an atom


Hard X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) have delivered intense, ultrashort X-ray pulses for over a decade. One of the most promising applications of XFELs is in biology, where researchers can capture images down to the atomic scale even before the radiation damage destroys the sample. In physics and chemistry, these X-rays can also shed light on the fastest processes occurring in nature with a shutter ...