The spectroscopic signatures of compounds and metastable species can be used to determine both inter and intramolecular interactions, structures, chemical dynamics and reactivity, as well as energy transfer pathways. The monochromatic, coherent light generated by lasers offer incredible sensitivity for probing these phenomena over widely varying energy and temporal regimes.
The state-of-the-art lasers implemented in our research have pulse durations ranging from 80 femtoseconds (where 1 fs = 10-15 s) up to continuous wave (or always on). The wavelengths spanned by these lasers cover the far infrared (13 µm) to the ultraviolet (193 nm), so that properties of molecules with rotational excitation,
vibrational motions, and varying electronic excitation can be accessed. In our Department, a number of laser spectroscopy techniques are implemented to characterize
- charge separation processes in photosynthetic reaction centers
- electronic relaxation in metalloporphyrins
- photophysical properties of arrays of porphyrins and molecular wires
- bimolecular reactivity and interactions
- atmospheric chemistry at low temperatures
- the progress of reactions in real time using quantum mechanical interference
- optical properties of semiconductors nanostructures, and single molecules.