New joint laboratory project with CNR-IFN

CFEL-ATTO starts a collaboration with CNR-IFN for a joint laboratory project to study the ultrafast charge dynamics in molecules of biological relevance.

The CFEL-ATTO group has started a collaboration with the Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnology (CNR-IFN) - Milano and Padova, Italy. In this joint laboratory project, that will last for three years, the two institutions will merge their efforts for developing attosecond x-ray spectroscopy beyond the state-of-the-art for the study of ultrafast charge dynamics in molecules of biological interest.

Understanding attosecond-scale response of matter has significant implications in many fields of science since it discloses the initial system response to an external excitation. This is of paramount importance in biological systems, where the photophysics of fundamental processes (DNA radiation damage and related carcinogenesis, vision mechanisms, light harvesting, etc.) is mostly known on temporal scales longer than few tens of femtoseconds. However, purely electronic phenomena remain unresolved on those time scales. DESY and CNR-IFN will apply attosecond spectroscopy with chemical specificity on solvated and gas-phase molecules, getting a deep insight into several response mechanisms, with potential applications in the fields of photobiology, photochemistry, and light activated molecular electronics.

Both DESY and CNR-IFN have advanced laboratories for attosecond spectroscopy. The combination of the partners efforts and complementary competences will allow for a joint laboratory, where existing equipment and know-how will be upgraded beyond the current state of the art available worldwide.