Skip to main content

Chowdhury awarded $1M AFOSR grant to study materials in extremes


Congratulations to Enam Chowdhury and his team of engineers and physicists for being awarded a $1.056 million grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. 

“Femtosecond laser induced damage in extremes: from single cycle to atomic resolution” is a four-year project that will commence in autumn 2020. 

The team will investigate how materials excited by intense laser fields behave on time scales as short as 1 femtosecond (1/1000 of a trillionth of a second) and on spatial scales as small as that of an atom using next generation, near-single-cycle-pulse and various other laser sources and ultrafast scanning tunneling microscopes (STM).

image of femtosecond mid-IR laser pulse
Femtosecond mid-IR laser pulses interacting with poly-ZnSe slab producing ultra-broadband light (source: Femto-Solid Laboratory)

State-of-the-art high-performance computing will be used including new algorithms developed by the Femto-Solid Laboratory to predict and explain the experimental results.

This fundamental research on extreme laser material modification and damage can be highly controlled when ultra-short time duration laser pulses are used. Such research has had a large impact on society by advancing material processing, modification, surface engineering, opto-electronics and photonics, measurement, manufacturing and surgery.

Chowdhury is an assistant professor in Materials Science and Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics. Members of the team include Professors Douglass Schumacher and Jay Gupta from Physics and Alok Sutradhar from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.