Phase transformation in condensed matter is an important area of study in solid-state physics since it relates to the genesis and evolution of a new microstructure. Several probe techniques have now been developed in time-resolved laser-induced phase transformation. But at present, only the technique of picosecond electron diffraction1 can produce on the picosecond time scale an unambiguous picture of the structure of a given material. In addition to revealing the structure of the material, the diffraction pattern holds information about the temperature of the lattice.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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