Ultrafast Phenomena


Lecturer(s) :

Chergui Majed
Longetti Luca
Marroux Hugo Jean Baptiste




Every year


Next time: Fall


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.



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