Image from the laser lab at The University of Melbourne. Gavan Mitchell & Michelle Gough.
Original Published Date: 
Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Full article issued by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science.

For the first time, Australian researchers will be able to resolve fast changes in molecular structure during photochemical reactions after the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science received additional funding to establish a world-class laser spectroscopy facility.

Based at The University of Melbourne and led by Professor Trevor Smith, the new facility will be used for ultrafast transient infrared measurements, which Australian researchers have previously only been able to access overseas.

'Many photochemical reactions involve changes in molecular structure. Identifying short-lived intermediate species and measuring these changes on ultrafast timescales provides an important tool for understanding reaction mechanisms,' Professor Smith says.

The laser system also employs a custom dual-amplifier design which overcomes a major limitation of ultrafast spectroscopy, allowing measurements to traverse the ‘nanosecond gap’ which has frustrated laser spectroscopists since the first ultrafast spectroscopy experiments were developed.

The facility is supported by funding by a Linkage Infrastrucutre Equipment and Facilities grant, and by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) through the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP) infrastructure funding schemes.

Photo credit: 

Image from the laser lab at The University of Melbourne. Credit: Gavan Mitchell & Michelle Gough.