Applied Laser Spectroscopies

Atmospheric physics

Currently our group is involved in performing a study for the European Space Agency (ESA) to characterize the Rayleigh-Brillouin scattering phenomenon in atmospheric molecules form an experimental perspective. A RB-scattering setup has been built and measurements are being performed at 355 nm in connection to the ADM-Aeolus mission by ESA to map the wind profile of the Earth atmosphere. Further there is an activity in determining and understanding the composition of the Earth's atmosphere using satellite remote sensing. This research is carried out with Prof. Ilse Aben, extraordinary professor. In the laboratory we use the Cavity-Ring Down technique to measure absolute cross sections of Rayleigh scattering of atmospherically relevant molecules.
The XUV laser setup is employed for measuring the absorption spectrum and the photodissociation phenomena in molecular nitrogen, thus mimicking processes occuring in the upper layers of the Earth atmosphere. See Thesis Sprengers for the investigations on molecular nitrogen.

In a collaboration with Eindhoven University of Technology we have an activity to improve and control the phase characteristics of picosecond mode-locked diode lasers (InP tehnology). The goal of this research is to demonstrate frequency comb operation in such minaturized systems and to apply the lasers for length metrology

Spectroscopy of astrophysically relevant molecules

In the interstellar medium and in distant galaxies highly reactive molecular species are being detected that are recognized from their spectra. Those spectra, in particular electronic spectra, we investigate in a plasma discharge environment set up at the Laser Centre. Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy is employed for detection.

There is an activity of measuring and analyzing the highly complex spectrum and the photodissociation phenomena in carbon monoxide in the XUV, an important process taking place in the interstellar environment. See: Carbon Monoxide.

Sensitive detection of chemical species

The technique of Cavity-Ring down spectroscopy is applied to liquids with the aim of enhancing the sensitivity in liquid chromatography. Further the CRD technique is combined with evanescent wave detection to probe surface monolayers on substrates, with a goal to develop biosensors. These developments are described in detail in a recent Review.

Miniature frequency comb lasers

In a collaboration with Eindhoven University of Technology we have an activity to improve and control the phase characteristics of picosecond mode-locked diode lasers (InP technology). The goal of this research is to demonstrate frequency comb operation in such minaturized systems and to apply the lasers for length metrology. See paper.