Emerging photon technologies for probing ultrafast molecular dynamics
The understanding of physical and chemical changes at an atomic spatial scale and on the time scale of atomic motion is essential for a broad range of scientific fields. A new class of femtosecond, intense, short wavelength lasers, the free electron lasers, has opened up new opportunities to investigate dynamics in many areas of science. For chemical dynamics to advance however, a rigorous, quantitative understanding of dynamical effects due to intense X-ray exposure is also required. We illustrate this point by reporting here an experimental and theoretical investigation of the interaction of C60 molecules with intense X-ray pulses, in the multiphoton regime. We also describe the potential of new available instrumentation and explore their potential impact in physical, chemical and biological sciences when they are coupled with emerging photon technologies.