The Institute for Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers encompasses eight laser laboratories located on the second floor of the Science building and the fifth floor of the Engineering building. These laboratories are fully equipped with state-of-the-art femtosecond lasers and instrumentation for modern fast kinetic picosecond and femtosecond spectroscopy. The director of the Institute is Professor Robert Alfano. The research of IUSL is supported by grants for pure and applied science from a broad variety of agencies and industrial organizations. Seven postdoctoral research associates and thirty graduate students work on topics in semiconductor properties, microstructures, polymers, laser-system development, nonlinear optics, signal processing, optical computation and ultrafast phenomena.
In recent work, the carrier dynamics in GaAs heterostruc-tures, and phonon relaxation rates in liquids and solids have been studied using nonlinear optics techniques (forward four-wave mixing, Raman-induced phase conjugation). Furthermore, researchers at IUSL made the first observation of the cross phase modulation of a second-harmonic pulse from an intense, primary picosecond pulse propogating in a non-linear crystal. They have also constructed a picosecond-laser-driven Sagnac interferometric switch for implementing various optical logic and arithmetic functions.
New laboratories for the Institute with complete, state-of-the-art, ultra-fast laser systems are being constructed in the School of Engineering. This will enable outstanding students to join an interdisciplinary program in semiconductor engineering and optics development.
IUSL houses the world's first Mediphotonics laboratory. Mediphotonics is the growing field that applies optical technologies to detect and monitor human disease. Research includes cancer detection using laser spectroscopy, optical fluorescence mapping of tissue states, time-gated optical biomedical imaging, and characterization of the spectral and kinetic fingerprints of biological molecules. The Mediphotonics laboratory at City College is at the forefront of developing diagnostic and therapeutic instruments based on the fundamental research done there.
A new, university-wide Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) in Ultrafast Photonic Materials and Applications was created in 1993. The CAT, funded by New York State, focuses on research and development in optoelectronics and photonics that will lead to the economic advancement of the state. Professor Alfano is Director of the CAT and other Physics Department faculty members are partipating scientists. A strong focus of the center is the training of Ph.D. students.