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


Welcome to the home page for the LUMOS team in the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT) at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Please read our mission below and explore the following pages for insight into our research and capabilities.
"To understand and control the interaction of photons with materials' electronic, spin, and structural behavior on the ultra fast time scale for missions of national security."


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 LANL

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.

Image of Recent Research Results

Our recent results (clockwise from the top left corner): (i) Addition of the tunneling barrier at the donor-acceptor interface suppresses charge transfer exciton (CTE) recombination as well as diffusive channel of CTE generation in organic solar cells; (ii) Our table top setup can now probe ultrafast dynamics of spin alignment on specific ions (e.g. Mn3+ in SmMnO3) using X-Ray Magnetic Absorption Dichroism that was only accessible before at large synchrotron facilities; (iii) Interfacing thin manganite (LSMO) layers with superconducting (YBCO) film can restore metallic and ferromagnetic properties of manganite which were destroyed by large residual strain, as evidenced by scanning tunneling spectroscopy; (iv) Our variable-temperature STM can follow the inhomogeneity of electronic properties in manganite films across metal-insulator phase transition.