The George Russell Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory is dedicated to advancing knowledge of the structure and dynamics of atoms and molecules and the properties of liquids, solids, and biological materials utilizing the techniques of lasers and modern spectroscopy.
An interdisciplinary department in the School of Science, the Spectroscopy Laboratory encourages participation and collaboration among staff members in various disciplines of science and engineering. At present, faculty and staff from the Departments of Chemistry, Physics, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology pursue research projects in the laboratory. In addition, researchers from both the United States and abroad participate in the projects sponsored by the laboratory.
The Spectroscopy Laboratory houses an extensive collection of lasers for spectroscopic research. The resources are organized into the following major laboratories: pulsed visible/UV spectroscopy and kinetics; combustion kinetics; tri-modal biomedical spectroscopy and imaging; Raman microscopy for cellular investigations and spectroscopy for trans-dermal glucose detection and carbon nanotube studies; low-coherence interferometry; spectroscopy of quantum dots; multidimensional vibrational spectroscopy; bioinstrumentation engineering analysis and microscopy; and picosecond time-resolved spectroscopy. Major equipment includes excimer and Nd:YAG-based pulsed dye lasers, femotsecond Ti:sapphire lasers, ion laser-pumped dye lasers, CW Raman spectrometers, streak camera; and various phase microscopes.
The laboratory is a resource for researchers in both physical science and biomedical optics. The Laser Biomedical Research Center (LBRC), supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, is devoted to spectral diagnosis of disease and advancements in imaging techniques for cell biology and medicine. LBRC facilities are made available to researchers in biology and biomedicine from universities, industry, and medical institutions.
Current research activities in the laboratory include high-resolution laser spectroscopy of excited vibrational and electronic molecular states, quantum dots, characterization of nanotubes, acoustic and thermal properties of high-pressure materials, carbon-centered radicals with O2, kinetics of intermediates in organo-metallic complexes, proton-coupled electron transfer studies, two-photon fluorescence spectroscopy-based study of neuronal plasticity and mechanotransduction processes and diagnosis of disorders of human biological tissue, in particular detection and monitoring of important diseases such as cancer and diabetes using Raman, diffuse reflectance, and fluorescence spectroscopy, and cell biology investigations using phase microscopy.
Many graduate and undergraduate students perform thesis research in the laboratory; Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program projects are offered in many areas of laser research.
For further information, contact the lab at Room 6-205, 617-452-3422.