“Subnanosecond phase transition dynamics in laser-shocked iron”
H. Hwang, E. Galtier, H. Cynn, I. Eom, S. H. Chun, Y. Bang, G. C. Hwang, J. Choi, T. Kim, M. Kong, S. Kwon, K. Kang, H. J. Lee, C. Park, J. I. Lee, Yongmoon Lee, W. Yang, S.-H. Shim, T. Vogt, Sangsoo Kim, J. Park, Sunam Kim, D. Nam, J. H. Lee, H. Hyun, M.
Vol.6, No.23, pp.eaaz5132, 2020.06
Iron is one of the most studied chemical elements due to its sociotechnological and planetary importance; hence, understanding its structural transition dynamics is of vital interest. By combining a short pulse optical laser and an ultrashort free electron laser pulse, we have observed the subnanosecond structural dynamics of iron from high-quality x-ray diffraction data measured at 50-ps intervals up to 2500 ps. We unequivocally identify a three-wave structure during the initial compression and a two-wave structure during the decaying shock, involving all of the known structural types of iron (α-, γ-, and ε-phase). In the final stage, negative lattice pressures are generated by the propagation of rarefaction waves, leading to the formation of expanded phases and the recovery of γ-phase. Our observations demonstrate the unique capability of measuring the atomistic evolution during the entire lattice compression and release processes at unprecedented time and strain rate.