Nanomaterials play an increasingly important role in our daily lives, with applications ranging from optoelectronics to biomedicine. In many cases, these applications involve some non-equilibrium states within the nanomaterial (e.g. electrons are in an excited state following photon absorption in a semiconductor nanocrystal). Much contemporary research is thus dedicated to understand these non-equilibrium phenomena.
This course discusses how modern ultrafast methods can access the electronic and structural properties in nanomaterials on the femtosecond timescale. We will start by introducing various non-equilibrium physical phenomena occurring in nanomaterials, such as quantum dots, nanorods and 2D materials. After a brief general introduction about ultrafast physics and the pump-probe approach, we will then discuss how ultrafast optical spectroscopies and scattering techniques can be employed to characterize nanomaterials. Finally, the course will introduce the most recent efforts towards reaching a combined high spatial and temporal resolution in ultrafast nanoscience studies.