Laser Spectroscopy and Optics

Laser Spectroscopy and Optics

Research in laser spectroscopy and optics falls under the broad umbrella of Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics. A focused area of significant research involves the Raman spectroscopy of graphitic nanomaterials (e.g. single-walled and multi-walled carbon nanotubes, graphene, and functionalized graphene nanoplatelets) and metal oxides (e.g. tungsten trioxide and tin dioxide) with an aim to characterize such materials for gas-sensing applications, energy storage and photovoltaics. In addition, we use other spectroscopy techniques (e.g. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, UV-VIS Spectroscopy Scanning Electron Microscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy and X-Ray Diffraction) to gain a better understanding of the vibrational phonon modes, crystallite size, chemical composition, morphology and thermal characteristics of these nanomaterials for a wide range of applications relating to frontier areas in optoelectronics and quantum science. In addition, supersonic jet-cooled free radicals of significance for combustion processes (e.g. alkoxy and alkylthio radicals) have been characterized spectroscopically, along with their associated chemical kinetics for reactions with NOx and molecular oxygen. Computational modeling and numerical simulations of vibrational phenomena associated with nanomaterials are being studied for gas-sensing applications; along with machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques for differentiating a variety of functionalized groups (e.g. carboxyl, ammonia, oxygen, fluoro-carbon, nitrogen and hydroxyl) in graphene nanoplatelets. Terahertz spectroscopy of metamaterials is also being pursued with an eye towards applications related to spatial light modulators and liquid crystals.

Topics included in this research at present include but are not limited to:

  1. spectroscopic characterization of nanomaterials (carbon nanotubes, graphene, functionalized graphene, metal oxides)
  2. Raman spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy, FT-IR spectroscopy & UV-VIS spectroscopy
  3. terahertz spectroscopy of metamaterials
  4. laser spectroscopy & chemical kinetics of moderately-sized jet-cooled free radicals
  5. Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation of molecular vibrations
  6. machine learning & artificial intelligence applied to functionalized graphene nanoplatelets

Researchers in this area:

  1. Prabhakar Misra
  2. Thomas Searles
  3. Quinton Williams
  4. Daniel Casimir
  5. Raul F. Garcia-Sanchez