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. We develop 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.

Ultra combines laser, detector and sample manipulation technology to probe molecular dynamics (on the femtosecond to microsecond timescales) to address scientific problems in the physical and life sciences. 

Both facilities provide flexible, synchronised ultrafast light sources. Ultra combines multiple beams, multiple colours (UV – mid-IR), mixed timing patterns (fs-ms) and pulse length (20 fs, 50 fs, 120 fs, 2-3 ps, 0.8 ns, 6 ns and CW). Artemis produces femtosecond laser pulses at tuneable wavelengths from the infrared to the extreme ultraviolet. The facilities 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 lasers.

​Information and examples



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.