Atomic and Molecular Dynamics
Dr Will Bryan's background is in atomic and molecular dynamics, initiated, manipulated and imaged by ultrafast laser pulses. He has interests in understanding the dynamics of multi-electron ionization of atoms, and controlling the evolution of vibrational and rotational wavepackets. As monochromatic femtosecond pulses of XUV radiation have become accessible, Dr Bryan has diversified into using such pulses to initiate ionization, excitation and autoionization, which overlaps with synchrotron and XFEL studies. Such studies have been carried out at the Artemis Laser Facility, part of the Central Laser Facility, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in collaboration with Chemistry and Physics at the University of Southampton.
Recently, Dr Bryan’s research interests have expanded into producing coherent pulses of electrons to be employed for coherent diffraction imaging and point-projection microscopy. Dr Bryan has been generating electrons from nanoscale metal tips with femtosecond laser pulses. The rationale for such developments is that sub-nanometre de Broglie wavelengths become readily accessible with electrons – a situation impossible to achieve with coherent photons. This work has been carried out either at Artemis (see above) or using UFL1 and UFL2 from the EPSRC Laser Loan Pool in collaboration with Dr Derek Wann (Chemistry, York).
The Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC), Daresbury Laboratory, a partner of the Cockroft Institute is constructing the Versatile Electron Linear Accelerator (VELA) which is capable of delivering very high flux femtosecond electron pulses which will be used for femtosecond electron diffraction experiments. Dr Bryan is one of three academic partners to this endeavour, along with Wann (York) and Jonathan Underwood (Physics, UCL).