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Imaging Complex
Charge Dynamics

Ultrafast charge dynamics


Whilst minutes and hours are the timescales we as humans are used too, the energy carriers that lie at the heart of many of our technological devices (computers, batteries, solar cells) move a whole lot faster: closer to 10    to 10     seconds (attoseconds to picoseconds). We try to observe and control these carriers, e.g., electrons, on their natural timescale. Our long-term goal is to manipulate their elementary dynamics, such as to improve device functionality.



Advanced characterisation tools


We specialise in the development and application of advanced techniques to probe ultrafast (femto/picosecond) energy dynamics at nanoscopic lengthscales. We use visible-IR, THz, and X-ray radiation. Increasingly we are focussed on ways to follow random processes (e.g., ion hops), exploiting the quantum nature of light and tracking reactions that are not light-driven. We build experiments (and analysis methods) in-house and collaborate with leading groups at central facilities.

Quantum dynamics at the nanoscale

At the nanoscale, materials can have unique electronic and magnetic properties compared to their bulk counterparts, especially when the atoms are confined in 0,1 or 2 dimensions. We are trying to understand how these interesting behaviours emerge, how to control them, e.g., with light's orbital angular momentum, and exploring electronic dynamics at unusual structural motifs, e.g., surfaces or edges. 

Sustainable energy systems

Technologies like Li-ion batteries are revolutionising the world we live in. But to meet our growing demands for green energy these (and other) systems need to rapidly improve. While we think understanding fundamental energy dynamics is a route to this, we are conscious of the ultimate ‘device’ optimisation goal. We work closely with others/industry (computing & materials manufacturing sectors) to ensure our tools and insights can be rapidly translated to impact.

We are a materials spectroscopy group trying to push the limits of what we can learn about chemical dynamics using light. Our particular focus is on ultrafast processes in complex nanoscale environments, especially when quantum, random and non-light driven effects come into play.

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