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Researchers at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) have developed a new ultrafast camera system, SCARF, that can capture up to 156.3 trillion frames per second with precision. This groundbreaking device allows for 2D optical imaging of ultrafast demagnetization in a single shot, a feat that was previously not possible. SCARF has the potential to advance knowledge in fields such as modern physics, biology, chemistry, materials science, and engineering. Professor Jinyang Liang, a pioneer in ultrafast imaging, led the development of this system, building on his previous work with the T-CUP system, which acquired ten trillion frames per second.

The SCARF system overcomes limitations of previous ultrafast camera systems by enabling ultrafast sweeping of a static coded aperture without shearing the ultrafast phenomenon. This allows for full-sequence encoding rates of up to 156.3 THz to individual pixels on a camera, capturing results in a single shot at tunable frame rates and spatial scales. This advancement opens up possibilities to observe unique ultrafast phenomena such as shock wave mechanics in living cells or matter, which can have implications for improving pharmaceutics and medical treatments. Companies, Axis Photonique and Few-Cycle, are working with Professor Liang’s team to commercialize this technology, potentially boosting Quebec’s position as a leader in photonics.

Collaboration on this research was conducted in the Advanced Laser Light Source (ALLS) Laboratory with international colleagues from France and China. Funding for this research was provided by various sources, including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canada Research Chairs Program, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and the Government of Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund. The development of SCARF is a significant advancement in ultrafast imaging technology, with potential applications across various scientific and industrial fields.

The SCARF system represents a significant leap in ultrafast imaging technology, allowing researchers to capture unprecedented levels of detail in ultrafast phenomena. With the ability to capture up to 156.3 trillion frames per second in a single shot, SCARF opens up new possibilities for studying complex processes in physics, biology, chemistry, materials science, and engineering. The development of this technology has the potential to drive innovation and scientific discovery in a wide range of fields.

By overcoming the limitations of previous ultrafast imaging systems, SCARF enables researchers to observe unique phenomena that were previously difficult or impossible to capture. This includes shock wave mechanics in living cells or matter, which can have implications for developing new pharmaceuticals and medical treatments. Additionally, the economic potential of SCARF is underscored by partnerships with companies like Axis Photonique and Few-Cycle, which are working to commercialize the technology. This could further strengthen Quebec’s position as a leader in photonics research and development.

Overall, the development of the SCARF system represents a major advancement in ultrafast imaging technology, with implications for a wide range of scientific disciplines and applications. The collaboration between researchers at INRS and their international colleagues, as well as the support from various funding sources, underscores the importance of this research. With its ability to capture ultrafast phenomena with unprecedented detail and precision, SCARF has the potential to drive new discoveries and innovations in fields ranging from physics to medicine.

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