Ultrafast spectroscopy of carbon-based materials

We use femtosecond pulses to study carbon based materials such as biological materials, organic semiconductors and graphene.

Highlights include demonstrating the wave behaviour of electrons in organic solar cells, observation of one of the fastest conformational changes yet known to man, a giant broadband non-linear response in dispersed graphene sheets and ultrafast all-optical switching in plastic optical fiber amplifiers.

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Photophysics of carotenoids in photoprotection

Carotenoid aggregates are ubiquitous in photoprotective systems such as the eye, skin, leaves and algae.

We have demonstrated that absorption of light in carotenoid aggregates leads to ultrafast (sub-100fs) creation of two distinct low-energy excited states. The biological role of this surprising quantum mechanical process in biology is not yet understood. We work on carotenoid aggregates in vitro and in living algae to further understand the physical process and determine its biological function.

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Photophysics of ordered organic semiconductors

Highly ordered organic semiconductors provide a huge challenge to our understanding. Charge moves with a motion that is somewhere between wavelike (as in inorganic semiconductors) and hopping (as in disordered semiconductors).

We study the photophysics of highly ordered organic semiconductors, discovering new physics and attempting to develop new models for understanding in collaboration with theoreticians.

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