Ultrafast Dynamics and Control Theory Group

Dr. Svetlana Malinovskaya is the leader of Ultrafast Dynamics and Control Theory Group in the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics. Research in her group focuses on theoretical studies of ultrafast laser pulse interaction with atoms and molecules, and designing femtosecond pulses with particular spectral properties to control atomic/molecular dynamics and the quantum yield. Recent advances in optical imaging technology have made it possible to study the structure and ultrafast processes on the microscopic scale with high molecular specificity and temporal resolution. She investigates ultrafast molecular dynamics and the impact of fast decoherence in stimulated Raman scattering and CARS microscopy and spectroscopy. She designs sequences of frequency tailored pulses providing an optimal Raman signal in the presence of decoherence using quantum control techniques. Dr. Malinovskaya studies the implementation of optical frequency combs to control ultracold gases. She develops novel methods for preparation of nonequilibrium states in ultracold alkali atoms using chirped pulses and pulse trains. She analyzes a possibility of using optical frequency combs to manipulate ultracold molecules and control their dynamics within internal degrees of freedom.

A spectrum of current research interests include:

  • Control of ultracold dynamics and decoherence using optical frequency combs;
  • Ultrafast control of Raman transitions using frequency combs: Prevention of decoherence;
  • The design of nonequilibrium states, maximizing coherence in multilevel systems using optical frequency combs; implementation of Optimal Control Theory
  • Optical control in Plasmonics
  • Quantum gates design using chirped pulses
  • Dynamics and control of core-excited and core-ionized molecules;
  • Control of photoinduced reactions in large biomolecules, e.g., the photoisomerization reaction in rhodopsin;

Her research has resulted in contributions to publications in the leading journals including Optics Letters and Physical Review, conference proceedings and patents, and she has been a member of professional societies such as the Optical Society of America, American Physical Society and the Association for Women in Science. She has received awards and honors for her work including NSF Grants in Physics (2012,2009), DARPA Grant (2008), Fellowship in Ultrafast Optical Science at the FOCUS Center, University of Michigan (2001), and the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1996).