Research Activities

Introduction

Since the late 20th century, our understanding of the elementary processes of chemical reactions has been advanced by the development of ultrashort laser pulses. For homogeneous media, it is relatively straightforward to prepare samples with a sufficient density of transient species for monitoring with conventional pump-probe techniques. In contrast, time-resolved measurements of molecules at heterogeneous interfaces often face difficulties, mainly due to the small absolute numbers of the transient species, and such measurements are still experimentally demanding. In the past 15 years, the development of transient spectroscopic techniques utilizing surface-specific optical nonlinear phenomena has opened up the possibility of investigating surface and interface dynamics, and energy and phase relaxation of the electronic and vibrational states of surface adsorbates have been investigated in detail. Our next challenge is to extend the experimental sensitivity for monitoring reaction dynamics at surfaces and to determine the basic mechanisms governing surface heterogeneous reactions.

Our group aims to elucidate the electronic and vibrational dynamics of surface adsorbates under well-defined ultra-high vacuum conditions. Development of novel spectroscopic techniques sensitive to surface dynamics is an integral part of this goal.

Recent Activities

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