The team at the Laboratory for Ultrafast Materials and Optical Science (LUMOS) seeks to understand and control the interaction of photons with materials’ electronic, spin, and structural behavior on the ultrafast time scale for missions of national security. The LUMOS facility is equipped with ultrafast laser systems covering a broad spectral range that spans the far-infrared to the soft X-ray portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. These systems enable a multitude of ultrafast spectroscopic and imaging experiments, including optical-pump terahertz-probe spectroscopy, high harmonic generation extreme ultraviolet spectroscopies, and scanning probe imaging and spectroscopies. We work closely with the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies to study and develop novel materials for a wide range of applications.
Aerial view of Los Alamos National Laboratory in Northern New Mexico
Our research is focused on the properties and dynamic behavior of complex organic (polymers, molecules) and inorganic (multiferroics, heavy fermions and Kondo systems, topological insulators, and oxide heterostructures) materials. We apply scanning probe microscopies and ultrafast optical spectroscopy to gain an insight into materials functionality at the fundamental spatial and temporal scales. In particular, we rely on broadband coherent electromagnetic probes spanning X-Ray to THz photon energies to investigate how materials properties emerge from strong correlations among spin, lattice, orbital and charge degrees of freedom. We also use scanning tunneling (magnetic, piezoelectric and others) microscopy to reveal the intrinsic connection between these correlations and spatial homogeneity of materials response. Finally, we manipulate the spectral and temporal phases and amplitudes of ultrafast electromagnetic pulses with a goal of controlling the system evolution pathways ensuing coherent photoexcitation.