UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
This proposal describes acquisition of a broadly tunable femtosecond laser system, which includes an optical parametric oscillator pumped by a titanium-sapphire laser and associated instrumentation. It will enable a broad range of experimental work on the interface of nanotechnology, materials sciences and medicine. This highly advanced instrumentation is prohibitively expensive to be acquired through individual research funding. The requested instrument will be installed in a novel type of a laser beam facility, which will provide open access to the laser beam, and room for multiple experimental installations as required by researchers sharing the research focus on optical spectroscopy and imaging. Research in many areas of chemistry, materials sciences, biology and medicine relies on using light for probing structure and function of individual molecules, their assemblies, and living systems. Increasingly important is understanding of photophysics and photochemistry at the time scale as short as femtoseconds, and in the broad spectral range spanning ultraviolet, visible and near infrared. The shared laser facility is requested by a core user base representing a broad range of research expertise and active projects. When installed, it will accelerate the pace of research in medical diagnosis and intervention, analytical methods for bio-threat agents, solar energy harvesting and conversion, and basic sciences.