Research in the van der Veen lab aims at visualizing light-induced processes in materials with atomic-scale resolution. Conventional techniques either lack the spatial resolution necessary to resolve individual atoms, or they lack the temporal resolution required to capture structural rearrangements as they evolve. Van der Veen proposes the development and application of a unique, new instrument that combines ultrafast laser spectroscopy with high-resolution electron microscopy, enabling atomic-scale imaging of structural changes in single nanoparticles while they convert light into useful chemical energy such as electricity or fuels. In contrast to empirical “trial-and-error” synthesis approaches, the direct time-resolved structural insights obtained in this research program will deliver novel structure-property-function relationships that are a prerequisite for the rational control and bottom-up design of nanomaterials optimized for solar energy harvesting.