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IQSE AMO/QO Physics Seminar

"Applications of molecular coherence: From nano-science to remote atmospheric sensing and detection of toxic molds"

Alexei Sokolov
Texas A&M University


Molecular coherence is a property of an ensemble prepared in a coherent superposition state – a property that has been used for example in a technique termed molecular modulation, allowing arbitrary ultrafast non-sinusoidal field synthesis. Molecular coherence is analogous to its atomic counterpart that has earlier been used in electromagnetically induced transparency, ultraslow light propagation, and lasing without inversion. Recent work has shown that an increased and cleverly manipulated molecular coherence enables improvements in optical detection and sensing. I will discuss the optimal excitation and probing of such molecular coherence by ultrafast shaped laser pulses, optimized for unambiguous readout of spectral fingerprints. One possible extension is to ultrafast laser spectroscopy enhanced by plasmonic nano-antennas, which shows promise for probing ultra-small molecular samples; potential applications of this technique range from detecting bio-agents to direct DNA readout. On the other end of the applications spectrum, molecular coherence can be used to enhance remote spectroscopic detection and identification of trace chemicals, environmental toxins, and pathogens such as black mold.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
IQSE Seminar Room, 12:00 Noon
(578 MPHY)

Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering
Texas A&M University

(Pizza, salad, and soda to be served at 11:45 a.m.)