The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, B, and C will publish a Virtual Special Issue (VSI) on time-resolved microscopy, lead by Guest Editors Associate Professor Libai Huang of Purdue University, Assistant Professor Cathy Wong of the University of Oregon, and Assistant Professor Erik Grumstrup, of Montana State University. Together they encourage researchers to submit their new and unpublished work by December 31, […]

“The purpose of this VSI is to highlight the novel physical insights enabled by time-resolved microscopies in materials science, biology, analytical chemistry, and nanoscience,” says JPC A Deputy Editor Anne B. McCoy.

What is a Virtual Special Issue?

The VSI represents a relatively new structure for JPC. Instead of waiting to publish all the papers together in a single issue, the Journal will publish papers as they’re accepted with a note by each indicating that it’s part of this VSI.

Once all papers have been accepted, they will be collected on a single webpage. At that time, the front matter will be published in an Editorial in the Journal telling the community the VSI has been published.

This eliminates the issue of articles lingering in the Journal’s ASAP (As Soon As Publishable) queue for extended periods of time, waiting for all the papers to be published.

What to Submit—Deadline: March 1, 2020

Professors Huang, Wong, and Grumstrup say they want to receive manuscripts describing new, unpublished research from “experimentalists doing work in optics and spectroscopy, applied to biological, materials, and chemical systems, as well as theoreticians interested in the coupled spatial and temporal evolution of light, matter, and energy at the nanoscale.”

Research areas of particular interest include:

  • Reports aimed at understanding chemical and physical properties that determine the evolution of non-equilibrium states (electronic, vibrational, thermal, etc.) along both temporal and spatial coordinates in bulk materials, across interfaces, in nanostructures, and in heterogeneous or disordered systems
  • Efforts utilizing time-resolved techniques to probe dynamical processes in biological systems
  • Manuscripts outlining the development or advancement of techniques:
    • Improvements in spatial resolution,
    • Development of nonlinear (micro)spectroscopies,
    • Utilization of coherent phenomena together with imaging
  • Theoretical efforts directed toward a greater understanding of light-matter interactions, in both near- and far-field microscopies

In conceiving this Virtual Special Issue, Guest Editors were inspired by some recent exciting innovations and discoveries, including:

  • Adding spatial resolution to established spectroscopic techniques. For example, the development of 2DE imaging by Jennifer Ogilvie’s group, (Nature, 20189, 4219) and van Hulst group’s Quantum coherent energy transfer over varying pathways in single light-harvesting complexes (Science 2013, 340, 1448–1451).
  • Adding time-resolution to established microscopy techniques. Ultrafast STM, for instance from Ruper Huber Group’s Tracking the ultrafast motion of a single molecule by femtosecond orbital imaging (Nature 2016539, 263–267), pump-probe AFM (Eric Potma group’s Nanoscale chemical imaging by photoinduced force microscopy (Sci. Adv. 20162, e1501571).
  • Spatial resolution of different excited state species in inhomogeneous materials (Nat. Photonics201711, 285–288).
  • Transport of charges across grain boundaries and interfaces like Papanikolas and J. M.’s Imaging Charge Separation and Carrier Recombination in Nanowire p-i-n Junctions Using Ultrafast Microscopy (Nano Lett. 201414, 3079–3087); Keshav M. Dani’s Imaging the motion of electrons across semiconductor heterojunctions (Nat. Nanotechnol. 201611, 231–241).
  • Non-thermal (ballistic or coherent) transport (Huang, Long-range hot-carrier transport in hybrid perovskites visualized by ultrafast microscopy, Science 2017356, 59–62).
  • Single-molecule microscopy for protein transport/dynamics (e.g., Eric Greene’s work).

Important Submission Instructions

To ensure an unbiased peer-review process, he asks that you don’t indicate within your manuscript that the submission is intended for the “Time Resolved Microscopy” VSI. If you do, your manuscript will be returned for correction. Instead, please indicate this in your cover letter.

As with all submissions to JPC, your manuscript should represent a rigorous scientific report of original research, and that it will be peer-reviewed as a regular Article. Manuscripts are expected to provide new physical insight and/or present new theoretical or computational methods of broad interest.

For this VSI, the editors are only looking for new and unpublished research (no Reviews,) and will be reviewing each manuscript using the same standards and expectations applied to all manuscripts JPC receives.

Before you submit a manuscript, please review manuscript types, scope, and other information for authors for:

If you’re not sure if your research is within the scope or have other questions about submitting a manuscript to this VSI, please email JPC A Associate Coordinating Editor Betsy Foran at

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