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Our lab is developing new ultrafast vibrational techniques to study both the nuclear geometry changes during ultrafast photochemical and photobiological reactions and the vibrational coupling that allows energy flow in small molecules. Our primary tool for these studies is a laser spectroscopy technique called femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopy, or FSRS, that allows the collection of high-resolution vibrational spectra with time-resolution better than 100 fs. We will be developing a state-of-the-art ultrafast laser lab to determine structural changes during charge-transfer dynamics and the extremely short-lived electronic excited states of DNA. Additionally, our lab will be studying vibrational coupling by using FSRS to impulsively drive molecular vibrations and then observing the movement of the vibrational excitation through the molecule.
(Above) Contour plot of the optical Kerr effect cross-correlation between our 400nm pump pulse and a supercontinuum probe. The width of any vertical slice tells us the time-resolution of signals observed at that wavelength.
Our research has been generously supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the American Chemical Society's Petroleum Research Fund.