About Us

Welcome to the Ultrafast and Microspectroscopy Laboratories (UML)

The Ultrafast and Microspectroscopy Laboratories in the School of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne house the research groups of Profs.Trevor Smith and Ken Ghiggino. The laboratories comprise a comprehensive set of ultrafast laser spectroscopy and advanced optical microscopy instrumentation with which we carry out collaborative research on many areas of photochemistry and photophysics.  The instrumentation can also used for studying some biological systems, but this is not a current research direction.

We have recently installed a new femtosecond laser system, funded by grants from the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP) Infrastructure Funds and the Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) schemes.

Our research group comprises several post-doctoral researchers and PhD and MSc students, in addition to frequent international visitors.

Members of the UML participate in a number of collaborative research initiatives, including:

UML is a key player in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science (ACEx).  We are seeking potential PhD, MSc and BSc(Hons) students as part of this initiative.

We are also supported through activities of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP)


Melbourne-Bayreuth joint PhD opportunity:

The Universities of Melbourne and Bayreuth have created a new, joint PhD program. Candidates from each University spend a minimum of 12 months at the partner University and submit a PhD thesis at each location. Candidates need to be Australian residents and have an undergraduate mark equivalent to those required for an APA.

News and events:

  • Pria Ramkissoon and Elham Gholizadeh join the group as ACEx Postdoctoral Research Fellows. Welcome!
  • New Light Conversion dual Pharos-SP amplified ultrafast laser system installed. Read about it here.
  • Chris Hall has been awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship to develop new tools to study photochemical systems
  • Siobhan Bradley recently left the group to take up a position with the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)
  • Kyra Schwarz recently left the group joining Deloitte, where where she will work on renewable energy strategic advice for Deloitte customers
  • New Masters student Siqi Jin joins the group.
  • New PhD student Subhajit Chakraborty joins the group, currently based in IIT Kanpur.
  • Chris and Trevor’s work appeared in Pursuit Magazine.
  • Kyra Schwarz recently rejoined the group after a post-doc. position at Princeton
  • Saghar Masoomi-godarzi completed her PhD and has started in the group as an ACAP Post-doc. Fellow. Congratulations!
  • New Masters students Sakuya Mori and Fangfang Yuan join the group. Welcome!
  • Visiting researcher Assoc. Prof. Susan Quinn from University College Dublin joins the group for March 2020.
  • Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy Mini-Symposium:
    • We ran a mini-symposium 10-11th February at Swinburne University of Technology that brought together the ultrafast laser spectroscopy community from Australia and New Zealand. We had ~48 registered attendees including speakers from Princeton, New Zealand, Canada, as well as local and interstate.

      Photo courtesy: Ben Xinzi Zhang (Princeton University)

  • Yang Xu and Trevor Smith visited Peter Dedecker’s group at KUL in Leuven, Belgium and the Rainer Heintzmann’s group at Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology in Jena, Germany to discuss structured illumination microscopy

Yang with Carl Zeiss, and Yang & Trevor with Abbe’s diffraction law monument

  • Weilong Xu from Changzhou Institute of Technology, Changzhou, Jiangsu, China visited UML for 2019
  • PhD positions. We are involved in developing super-resolution optical imaging methods, ultrafast laser spectroscopy and time-resolved microscopy. We apply these techniques to study a range of materials from organic photovoltaic materials, semiconductor nanocrystals and some of biological and botanical interest.  Potential students have to apply and qualify through the University’s normal admissions process (see the Graduate School of Science), and are expected to be eligible for, and awarded an appropriate scholarship, which are highly competitive.
  • B.Sc. (Hons) and M.Sc. projects available