Our research aims to: 1) design and grow new materials and structures to dramatically enhance light-matter interactions for applications in energy conversion, optoelectronics and information science; 2) explore the fundamental, ultrafast excited-state dynamics and flow of energy in functional materials and their assemblies; 3) optically manipulate the non-equilibrium vibrational & electronic degrees of freedom for understanding and achieving new functionalities in emerging materials. We collaborate extensively with groups at Yale University and elsewhere. Our efforts encompass the following areas.
Nanostructured materials growth and design
We harvest both solution-based synthesis and vapor-phase growth techniques to fabricate thin-film and nanostructured materials. These materials and structures are exploited for energy conversion, optoelectronics, sensing, and information science applications. We are particularly interested in layered hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites and other classes of low-dimensional materials.
Excited-state dynamics and flow of energy
We investigate the dynamic processes of fundamental excitations (e.g., electrons, lattice vibrations) in solid-state and solution-phase materials using time-resolved optical spectroscopy. Our spectroscopic setup covers a wide spectral range (250 nm ~ 15 µm) with ~100 fs time resolution and diffraction-limited spatial resolution.
Optical manipulation of materials
We use femtosecond laser pulses as an active tuning knob to probe elusive structure-property relationships in emerging materials and control their properties out of equilibrium. To this end, we combine ultrafast excitation (electronic or vibrational) with time-resolved absorption, luminescence and Raman measurements of materials at controlled environments. Our optical setups are flexible, well integrated, and routinely modified to engage with different measurements.