Eric Mazur’s research group uses ultra-short laser pulses to study ultrafast dynamics in physical systems and to create extreme non-equilibrium conditions in matter. For instance, ultrashort laser pulses provide a direct view of the ultrafast carrier and lattice dynamics in photo excited solids. A better understanding of electron behavior in solids is important for both microelectronics and micromachining applications. Mazur's group also uses these short laser pulses to coherently control the lattice dynamics in solids on the femtosecond time scale.
The high intensity of ultrashort laser pulses can also be used to micromachine waveguides and other photonic structures inside transparent materials. Such structures can be used to fabricate highly integrated photonic devices. Mazur's group currently studies the physical processes that take place during micromachining and is developing an array of active and passive photonic devices. By tightly focusing these laser pulses inside biological samples, the group recently developed a nanosurgery technique that allows the micro manipulation of subcellular organelles inside living cells and small organisms.
Mazur's group also discovered a modified form of silicon obtained by focusing femtosecond laser pulses on the surface of a silicon wafer in the presence of a sulfur containing gas. The optoelectronic properties of the resulting microstructured surface provide interesting physics and open the door to new applications.
Faculty Assistant: Virginia Casas
29 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138