About the Jimenez Group
Our group is actively engaged at the interface of quantum optics with physical chemistry. In this research, we manipulate the properties of light at the single photon or few photon level. By employing “quantum engineered” light for spectroscopy, we aim to harness the remarkable quantum mechanical properties such as entanglement, superposition, and coherence in order to increase the sensitivity and information content of spectroscopy. We are particularly interested in “real world” measurements on complex molecular and nano-materials systems in room temperature liquids, thin films, or…
Since the isolation of the first naturally fluorescing protein from jelly fish in the 1960s, fluorescent proteins (FPs) have become integral to a wide range of biological/medical applications, allowing visualization of biomolecules and processes in living cells and tissues to a much greater degree than was previously possible. Extensive molecular engineering of naturally occurring FPs has led to several families of recombinant proteins tailored to specific biophysical and imaging purposes. Fine-tuning of the activation and multimerization properties of FPs has helped to alleviate some…
Ralph’s interests are in experimental studies of dynamics in complex molecular systems. Over the years, he has worked on a wide range of areas where ultrafast spectroscopy is useful such as femtosecond dynamics of liquids, energy transfer in photosynthetic systems, protein-ligand interactions in antibodies, chromophore dynamics of fluorescent proteins. As part of his research, he has developed a number of optical and microfluidic technologies to advance experimental capabilities in liquid-phase chemical dynamics using time-resolved optical or laser-based x-ray techniques. Most recently he has been exploring applications of quantum optics to molecular spectroscopy.
In the Spotlight
For some physics and math undergraduates, JILA has become a place to learn cutting-edge research while belonging to a community. That's what undergraduate Connor Thomas experienced. Though Thomas is graduating with a bachelor's in biochemistry and transitioning to a graduate program at MIT, he's been grateful for his time at JILA. "JILA has been a pretty fantastic community for me," Thomas said. "In particular, my lab has been great. They were really constant through COVID. I am definitely going to miss all of that."
JILA Fellow and NIST Physicist Ralph Jimenez received the 2017 Arthur S. Flemming Award for outstanding public service as a Federal employee. Jimenez was one of 12 honorees across all parts of the Federal government to receive the Flemming Award this cycle. Jimenez was a winner in the Applied Science and Engineering category for his pioneering research on combining microfluidics, ultrafast lasers, biochemistry and molecular biology to dramatically accelerate the creation and characterization of specialized biomolecules to serve as sensors within living cells.
Ralph Jimenez received a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for Superior Federal Service at a ceremony held in mid-December 2016. The Medal is the highest honor presented by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Willie E. May presided over the awards ceremony, which was held concurrently at NIST's Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Boulder, Colorado, campuses.