The Lord Porter Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy Laboratory

An EPSRC Capital Equipment Award

We are interested in all aspects of light-matter interaction in condensed phase. ​

Examples of some of our research directions include:

  • ​charge and energy transport in molecules and materials
  • ultrafast electronic, vibronic, and structural dynamics
  • ​organic optoelectronics​
  • ​solar cells​
  • ​artificial photosynthesis​
  • photocatalysis
  • photosynthetic, photoprotective and other natural and synthetic pigment-protein complexes ​
  • ​​organic polaritonics
  • materials for energy
  • photoswitchable materials and devices
  • synthetic biology
  • biological imaging
  • light-induced therapies in healthcare
  • thin films

We are members of​​ the EPSRC Grand Challenges Networks​:​

We are integrated into multiple University of Sheffield initiatives:

Laboratory capabilities at a glance:

  • Spectra  Physics ~40 fs 10 KHz amplifier, a 5 KHz ps amplifier, and a 1 KHz, 100 fs amplifier.
  • 10 KHz, ~100fs transient absorption spectroscopy with detection from ca. 360 nm to 1600 nm (HELIOS). Tuneable excitation across UV/visible range.
  • Time-resolved mid-IR spectroscopy: close to completion.
  • 2D-IR – in progress.
  • Femtosecond broadband fluorescence upconversion. Collaboration with Professor Niko Ernsting, Humboldt University of Berlin (details).
  • Transient absorption with <50 fs resolution.
  • Angle-dependent time-resolved photoluminescence.

Join the team - get in touch! Contact us to become a user, a collaborator, or both:

Dimitri Chekulaev, scientist-in-charge:

Julia Weinstein:, or anyone from the team

Interested in applying for a fellowship? Contact one of our team!

Eligible to apply to Alexander von Humboldt Foundation? Contact Dr Peter Portius,

Interested in PhD or postdoc positions? Get in touch!

Industrial collaborations welcome - get in touch.

The Opening Meeting on 14 March 2018 

was attended by ~150 laser enthusiasts, with >100 from outside Sheffield

We are very grateful to our guests of honour, Lady Stella Porter and Dr Andrew Porter


10.00 - Arrival, tea, coffee, lab tours

Session 1. Chair: Peter Styring, University of Sheffield

11:00 - Michael Wasielewski, Northwestern University, USA - The RSC Physical Organic Chemistry Award Lecture: "Self-assembling organic nanostructures for solar energy conversion"

12.00 - Lunch, lab tours

13.30 - Official opening of the laboratory by Lady Stella Porter and Dr Andrew Porter

Session 2. Chair: Tony Ryan, University of Sheffield

13.40 - Professor John Derrick, Vice President, Faculty of Science

13.50 - David Phillips, Imperial College London: "Flash photolysis - a historical perspective"

14.20 - Julia Weinstein, Dimitri Chekulaev, University of Sheffield - "Introduction to the Laboratory"

14.35 - Majed Chergui, Ecole Polytechnique Federale Lausanne, Switzerland: "Ultrafast electronic, spin and structural dynamics: X-ray and optical studies"

15.05 - Jenny Clark, University of Sheffield "Spectroscopy of organic semiconductors from solar cells to polaritons"

15.25 - Coffee, tea, cakes

Session 3. Chair: John Kelly, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

15.50 - Theo Keane, University of Sheffield "Vibrational control of electron transfer"

16.10 - Adrien Chauvet, University of Sheffield "Quantum control: shaping light to probe and control chemistry"

16.30 - Sheffield Ultrafast - short talks from the groups of Graham Leggett, Tim Craggs, Ashley Cadby, Tao Wang, and Alexander Tartakovskii

16.50 - Andrew Orr-Ewing, University of Bristol: "Watching chemical reactions with ultrafast infrared spectroscopy"

17.20 - Anthony Parker, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK: "Lasers for Science - from Chemistry to Medicine"

17.50 - Closing remarks 

19.00 - Dinner 

PHOTOGRAPHS and VIDEOS of the lectures - to follow soon 

Station 1 Station 2
Station 3 Laser room

The primary academic team

Professor Julia Weinstein – Department of Chemistry

Dr Adrien Chauvet – Department of Chemistry

Dr Jenny Clark – Department of Physics and Astronomy

Extended academic team

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering:
Dr Steven Ebbens

Department of Chemistry:
Dr Tim Craggs, Dr Ahmed Iraqi, Dr Peter Portius, Professor Tony Ryan, Professor James Thomas, Professor Graham Leggett

Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering:
Professor Tao Wang

Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology:
Professor Neil Hunter, Dr Matthew Johnson, Professor David Kelly

Department of Oncology and Metabolism:
Dr Helen Bryant

Department of Physics and Astronomy:
Dr Alastair Buckley, Dr Ashley Cadby, Professor David Lidzey, Dr Andrew Musser

School of Clinical Dentistry:
Dr Simon Whawell

Interested in joining us? Get in touch!