Project title: Ultrafast laser interactions with thin polymer films

Supervisors: Dr Andrew Horsfield, Prof Jon Marangos and Prof Peter Haynes

Project description:

Techniques for imaging molecules with a sub-femtosecond time resolution have been a very active research field in recent years. Novel spectroscopy methods such as high-harmonic generation open up new exciting avenues to directly observe and understand ultrafast processes in chemistry, such as isomerisation, or charge migration [1]. The challenge lies in interpreting these spectra, as the underlying physical processes are difficult to infer from the experiment. Our goal is to predict the dynamics of the electronic and atomic structure upon excitation. This will be achieved by linking several models of different length-scales together, from non-adiabatic time-domain Density Functional Theory [2], to Tight-Binding molecular dynamics [3], to the Maxwell equations. 

[1] Marangos, J. (2005). Ultrafast Science: Molecular Structure In An Instant. Nature,  (7041):435-435

[2] Dundas, D. (2012). Multielectron effects in high harmonic generation in N2 and benzene: simulation using a non-adiabatic quantum molecular dynamics approach for laser-molecule interactions. The Journal of chemical physics,136(19), 194303.