In the beginning of this year, the MUSIQ project members from the University of Luxembourg presented a novel setup for multidimensional coherent spectroscopy with noncollinear geometry and complete field resolution in the THz range, which covers the characteristic fingerprint region of biomolecules. Thomas Deckert, MUSIQ ESR11, and PI Daniele Brida, among others, show that the setup is capable to detect signals down to a few tens of V cm-1 entirely background free and benchmark the setup with measurements on a low-bandgap semiconductor, paving the way towards the investigation of functional thin film materials, few-layer samples, and other specimen to study their coherent responses. The article has been published in New Journal of Physics and is openly accessible to all.
Energetic correlations and their dynamics govern the fundamental properties of condensed matter materials. Ultrafast multidimensional spectroscopy in the mid infrared is an advanced technique to study such coherent low-energy dynamics. The intrinsic many-body phenomena in functional solid-state materials, in particular few-layer samples, remain widely unexplored to this date, because complex and weak sample responses demand versatile and sensitive detection. Here, we present a novel setup for ultrafast multidimensional spectroscopy with noncollinear geometry and complete field resolution in the 15–40 THz range. Electric fields up to few-100 kV cm−1 drive coherent dynamics in a perturbative regime, and an advanced modulation scheme allows to detect nonlinear signals down to a few tens of V cm−1 entirely background-free with high sensitivity and full control over the geometric phase-matching conditions. Our system aims at the investigation of correlations and many-body interactions in condensed matter systems at low energy. Benchmark measurements on bulk indium antimonide reveal a strong six-wave mixing signal and map ultra-fast changes of the band structure with access to amplitude and phase information. Our results pave the way towards the investigation of functional thin film materials and few-layer samples.
Before a novel medicine can be introduced on the market, it needs to undergo a drug development process which today on average consists of six stages. The drug development process from target discovery to the launch can take up to 15 years. Read more
In coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy two laser beams are used to produce radiation at a third wavelength when energy difference between pulses matches vibrational energy of a sample. For this vibrationally specific microscopy method it is critical to have a reliable wavelength-tunable light source to address different Raman bands. Optical parametric amplifiers (OPAs) and oscillators (OPOs) are well suited for this task. Read more
The emergence of faster and more sensitive scientific cameras allows to acquire images with unprecedented sensitivity and speed. This is particularly important for applications in life sciences where techniques like Raman imaging require low-noise detectors while other techniques like fluorescent correlation spectroscopy rely on frame rates in the upper kilohertz range. To obtain meaningful data it is therefore essential to choose the scientific camera according to the experimental conditions. Read more
From 21 – 25 June 2021 the bi annual Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe & European Quantum Electronics Conference (CLEO/Europe-EQEC) took place online at the World of Photonics Congress 2021 The CLEO/Europe-EQEC brings together universities, industry scientists and researchers to discuss basic research in laser physics, nonlinear optics and quantum optics. Thomas Deckert, our MUSIQ ESR11, represented the project by presenting his results on Ultrafast Coherent Spectroscopy with Field Resolution at Mid-Infrared and THz Frequencies.
This section focuses on: 1. eliminating heat-induced signals by controlling pulse spectra through pulse shaping, 2. compressive sensing to shorten the data acquisition time, and 3. simultaneous frequency and time resolution using time-frequency transforms. Read more
From the 13th to the 15th of January the ESRs and the MUSIQ partners came together once again to discuss their progress on the development of next-generation optical microscopy.
The conference was hosted virtually from GSK in Stevenage – hence we dubbed it COVID can’t stop the MUSIQ – and brought together scientists from 9 countries spanning across 9 time zones. All ESRs had a chance to share and discuss their science with some of the greatest scientific minds in non-linear optics, plasmonics, spectroscopy or mass spectrometry from the safety of their homes.
The main focus of this conference were the ESRs and their talks on their scientific progress they achieved prior to this meeting, covering the fields of ultrafast spectroscopy and optical microscopy exploiting quantum coherent nonlinear phenomena. The management and organisation of the event was in the hands of Jan Majer and Nicole Slesiona, puppeteered by Steve Hood (GSK) and Paola Borri (Cardiff University). ESRs were responsible for the chairing and the management of the individual sessions to prepare each and every one for their future in the scientific community.
