Combining electron optics, fast electronics and pulsed lasers, a transmission and a photoelectron emission microscope were built, which visualize events in thin films and on surfaces with a time resolution of several nanoseconds. The high-speed electron microscopy is capable to track fast laser-induced processes in metals below the ablation threshold, which are difficult to detect by other imaging techniques. The material response to nano- and femtosecond laser pulses was found to be very different. It was dominated by thermo/chemocapillary flow and chemical reactions in the case of nanosecond pulses, and by mechanical deformations and non-thermal electron emission after a femtosecond pulse.
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