Spectroscopy and Dynamics




Artemis and ULTRA produce femtosecond laser pulses at wavelengths from the infrared to the extreme ultraviolet to build up movies of molecular rearrangement in liquids, gases and solids.

The CLF’s ultrafast laser facilities, Artemis and Ultra, use ultrashort laser pulses to study dynamics on extremely short timescales using a variety of spectroscopic techniques. Each facility develops laser techniques and work with academic and industrial users to apply them to understand the fastest motions in matter, across the physical and biological sciences.

The ultrashort laser pulses produced on Artemis are used to strobe the motion of electrons and ions during chemical reactions and phase changes, and build up movies of molecular rearrangement in solids and gas-phase molecules.​ Artemis produces femtosecond laser pulses at tuneable wavelengths from the infrared to the extreme ultraviolet.

Ultra combines laser, detector and sample manipulation technology to probe molecular dynamics (on the femtosecond to millisecond timescales) to facilitate innovative research in the physical and life sciences in academia and industry.  Ultra is capable of providing multiple beams, multiple colours (UV – mid-IR), mixed timing patterns (fs-ms) and pulse length (fs-ns and CW).

Each facility provides flexible, synchronised ultrafast light sources. They are both located in the Research Complex at Harwell, and share a new high-repetition rate tuneable IR laser system, as well as having their own laser systems.

Techniques and selected scientific examples

​Some examples of science driven by each of Artemis and Ultra faiclities are listed below.  More detailed lists can be found via:

All Artemis science highlights

All Ultra science highlights

All Ultra industry highlights



More details on the spectroscopy and ultrafast dynamics techniques we offer.


Renewable energy sources

​Highlights of our work on batteries, photovoltaics and photosynthesis.


New materials for next-generation devices

​Highlights from our condensed matter programme.



​Ultrafast spectroscopy applied to drug discovery and biological molecules such as proteins and DNA.



​Examples of how our ultrafast spectroscopies can be applied to catalysis.


Arts and archeaology

​Spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SORS) and its applications in arts and archaeology.