Research directions / Objectives
A wide range of laser spectroscopic methods are employed for studying key properties of novel materials at the atomic, molecular or nano-scale and for determining the composition of complex materials.
In this context, employing ultrafast time-resolved methodologies we investigate the dynamics of fundamental processes in the condensed phase which govern the macroscopic properties of matter. Materials of interest range from molecular architectures mimicking photosynthesis to 3-D photonic nanocrystals and from laser-induced plasmas to strongly correlated systems. Furthermore, by way of advanced laser pulse tailoring schemes we investigate how non-conventional excitation of matter can lead to novel functions and properties of materials.
We also work on the development of optical sensing systems based on tailor-made nanostructures fabricated by use of laser-based techniques coupled to chemical growth methods.
In parallel, we explore versatile spectrochemical methods and develop relevant instrumentation for analysis of materials responding to a broad range of challenges extending from cultural heritage diagnostics to monitoring industrial processes.
Ultrafast and nonlinear light-matter interactions:
- Study of ultrafast light-matter interactions in bulk and nanostructured materials with strong electronic correlations and nonlinear properties.
- Control of ultrafast processes during laser-mater interactions with temporal pulse shaping.
- Study of nonlinear optical properties of 3-D photonic materials.
Analytical spectroscopy and instrumentation:
- Nanosecond and Femtosecond LIBS for the analysis of solids and liquids. Study of plasma dynamics.
- LIBS linked to SSI-MS (sonic spray ionization mass spectrometry) for the analysis of biomolecules.
- Development of compact/portable laser-based analytical instrumentation (mobile LIBS, stand-off LIBS, mobile micro-Raman).
- Applications of laser spectroscopic tools in relation to industrial process monitoring.
- Laser fabricated micro/nano-structured materials as room-temperature optical sensors.
- Molecular and nanoparticle photophysics and photochemistry – Optical thermometry.
Ultrafast Laser Amplifier repetition rate 1 kHz, center wavelength 800 nm, maximum pulse energy 0.8 mJ, minimum pulse duration 25 fs