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WCUS Launch: Thursday 15th December 2016

PlasmaTo celebrate the completion of the new laboratory hosting the Warwick Centre for Ultrafast Spectroscopy (WCUS), we are hosting a launch event on Thursday 15th December. The day will feature keynote talks from three prominent experts on ultrafast spectroscopy from across the UK, along with a poster session showcasing some of the work already going on at Warwick in this area. We will also have an official opening of the new laboratory.

Potential users of this new laser facility from both inside Warwick and externally are welcome to attend. If you would like be part of the day, please fill out this form or let us know via email, so that we can know numbers for catering. We will highlight some of our new capabilities during the day and are happy to discuss possible experiments at the facility, which is supported by the University, the EPSRC, and Newport Spectra Physics.

The launch event is sponsored by the Department of Physics as part of the "Physics Day" scheme.

WCUS houses a state-of-the-art amplified Ti:sapphire laser that drives our UV, visible, IR and THz beamlines. The white streak in the picture is a plasma formed at the laser beam's focus - as well as looking impressive, air plasmas emit broadband pulses of THz radiation that can be used for spectroscopy!


10:30 Coffee and arrival - MAS Concourse

11:00 Welcome & WCUS overview (Vas, James, Mick)


James Lloyd-Hughes, University of Warwick. MAS 2.05/6
"Probing charge and spin dynamics in novel materials using terahertz radiation"
In this talk I will highlight how terahertz spectroscopy can probe the dynamics of charges and spins in materials in a non-contact fashion, giving examples from our recent work, and highlighting the capabilities of terahertz time-domain spectroscopy in particular.


Dan Murdock, University of Bristol. MAS 2.05/6
"Structure or Dynamics: What Drives Photoproduct Branching at Conical Intersections?"
Photoinduced ring-opening is one of the energetic deactivation pathways available to heterocylic molecules. In this work, we have investigated the solution phase dynamics of two structurally related heterocycles, α-pyrone and coumarin (benzo-α-pyrone) using time-resolved vibrational absorption spectroscopy (TVAS). This revealed the formation of a ring-opened ketene isomer to be a significant photoinduced reaction pathway for α-pyrone, whereas in coumarin photoexcitation results entirely in reformation of the ring-closed parent molecule.

Use of a novel, automated search algorithm for the location of conical intersections revealed the lowest energy conical intersections for both species were remarkably similar in structure, despite the differences in the observed photochemistry. By using ab-initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulations, we have gained important insights into the topography of the potential energy surfaces involved in these ring-opening reactions and how the dynamics at these critical regions of the potential energy surface ultimately determine the observed product branching.

12:30 Lunch, poster and networking session - MAS Concourse

13:45 Lab opening ceremony and tour - MAS 2.11

14:15 Helen Fielding, UCL. MAS 2.05/6
"Shedding new light on photochemistry in nature: from biological motifs to photoactive protein chromophores"
Photoelectron spectroscopy and time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy are powerful tools for probing the electronic structure and excited state dynamics of molecules. In this talk, I will describe some of our recent investigations of non-radiative decay processes in a range of small molecules in the gas-phase and new results illustrating how liquid-jet photoelectron spectroscopy promises to be an exciting new tool for studying molecules in solution.

15:00 Close

Registration form
Schedule at a glance

10:30 Coffee and arrival
MAS Concourse

11:00 Welcome & WCUS overview

11:15 James Lloyd-Hughes, Warwick

12:00 Dan Murdock, Bristol

12:30 Lunch and poster session
MAS Concourse

13:45 Lab opening ceremony and tour

14:15 Helen Fielding, UCL

15:00 Close