Germán Sciaini is a world expert in the field of ultrafast structural dynamics. He is developing state-of-the-art instrumentation to capture atoms in motion. He heads the Ultrafast Electron Imaging Laboratory, home of a time-resolved electron diffraction setup and an ultrafast high-resolution electron microscope.
Germán holds the Canada Research Chair in Atomically Resolved Dynamics and Ultrafast High-Resolution Imaging.
- Femtosecond electron diffraction
- Time-resolved structural dynamics
- Ultrafast high-resolution electron imaging
- Strongly correlated materials
- Membrane channels
Ultrafast lasers provided the “first light” in sufficiently short pulses to monitor atomic motion on the relevant timescales; below a millionth of a millionth of a second, to literally catch atoms on the fly as in stop-motion photography. However, the spatial resolution in optical microscopy is limited to about the size of a big virus. This is about ten thousand times too coarse to observe the molecular structure at its finest detail, down to its fundamental building blocks – atoms.
The progress in the development of ultrafast structure-sensitive cameras over the last 20 years has been tremendous, with large scale, kilometers long facilities such as LCLS (Stanford) built to provide us with the temporal and spatial resolutions required to observe atoms in motion.
Germán's group at University of Waterloo develops such “atomic-level” cameras based on the use of ultrashort electron bursts. The main two directions in the group involve the determination of molecular structure and dynamics with atomic spatial resolution.
Only 50 years ago, transition states, bond breaking and bond formation events were thought to be immeasurably fast. Nowadays, we have reached the spatial and temporal resolutions required to observe atoms in motion and, with that, been able to provide the most fundamental understanding of dynamical phenomena relevant to physics, chemistry, and biology.
- Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter
- Ultrafast Spectroscopy
Recent publications include
- N. Rivas, T. Dekker, S. Zhong, A. A. Petruk, K. Pichugin, F. Chen, X. Luo, Y. Sun, A. W. Tsen and G. Sciaini*, “Photoinduced persistent hidden phase in ultrathin Td-MoTe2”. Submitted to Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.
- Cheng, Meixin, Nicolas Rivas, Su Ji Lim, Kostyantyn Pichugin, Ariel A. Petruk, Anna Klinkova, Rodney Smith, W. Scott Hopkins, and Germán Sciaini. "Trapping a Photoelectron behind a Repulsive Coulomb Barrier in Solution." The journal of physical chemistry letters 10, no. 19 (2019): 5742-5747.
- Rivas, Nicolás, Germán Sciaini, and Ernesto Marceca. "Static and dynamic scavenging of ammoniated electrons by nitromethane." Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 21, no. 39 (2019): 21972-21978.
- A. A. Petruk, C. R. Allen, N. Rivas, K. Pichugin and G. Sciaini*, “High flow rate nanofluidics for in-liquid electron microscopy and diffraction”, Nanotechnology (2019)
- G. Sciaini*, “Recent advances in ultrafast structural techniques” (invited review article, special issue “Photoinduced Cooperative Phenomena”), Appl. Sci. 9, 1427 (2019)
- E. Khairullina, K. Mosina, R. M. Choueiri, A. P. Paradis, A. A. Petruk, G. Sciaini, E. Krivoshapkina, A. Lee, A. Ahmed and A. Klinkova*, “Trapping an octahedral core in a nanocage: synthesis, plasmonic, and catalytic properties”, NanoScale 11, 3138 (2019)
- A. A. Petruk and G. Sciaini. “Nanofluidic cell and loading platform”. US provisional patent application USPTO 62/801,327; filed by WatCo, February 5, 2019
Please see Germán Sciaini's Google Scholar profile for a current list of his peer-reviewed articles.
Awards and Distinctions
- Early Researcher Award, Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, 2017
- Canada Research Chair (Tier 2), 2014
- First mention, Prof. Hans J. Schumacher award to the best PhD thesis in Chemical Physics in Argentina between 2006-2008, 2009
- First mention, Prof. Doctor Luis Federico Leloir award to the best PhD thesis in Chemistry in Argentina in 2006-2007, 2008
- Graduate fellowship, National Research Council of Argentina, 2002
- Graduate fellowship, National Agency of Science and Technology, Argentina, 2001
- Undergraduate research fellowship, University of Buenos Aires, 2000
University of Waterloo Affiliations
- Member of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology
Professional Associations and Service
- Health and Safety committee member, 2015
- April 9, 2015: Waterloo researchers awarded Canada Research Chairs, funding
2006 Ph.D. Chemistry (Physical-Chemistry), University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
2001 Licenciado en Ciencias Químicas, School of Sciences, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina