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Kapteyn group

JILA, Boulder
United States


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 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. Thus short-pulse short-wavelength light provides researchers with a unique tool to observe specific atoms, leading to a deeper understanding of the microscopic mechanisms. In recent years, our group has developed a variety of new techniques to efficiently upconvert ultrashort laser pulses coherently into the EUV and soft-X-ray regions of the spectrum. I am also a founding member of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center in Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology ( and co-founder of a successful laser company (

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