Ultrafast phenoma


Lecturer(s) :

Barillot Thomas Roland
Chergui Majed




Every year


Postponed until further notice


The course will cover fundamental concepts and recent developments in the field of ultrafast spectroscopy and introduce the basic theory to understand ultrafast (10-16 - 10-9 s) phenomena in chemistry, biology and condensed matter physics.


For the study of electronic and structural dynamics in solids and (bio-) molecules in 'real' time, a variety of time-resolved spectroscopic techniques (in the optical, THz, and X-ray region of the electromagnetic spectrum, as well as using short electron pulses) are available.'The fastest dynamics that are accessible with state-of-the-art experiments are the motion of electrons in the attosecond regime (10-18-10-16 s), vibrational motion of molecules (10-14 s), and electronic relaxation pathways (>10-12 s). Examples include the breaking of interatomic bonds, vibrational dynamics in molecular systems, tracking of radiative and non-radiative electron relaxation pathways in biological systems, as well as charge carriers dynamics in materials.'The course addresses technological and theoretical aspects, and in the last part a few examples from literature will be studied:

 1. Principles of femtosecond laser system

 2. Time-resolved spectroscopy methods

 3. Theory (no, or minimal, pre-existing knowledge is required)

4. Examples: Photon-Echo spectroscopy, Biological electron an energy transfer, Solvation dynamics, charge carriers in materials, etc.'       

Students are encouraged to bring up subjects/papers for discussion.



Suggested reading:


Picosecond, femtosecond, attosecond, chemistry, biology, materials, spectroscopy, pump-probe, Nonlinear optics, X-rays, electrons, pulsed X-ray sources (synchrotrons, X-ray free electron lasers), ultrashort electron pulses.

Learning Prerequisites

Required courses

Quantum mechanics

Molecular Physics-Condensed matter physics-physical chemistry

Expected student activities

Read an article in ultrafast science and formulate his/her own questions


Ressources en bibliothèque

In the programs

Reference week

      Exercise, TP
      Project, other


  • Autumn semester
  • Winter sessions
  • Spring semester
  • Summer sessions
  • Lecture in French
  • Lecture in English
  • Lecture in German