Read My LIBS
Mayo Villagrán Muniz discusses the importance of Latin America’s conference season in 2019 – and the wonders of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy.
Matthew Hallam | | Interview
What’s the focus of your work?
My group at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) studies the interaction of nanosecond laser pulses with a given target using optical, electrical and acoustic techniques. In Mexico, we pioneered the use of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) – one of the most powerful methods available to characterize light-matter interactions. Our lab is called "Photophysics and Thin Films," owing to the potential to obtain thin films when using pulsed laser deposition. We’ve also used the laser-induced breakdown mechanism to simulate and study physical processes that are difficult to study in situ – such as stellar explosions and lightning.
There are many laboratories at UNAM that provide a diverse range of physical and chemical analytical techniques; our institute, the Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (ICAT), is a key example, but we also have access to the Spectroscopic Characterization University Laboratory and the Environmental Nanotechnology University Laboratory. In our lab, we specialized in optical emission techniques and photoacoustic techniques. Simply put, we “see and hear” matter responding to excitation with nanosecond laser pulses. At the moment, we are applying this to the production, functionalization, and characterization of nanoparticles for medical applications.
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