Apart from peer-to-peer scientific discussions among the students and discussions with the PIs, professors Ian Gilmore, Michel Orrit, Enrico Gratton and Christoph Lienau, members of our advisory board, accepted the invitation to deliver talks as Keynote speakers. They shared their expertise and their innovative approaches to further everyone’s insights into the possibilities that lay in front to bring the scientific community closer to broaden everyone’s knowledge about ultrafast quantum processes:
Metabolic imaging with subcellular resolution using mass spectrometry, held by Prof. Ian Gilmore
Optical Microspectroscopy of Single Molecules and Nanoparticles, held by Prof. Michel Orrit
Single cell physiological characterization in living tissue, held by Prof. Enrico Gratton
Coherent ultrafast charge and energy transfer processes in nanostructures, held by Prof. Christoph Lienau
The laser source is arguably the core component in any CRS experiment. In this brief article we explain what the most common laser sources for CRS microscopy are and try to give guidelines for their selection. Read more
This section informs about the latest laser sources and their requirements for biophotonics applications. Specifically, the field of multiphoton microscopy (MPM) was subject to vast developments in recent years, pushed by the development of pulsed laser sources. This article will provide an overview of specific requirements of MPM experiments, and therein requirements for the laser sources themselves. Read more
The 2nd MUSIQ week was originally planned to be a face-to-face event in June 2020. Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the school was organised online and held earlier to keep the ESRs engaged during the period where access to the various research labs was restricted. The 2nd School “Nano-Plasmonics and applications” organised by our MUSIQ partner, ICFO, from 28th April – 7th May 2020 in six half day sessions and lecture topics related to the subject.
Diffraction limited fluorescence microscopy and super-resolution approaches – Maria Garcia-Parajo (ICFO)
Introduction to nanoplasmonics – Niek van Hulst (ICFO)
Nanofabrication and integration approaches towards Neuroplasmonics – Francesco de Angelis (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia)
Nanoplasmonics & single molecules using DNA origamis – Guillermo Acuña (Université de Fribourg)
Nanoplasmonics for ultra-sensitive detection & living cell applications – Maria Garcia-Parajo (ICFO)
The virtual training session was open to externals and attracted 50-60 additional participants from outside of the MUSIQ Network. We would like to thank Prof. Maria Garcia-Parajo from ICFO for organising this event and for the active participation from everyone who joined.
The COVID-19 has restricted the movement of people which has affected many including our Early Stage Researchers who would be required to travel for their research and training, a key aspect in European Training Networks (ETNs).
To find a way for the the MUSIQ ESRs to work together in these difficult times and to manage their “mobility” The MUSIQ network is organising online e-school training modules to offer the MUSIQ Early Stage Researchers and other students from our partner organisations the opportunity to receive virtual training on ultrafast optics and spectroscopy related topics from our experts within our network.
From the 16.- 23. April 2020 the MUSIQ PIs set up 6 virtual training sessions on topics related to Ultrafast optics and spectroscopy. The presenters consisted of experts in the field within and outside of the MUSIQ network. Details on the sessions can be found below:
16. April – Introduction to Ultrafast Optics and Spectroscopy Giulio Cerullo
17. April – Second- and Third-order Non-Linear Optics Cristian Manzoni
20. April –Multi-dimensional Spectroscopy Margherita Maiuri
21. April – Exercises of Non-linear Optics and Ultrafast Spectroscopy Rocio Borrego-Varillas
22. April – Coherent Optical Spectroscopy of Nanostructures Wolfgang Langbein
23. April – Ultrafast Plasmonics Daniele Brida
We would like to thank the MUSIQ network for their quick thinking and adaption to the current situtation and for bringing together such a interesting E-School and the ESRs for their active contributions.
The MUSIQ project has set up an Instagram account where our ESRs post regular photos and updates on themselves and their work within the project. Follow us online for an insight into the life as a MUSIQ ESR and updates on training and research.