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Henry Kapteyn

My major interest includes the development of new light sources at short wavelengths and their use to study dynamic processes in material and chemical systems. In particular, the recent development of high-energy ultrashort-pulse laser technology (in large part by the research group I co-lead with Professor Murnane) allows generation of coherent extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) and soft-X-ray bursts of femtosecond (10-15 sec) and even attosecond (10-18) duration. (For comparison, the ratio of 1 femtosecond to 1 second is about the same as the ratio of 1 second to 30 million years.) The time scales probed by these light pulses correspond to those of chemical reactions and dynamic processes in semiconductors. Short-pulse EUV and X-ray light provides researchers with a unique tool to dynamically observe specific atoms, leading to a deeper understanding of microscopic mechanisms. Furthermore, the ability to implement a "tabletop X-ray laser" light source makes feasible a number of novel applications, such as ultrahigh resolution imaging of single cells, or of nanotech devices, that are independent of the time-resolved aspect. I am also a founding member of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center in Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology (http://euverc.colostate.edu/) and co-founder of a successful laser company (www.kmlabs.com).

Research & Affiliations
Scientific Role:
  • Experimentalist
JILA Position:
  • Fellow of JILA
CU Faculty Status:
  • Active Faculty
Professor, Department of Physics
Faculty Website(s):
303-492-8198 (office)

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