With this award from the Chemistry Research Instrumentation and Facilities (CRIF) Program, the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oregon in Eugene will acquire an ultrafast tunable laser source. This equipment will enhance research in a number of areas including a) vibrational spectroscopic measurements at liquid surfaces; b) self-assembly of inorganic/organic multilayer thin films; c) pump/probe studies of cage effects in organometallic radical chemistry; and d) carbon-rich networks and materials based on dehydrobenzoannulenes.
Ultrafast spectroscopy allow scientists to investigate chemistry that occurs in the picosecond (10^-12) and femtosecond (10^-15) time regimes. On these extremely short timescales, atoms move and bonds between atoms are broken or formed. Ultrafast optical techniques allow for the investigation of chemical reaction dynamics during the course of the reaction itself. The detailed picture of chemical reactivity provided by ultrafast spectroscopy has allowed researchers to explore how plants harvest solar energy, to create new and more efficient optoelectronic materials, and to understand the fundamental steps in many environmental processes. In short, ultrafast spectroscopy holds the promise of unraveling the microscopic details of chemical reactivity.