Advancing the Sciences Through Photonic, Laser, and Optic Technologies – CUNY Institute for Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers

by Gabriel Rivera

The CUNY Institute for Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers (IUSL) is devoted to advancing research and education involving photonic, laser, and optic technologies for science, medical, engineering, and industrial applications.

CCNY Professor Dr. Robert Alfano founded IUSL in 1984 and remains the Institute’s director. Dr. Alfano’s goal at the time was to establish a distinct program dedicated to the research of natural energy transfer processes through time-resolved ultrafast spectroscopy.

The program now employs nearly 40 staff members in its 10 laboratories located in CCNY’s Marshak Science Building and retains the distinction of being one of a few organized ultrafast phenomena research programs in the world. The IUSL-affiliated multidisciplinary laboratories at CCNY do not exist at some of the nation’s top universities.

IUSL aims to remain at the frontier of photonic and laser technologies through educating and training science students in the art of ultrafast spectroscopy and creating a community for experts in biology, chemistry, and solid-state physics to research fundamental energy transfer processes and discuss ultrafast experimental science.

IUSL researchers have a long list of accomplishments and distinctions over the decades it has operated on CCNY’s campus.

But over the last 5 years, IUSL faculty have published 168 papers in renowned journals, presented over 40 talks, and have earned 17 patents and 28 grants collectively. The past few years at IUSL have been marked by noteworthy breakthroughs and accomplishments, including the development of fluorescent spectroscopy of Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer tissue and research of low dimension electron systems and their transport properties.

Additionally, the findings of the Institute’s postdoctoral, graduate, undergraduate, and high-school trainees have received recognition from national and international organizations. Several undergraduates affiliated with IUSL received CUNY scholarships and two recent high school trainees reached the semifinals of the Siemen’s competition.

IUSL received almost $1 million in grants in 2020 to continue its research and education of students interested in using the laboratory’s technologies for applications in their field of study.

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