Lasers in Chemistry

Module code: F1196
Level 6
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Workshop
Assessment modes: Coursework, Unseen examination

You learn the fundamental principles of lasers and their application in chemistry, chemical physics and biophysics.

Building on a basic understanding of spectroscopy, you examine both the theoretical and practical aspect of lasers and the properties of coherent light.

Differences between continuous wave and ultra-fast lasers are explored through applications to steady-time and time-resolved spectroscopy.

The importance of lasers in chemistry and related disciplines is highlighted through the analysis of results from studies in molecular dynamics and energy transfer, coherent control of chemical reactions, atmospheric chemistry and laser based microscopy techniques.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate systematic understanding of the theoretical principles of laser action, the properties of coherent light source and the basic components required in the construction of a laser.
  • Demonstrate conceptual understanding that enables them to describe the differences between steady-state continuous wave and time-resolved spectroscopic experiments and the types of information that can be harnessed from photons counting, measurement of excited state lifetimes and polarisation in the photon.
  • Deploy established techniques of analysis and enquiry to determine properties of light and light-matter interactions, including photon count rates, laser gain and energy transfer efficiency.
  • Use results from laser based experiments to review, consolidate and apply knowledge and understanding about molecular structure and interactions in the gas phase and condensed liquid and solid-state phases.