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Sequentially timed all-optical mapping photography (STAMP)


High-speed photography1,2,3 is a powerful tool for studying fast dynamics in photochemistry4,5, spintronics6,7, phononics8,9, fluidics10,11 and plasma physics12. Currently, the pump–probe method is the gold standard for time-resolved imaging4,5,6,8,12,13,14,15,16,17, but it requires repetitive measurements for image construction and therefore falls short in probing non-repetitive or difficult-to-reproduce events. Here, we present a motion-picture camera that performs single-shot burst image acquisition without the need for repetitive measurements, yet with equally short frame intervals (4.4 trillion frames per second) and high pixel resolution (450 × 450 pixels). The principle of this method—‘motion picture femtophotography’—is all-optical mapping of the target's time-varying spatial profile onto a burst stream of sequentially timed photographs with spatial and temporal dispersion. To show the camera's broad utility we use it to capture plasma dynamics and lattice vibrational waves, both of which were previously difficult to observe with conventional methods in a single shot and in real time.

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Figure 1: Schematic of STAMP.
Figure 2: Basic performance of STAMP.
Figure 3: Monitoring of plasma dynamics with STAMP.
Figure 4: Observation of lattice vibrational waves with STAMP.


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The authors thank M. Kaneda, M. Kitajima, T. Suzuki, M. Katsuragawa, K. Minoshima and K. Yoshii for discussions and E. Okada for assisting with experiments. This work was supported in part by the Translational Systems Biology and Medicine Initiative from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan. K.N. was partly supported by a Grant-in-Aid from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellows. A.I. was partly supported by the Photon Frontier Network Program of MEXT. K.G. was partly supported by the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation.

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Authors and Affiliations



K.N. conceived the concept of STAMP. K.N., A.I., Y.O., A.T., F.K. and I.S. designed the STAMP camera. K.N., Y.O., A.N., K.H. and F.K. constructed the camera. K.N. and A.I. carried out the imaging experiments. R.H. performed image processing for STAMP imaging. K.G. carried out the theoretical analysis. H.L., K.G. and T.U. provided assistance to the camera construction and imaging experiments. T.U., K.G., F.K. and I.S. supervised the project. K.N., K.G., F.K. and I.S. participated in writing the manuscript.

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Correspondence to K. Goda or I. Sakuma.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Nakagawa, K., Iwasaki, A., Oishi, Y. et al. Sequentially timed all-optical mapping photography (STAMP). Nature Photon 8, 695–700 (2014).

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