Alvaro Sanchez Gonzalez graduated a 5-year BSc MSc in Physics and a 3-year Technical Engineering in Computer Systems program from the University of Salamanca in 2012, where he remained to complete a MSc in Physics and Technology of Lasers.
During his bachelor degree, he was awarded different scholarships to carry out research in visual optics at the optics institute Daza de Valdés (CSIC) in Madrid, studying the effect of multifocal intraocular lenses as a correction for Prebyopia, and at the Center for Visual Science (University of Rochester, Rochester, NY), exploring the timescales of the Stiles-Crawford effect and phototropism in human photoreceptors.
As part of a different scholarship with the optics group at the University of Salamanca, he dedicated his computer engineering final project to develop a software tool based on parallel processing able to reconstruct in real time the 3-d density profile of a gas-jet using spectral interferometry and ultrashort laser sources. This led his career towards ultrafast laser science, dedicating his master's project to the characterization of ultra short laser pulses, including the preparation from scratch of a SPIDER pulse characterization tool and all the associated software, and the comparison against other methods such FROG or simple autocorrelation.
After his MSc in lasers, he was a awarded a scholarship from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to start an experimental PhD on the topic "Ultrafast measurements with attosecond lasers and x-ray free electron lasers" at Imperial College London, where he has been based since September 2013.
His current research focuses on the study of ultrafast processes in atoms and molecules using the pump-probe technique and attosecond transient absorption (ATA). The dynamics of interest range from electronic initiated nuclear dynamics (0-100 fs), to pure electron correlation dynamics (few fs), such as charge migration, that are relevant to processes like photosynthesis or light harvesting in materials. This research involves work at different facilities such as LCLS (University of Stanford, USA), Artemis at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (STFC, UK), as well as the local labs at Imperial College, with Ti-sapphire-based 800 nm ultrafast pulsed lasers, optical parametric amplification into 1-2 microns, and high harmonic generation up to ~100 eV (and growing).
Apart from the realization of the different experiments, part of the work consists of the commissioning of the local ATA beamline, and the developement of tools for single shot characterization of x-ray pulses at LCLS.
et al., 2017, X-ray Free Electron Laser Determination of Crystal Structures of Dark and Light States of a Reversibly Photoswitching Fluorescent Protein at Room Temperature, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol:18, ISSN:1422-0067
et al., 2017, Accurate prediction of X-ray pulse properties from a free-electron laser using machine learning, Nature Communications, Vol:8, ISSN:2041-1723
et al., 2016, Linac Coherent Light Source data analysis using psana, Journal of Applied Crystallography, Vol:49, ISSN:1600-5767, Pages:672-679
et al., 2015, Ultrafast isomerization initiated by X-ray core ionization, Nature Communications, Vol:6, ISSN:2041-1723