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Los Alamos National LaboratoryLaboratory for Ultrafast Materials and Optical Sciences
Understanding and controlling materials on the fastest time scales


Our cutting edge research capabilities include many ultrafast laser laboratories, scanning probes, and large scale light sources.

Details on Capabilities

Capabilities Collage

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Optical Pump - THz Probe Spectroscopy
  • Coherent detection of amplitude and phase
  • Non-contact probe of static and ultrafast transport properties
  • Three oscillator-based, high sensitivity THz-TDS systems (0.2-3 THz) for angle-dependent transmission and reflection studies
    • THz magneto-optical spectroscopy
  • Two regenerative amplifiers (1 kHz, 2 mJ, 1.5 eV, 30 fs) based systems for higher THz energies via optical rectification for 0.2-3 THz
  • Broadband (amplifier-based) two-color plasma THz generation (0-20 THz)
  • Variable temperature 4K ÷ 700K

THz Probe Spectroscopy Image 1

THz Probe Spectroscopy Image 2

Photoinduced coherences in UO2

THz Probe Spectroscopy Image 3

Photoinduced phase transition in VO2

THz Probe Spectroscopy Image 4

D.J Hilton, et al, *Phys. Rev. Lett. 99 226401 (2007).

ContactsRohit Prasankumar, Abul Azad, George Rodriguez, Steve Gilbertson, and Hou-Tong Chen

Broadband Optical Pump-Probe Spectroscopy
  • Multiple oscillator-based systems (80 MHz, 10 nJ, 10-100 fs)
  • Several regenerative amplifiers (1-250 kHz, 4µJ-4mJ, 1.5 eV, 30-100 fs)
  • Spectral coverage from 267 nm to 10 µmTR-SHG, TR-KR, Coherent control of pulses
    • Visible and infrared optical amplifiers (OPAs)
    • Difference frequency generation (DFG)
    • Second and third harmonic generation
  • TR-SHG, TR-KR, Coherent control of pulses
  • Sensitivity down to ΔR/R<10-7
  • Variable temperature 4K ÷ 700K
  • Two split-coil magnets for T=4-300K and B=0-8T
  • Fourier Transform infrared spectrometers (4-400K, 10-45,000 cm-1)
Broadband Optical Pump-probe Spectroscopy Image 1
Ultrafast optical switching with a negative index metamaterial (K.M. Danl et al, Nano Lett. 9, 3565 (2009))
Broadband Optical Pump-probe Spectroscopy Image 2
Coherent Magnons in Ba0.6Sr1.4Zn2Fe12O22 (Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 097603 (2008))
Broadband Optical Pump-probe Spectroscopy Image 3
Photoinduced ferroelectric polarization enhancement in a FE/FM heterostructure (Y.M. Sheu et al, Phys. Rev. B (Rapid Comm.) 88, 020101(r) (2013))

ContactsRohit Prasankumar and Dmitry Yaroktski

Mid-IR Pump - THz Probe System
  • Selective low-energy mode excitation
  • A regenerative amplifier (1 kHz, 3mJ, 1.5 eV, 30 fs)
  • TOPAS OPA & DFG covering 400 nm-20 μm
  • 0.2 - 3 THz Probe
  • THz pump - THz/SHG/KR/Optica probe
    • A regenerative amplifier (1 kHz, 3 mJ, 1.5 eV, 100 fs)
    • Tilted pulse front THz generation: ~100 kV/cm at ~1 THz
    • DFG of two tunable OPAs: up to ~50 MV/cm at 10-70 THz
  • Variable temperature 4K-700K

Broadband Probe 1


Broadband Probe 2 

ContactsRohit Prasankumar and Hou-Tong Chen

Time-Resolved ARPES
  • HHG VUV source: 20-100 eV tunable photon energy
  • 10 fs time-resolution
  • Flux: ~1010 photons/harmonics
  • Small spotsize ~100 μm or less
  • 1.5, 3, 4.5 eV pump pulses from Red Dragon multipass amplifier (1.5 eV, 1.4 mJ, 10 kHz, 30 fs)
  • SPECS Phoibos 150 2D hemispherical analyzer
    • <0.2 eV energy resolution
    • High angular resolution
  • UHV environment: ~10-11 Torr
  • Variable temperature 4K ÷ 700 K
  • 4-axis sample manipulator, Helium lamp, sputter gun







Contacts: George Rodriguez and Steve Gilbertson

Time-Resolved XMLD and Coherent Diffractive Imaging
  • Tabletop HHG XUV Source : 20-100 eV
  • Probes X-ray absorption dichroism at 3p→3d (M-edge)
    • Element specific
    • Sensitive to Interfaces
    • Unique FM/AFM sensitivity
  • Sub -40 fs time resolution
  • Small spotsize ~ 100 μm or less
  • 1.5, 3.0, and 4.5 eV pump pulses from a regenerative amplifier (1 kHz, 35 fs)
  • Bright (10 photons/sec at 30 eV), spactially coherent beams
  • Expected ~ 50 nm spatial resolution with coherent x-ray diffraction imaging (XMLD-CXDI) capability
  • UHV environment: ~10-11 Torr; 4K - 700K


Time-Resolved XMLD

Contacts: Dmitry Yarotski and Richard Sandberg

Single-Shot Tabletop Dynamic Coherent Diffractive Imaging
  • System currently under construction, up to 100 mJ IR drive, first XUV pulses soon
  • Need high resolution (nanoscale) and ultrafast probes for dynamic materials processes: ejecta from shocked metal surfaces


CDI2 Image

Contacts: Richard Sandberg and Steve Gilbertson

Ultrafast Optical Microscopy
  • Ultrafast scanning optical microscopy enables time-resolved measurements of the diffusion current in nanowires
  • Ultrafast wide field optical microscopy (UOWFM) allows one to capture time-resolved images of nearly any sample without scanning

Ultrafast Optical Microscopy

UOM Image

Contacts: Rohit Prasankumar

Laser-Assisted STM and Coherent Control

Contacts: Dmitry Yarotski