Research

The Cina group focuses on theoretical aspects of ultrafast spectroscopy, primarily in application to molecular systems in condensed phases. Current areas of investigation include:

  • strategies to elucidate molecular processes in many-body systems triggered and probed by ultrashort laser pulses
  • techniques to prepare and measure quantum super-positions of classically dissimilar vibrational states and the subsequent degradation of their quantum phase coherence
  • possible approaches to the control of molecular nuclear motion with shaped pulse sequences.

The new techniques and shorter-time domains that are now being explored by ultrafast methods require both conceptual advances—to define precisely the physical content of new kinds of measurements—and the development of practical computational strategies for accurately simulating the molecular-level electronic and nuclear dynamics of many-body systems.

The area of Wavepacket interferometry—to which the Cina group has made several recent contributions—presents new opportunities for direct characterization of time-dependent molecular wave functions. In professors Tom Dyke and Andy Marcus, Cina and coworkers are currently implementing these new methods, which rely on subtle quantum mechanical interference effects between different portions of specially prepared molecular states, with the aim of better elucidating optically induced molecular dynamics and electronic energy transfer.