Flannigan wins 2017 DOE Early Career Award

Aug. 10, 2017 - Assistant Professor David Flannigan has been selected to receive a financial award as part of the 2017 Department of Energy (DOE) Early Career Research Program. The funding opportunity for researchers in universities and DOE national laboratories, now in its eighth year, supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulates research careers in the disciplines supported by the DOE Office of Science. Flannigan is among 59 award recipients in fiscal year 2017.

Flannigan's research, "Imaging Nanoscale Energy Transport and Conversion with Ultrafast Electron Microscopy,” was selected for funding by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences. The research is based on the premise that light‐matter interactions are central to innumerable fundamental phenomena and technologies. These include charge‐carrier photoexcitation in semiconductors, molecular rearrangements during photocatalytic reactions, and electromagnetic‐field enhancement in nanoscale materials. At the most basic level, such interactions drive electron and nuclear motions, with the ultrafast coupling of photons, charge carriers (electrons and holes), and atoms in the lattice often giving rise to unexpected and hard-to‐predict behaviors. The objective of this research is to elucidate how coherent, photo‐excited charge carrier dynamics lead to the generation of initially commensurate atomic‐to‐nanoscale motions in both semiconducting and metallic materials. Critical new insight into such behaviors will be generated using the emerging technique of ultrafast electron microscopy. By combining a femtosecond laser with a conventional transmission electron microscope, and by operating at unprecedentedly low instrument repetition rates with maximum photoelectron‐collection efficiencies, behaviors occurring in previously inaccessible experimental parameter space will be uncovered.

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