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Terahertz-to-Ultraviolet Ultrafast Spectroscopy

Time-resolved spectroscopy over a broad spectral range from terahertz to ultraviolet enables versatile studies of nanoscale light-matter interactions.

The Center for Nanoscale Materials operates multiple ultrafast spectroscopy tools with photon energies spanning the terahertz, mid-infrared, near-infrared, visible and ultraviolet spectral ranges. This broad spectral range is important for fully understanding the energy transduction and energy dissipation pathways in nanomaterials following their interaction with photons. For example, by having a broad spectral range, we can characterize energy flow in many forms throughout the nanostructure itself—to surface states and surfactants, and ultimately to the surrounding environment. Furthermore, we can time-resolve the dynamics of many types of material excitations over a broad spectral range including excitons, plasmons, phonons, superconducting gap transitions and polarons.

Our ultrafast spectroscopy tools include transient absorption as well time-resolved emission. For emission, we maintain time-correlated single photon counting and streak camera capabilities flexible to the temporal resolution desired. Single particle TCSPC efforts can be performed in the visible and near-infrared with the recent acquisition of a superconducting nanowire single photon detector and microscope system. The spatially and temporally resolved detection of emission enables photon correlation studies important for new directions in quantum optics and quantum information. In general, the combined opportunities in ultrafast spectroscopy over a broad spectral bandwidth provide for great versatility in user science opportunities and nanoscience research directions.

Key Instruments

  • Femtosecond to microsecond transient absorption spectroscopy
  • Ultrafast photoluminescence spectroscopy and microscopy
  • Confocal Raman microscopy and mapping
  • Optically-coupled scanning probe microscopies
  • Single-particle TCSPC microscopy