About the Kapteyn-Murnane Group
Our group is developing new probes of quantum matter using coherent X-ray beams, which have undergone a revolution in the past decade. More than 50 years after the demonstration of the visible laser, it is finally possible to generate laser-like beams spanning the deep-UV, extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and soft X-ray regions of the spectrum by harnessing high harmonic upconversion of femtosecond lasers. Moreover, by combining phase matching techniques and selection rules, we can achieve exquisite “quantum” control over x-ray light. It is now possible to produce short wavelength waveforms with controlled spectral and temporal shapes, polarization state, and phase structure. Exciting recent advances also include the first sub-wavelength imaging at short wavelengths, the ability to directly manipulate spins in materials using light, the first methods to measure the full mechanical properties of ultrathin films and nanostructured media, uncovering new regimes of nanoscale heat flow, as well as routes for mapping new states and phases in quantum materials. Ultrafast coherent EUV and x-ray beams are thus becoming indispensable tools in the race to develop new nanoscale and quantum devices.
We welcome trainees from physics, materials science, engineering and chemistry to work together to solve grand-challenge scientific problems that are also at the technological forefront. Trainees from our group go on to positions in academe, industry and national laboratories.
In the Spotlight
In a recent significant visit to JILA, a joint institute established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado Boulder, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper discussed the transformative potential of quantum computing on Colorado's economy, job industry, and educational sector. The visit underscored the state's growing prominence in the quantum technology landscape.
Nick Jenkins, a graduate student at JILA, an institute jointly operated by the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has been awarded the esteemed Nick Cobb Memorial Scholarship. Mentored by JILA Fellows and University of Colorado Boulder professors Margaret Murnane and Henry Kapteyn, Jenkins' research focuses on pioneering tabletop extreme ultraviolet (EUV) microscopy techniques using high-harmonic generation light sources. This innovative work has positioned him as a standout recipient of this significant award.
To honor students' abilities for clear and effective communication in quantum physics, Optica offers a yearly "best paper" award at its International Conference on Advanced Solid State Lasers. This year, JILA graduate student Daniel Carlson was among the list of winners, with his presentation "Carbon K-Edge Soft X-Rays Driven by a 3 µm,1 kHz OPCPA Laser System" winning over the judges.
Every year, the Frontiers in Optics conference holds the Emil Wolf Outstanding Student Paper Competition, acknowledging the excellence of students in presenting their work at the conference in both paper and poster form. This year, JILA graduate student Jeremy Thurston of the Murnane and Kapteyn research groups showcased his work in both a paper and presentation titled: "Bright Tunable Ultrafast Deep- and Vacuum-Ultraviolet Harmonic Combs," which was awarded a prize by the judges for excellence in communication.