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Atomic and Molecular Sciences group

Our experiments focus on ultrafast phenomena in atoms, molecules, clusters in the gas-phase as well as atoms, molecules and biological entities in the condensed phase.

Our tools

ultrafast laser pulses…they are “on” for only 5 fs: long enough for barely 2 optical cycles of 800 nm light!

optical traps…using tightly focused laser beams to create a dipole trap…we work on LIVE single cells!

spectroscopy integrated with traps…Raman Tweezers!

time-of-flight spectrometry..”looking” at SINGLE ions!

Infra-red & fibre lasers for photonics; nonlinear optics.

Some recent work

With only 2 optical cycles, the carrier envelope phase (CEP) within a pulse becomes important: we stabilize and control it!This allows us to explore how ionization and dissociation of molecules depend on CEP…opens new vistas for attosecond dynamics. [Mathur et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 110 (2013) 083602]

We’ve shown that ultrafast molecular rearrangements, like proton migration, can occur on timescales of only one vibrational period! [Garg et al., J. Chem. Phys. 136 (2012) 024320]

By created hot plasma in water containing DNA we’ve shown that DNA damage can be induced by very low-energy electrons and by OH-radicals. [D’Souza et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 106 (2011) 118101]

We trap healthy and malaria-infected red blood cells to probe changes in cell membrane elasticity and birefringence.[Dharmadhikari et al., J. Biomed. Opt. 18 (2013) 125001]