Ultrafast Spectroscopy in the Elles Group

Chemical reactions are all about making, breaking, and rearranging bonds. That process is relatively straight-forward if you consider only the reactants and products, but what happens during the reaction? In the Elles Group, we seek to answer this question at the molecular scale by studying the dynamics of solution-phase chemical reactions.

Our primary tool is a state-of-the-art ultrafast laser that delivers extremely short ( <35 fs) pulses of light. The laser pulses allow us to watch chemical reactions unfold on the timescale of atomic motion via time-resolved spectroscopy. 

In the simplest case, called pump-probe, one laser pulse excites the sample, then a second, time-delayed probe pulse records changes in the absorption spectrum as the 

Laser Work

system evolves. This transient absorption signal monitorsthe evolution of molecules along the reaction coordinate. 

Ultimately, we can even use what we learn about the reaction dynamics to selectively control the outcome of a chemical reaction!

 

 


Elles Group Highlights
  • Chris Otolski, Matt Barclay, and Emmaline Lorenzo all take home awards from the departmental spring honors banquet for their outstanding work. Great job!
  • Matt Barclay passes his comprehensive oral exam. Nice work, Matt!
  • Our 2PA papers with Anna Krylov highlighting Amanda's 2PA measurements are published in JCP. (Click here and here.)
  • Sadegh and Emmaline present posters at the ACS Meeting in San Francisco.
  • Emmaline is awarded an Honorable Mention for the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. Congrats!
  • Chris Otolski successfully completed his comprehensive oral exam. Nice work, Chris!
  • Read more by clicking here...
Funding Sources