Light is indisputably at the origin of life on earth, driving all photo-chemical reactions in atmosphere, biological systems, and “man-made" energy related materials. On the atomic scale level, we can describe these photo-chemical reactions, through a multitude of elementary processes occurring on the ultrafast time scale (from sub femtosecond to picosecond) where the initial energy/light harvesting process is followed by energy conversion and transport processes. Despite the ever-increasing need to understand these energy conversion and transport processes in many fields of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, many challenges must be addressed due to the multiscale nature of the problem – from atomic to nanoscopic length and time scale.
Our research concerns the fundamental interaction of light with atoms, molecules and clusters, based on a bottom-up approach. We study matter via its interaction with electromagnetic radiation, with a special emphasis on how light couples to the quantum mechanical states of matter. We aim at capturing the underlying dynamics of these excited/transient states to study questions related to:
- The interplay between ultrafast processes and quantum coherence/entanglement,
- The role of conical intersections in ultra-fast isomerization and bond dissociation processes,
- The influence of solvation on physical and chemical properties of a molecule,
- The importance of structural and collective effects in photo-chemical reactions
Experimentally, a variety of light sources are accessible at large-scale facilities or laser laboratories. Most soft X-ray experiments are performed at synchrotron radiation facilities in order to characterize elementary processes. Time resolved information about these processes can be obtained using free electron lasers or attosecond light sources.
The group has a long history in the field of electron spectroscopy and is today the Swedish leader in 3D momentum imaging spectroscopy.
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