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Techniques & Tools Spectroscopy, Technology

The Wish List: Spectroscopy

“Top of my wish list would be turnkey ultrafast laser systems. Studying dynamics in systems ranging from molecular movement in macromolecular systems to electron dynamics within molecules (and even photo-ionization) requires the ability to detect phenomena over shorter and shorter time scales. Thirty to forty years ago picosecond measurements were just becoming routine. Today, there are numerous turnkey femtosecond systems used by scientists who are not hardcore ‘laser spectroscopists.’ My wish is for a turnkey attosecond laser system that would allow a wide array of researchers to study complex system electron dynamics. Next year, I’ll wish for the zeptosecond version!”

Frank Bright, Frank Bright, Henry M. Woodburn Chair and SUNY Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry, University at Buffalo, USA

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About the Authors

Nicoló Omenetto

Research Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Florida, USA.

ATA Rick Russo

Rick Russo

Rick Russo has studied the fundamental properties of laser material interactions and related applications for over 30 years. He received a BS degree in Chemistry from the University of Florida in 1976 and a PhD in Chemistry from Indiana University in 1981, where he also completed his postdoctoral studies. Since 1982, he has held various positions at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, where he is currently a Senior Scientist. His research has included: fundamental studies of laser heating and laser ablation processes; improved chemical analysis using laser ablation; fiber sensors for monitoring organic and radioactive species in groundwater; Raman, fluorescence, and photothermal spectroscopy of rare-earth and actinide ions. He is co-inventor of the ion-assisted pulsed laser deposition (IBAD) and ion-texturing (ITEX) processes, and holds the world record for the highest critical current density (Jc) HTSC film on polycrystalline substrate. Rick is co-discoverer of the nanowire laser, highlighted by a Science article and patent application in 2002. Rick is also CEO and founder of Applied Spectra.

Frank Bright

Henry M. Woodburn Chair and SUNY Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry, University at Buffalo, New York.

Jorge Pisonero Castro

Jorge Pisonero is an Associate Professor of Physics (since 2012) at University of Oviedo (Spain), from which he obtained his PhD degree (November 2004) working on glow discharge spectroscopy. After his PhD, he was awarded a 2-year Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship for a postdoctoral stay at ETH (Switzerland) to work on laser ablation-based techniques. Afterwards, Jorge obtained the prestigious “Ramon and Cajal” research contract and went back to University of Oviedo, where in collaboration with Dr Nerea Bordel established the Laser and Plasma Spectroscopy Research Group ( His current research interests are focused on fundamentals and applications of atmospheric and low pressure GD spectroscopies, LIBS and LA-ICP-MS. Moreover, Jorge is co-author of more than 60 scientific articles and several book chapters.

Ron M. A. Heeren

Ron M. A. Heeren

Ron Heeren obtained a PhD degree in technical physics in 1992 at the University of Amsterdam on plasma-surface interactions. In 1999, he started a research group focusing on macromolecular ion physics with high resolution mass spectrometry and the development of imaging mass spectrometry at AMOLF.  From 1995, he has been developing new approaches towards high spatial resolution and high throughput molecular imaging mass spectrometry. Ron’s academic research interests are the fundamental studies of the energetics of macromolecular systems, conformational studies of non-covalently bound protein complexes, high-throughput bioinformatics and the development and validation of new mass spectrometry based proteomic imaging techniques for the life sciences. “In 2012, I co-founded Omics2Image, a company focused on bringing innovative ion detector technology to the analytical market.” Now, Ron is a co-director of the Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging (M4I) center at Maastricht University.

R. Graham Cooks

Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Aston Laboratory of Mass Spectrometry, Purdue University, USA.

Gary Hieftje

Gary Hieftje

Gary Hieftje is distinguished professor and Robert & Marjorie Mann chair at the Department of Chemistry, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and School of Informatics, Indiana University Bloomington, USA. Gary’s research interests include the investigation of basic mechanisms in atomic emission, absorption, fluorescence and mass spectrometric analysis, the development of instrumentation and techniques for atomic methods of analysis, on-line computer control, the use of time-resolved luminescence processes, and the use of stochastic processes to extract basic and kinetic chemical information.

Kay Niemax

Emeritus Professor of Physics, Technical University of Dortmund, Wilhelm-Ostwald-Fellow of the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Berlin, Germany

Leslie Hicks

Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA.


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