Studying nanomaterials in action at unparalleled resolution

October 22, 2014 | Gisèle Bolduc

Mise à jour : December 9, 2020

To better understand the properties of nanomaterials and exploit their full innovative potential, it is critical to be able to examine their behaviour in action. That is exactly what Professor Aycan Yurtsever of the Centre Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre proposes to do as holder of the new Canada Research Chair in Ultrafast Dynamics of Nanoscale Systems. Using ultrafast electron and optical microscopy, he will help resolve important and challenging issues in the fields of new materials science and engineering and pave the way for a new field of research.

Professor Yurtsever will combine the spatial resolution of electron microscopy with the temporal resolution of lasers to explore the way nanomaterials behave at temporal and spatial resolutions previously impossible to achieve. This platform will make it possible to study many existing and emerging physical, chemical, and biological phenomena and visualize and understand matter  with novel atomic movies.

Professor Yurtsever’s team will conduct basic and applied research in the areas of plasmonics and biomedicine and will study the structure–property relationships of materials. Their research will generate major technological spinoffs for renewable energy and energy conversion sectors, as well as for applications involving molecular switches, soundproofing, medical imaging, memory chips, biomolecules for future medications, and sensors.

In addition to developing expertise and strengthening Canada’s leadership in the field of ultrafast dynamics of nanoscale systems, this Canada Research Chair will focus heavily on training a new generation of high-level scientists in the field of advanced materials and metrology.

Chairholder bio

Professor Aycan Yurtsever holds a master’s degree and PhD in applied physics from Cornell University and he conducted his postdoctoral research at the California Institute of Technology as part of the team led by Professor Ahmed H. Zewail (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 1999). In the course of his academic career, he has developed solid theoretical and experimental foundations in nanophotonics and electron microscopy and has indepth expertise in the area of nanostructured materials.

The young researcher stands out for his cutting-edge research in a new field dedicated to exploring the full potential of ultrafast transmission electron microscopy for materials imaging. He has published some 15 articles in well-known scientific journals such as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nano Letters, and Physical Review Letters,most as lead author.