The Molecular Dynamics Section conducts basic and applied research employing steady state and ultrafast optical methods over a wide range of wavelengths and time scales using various detection methods to characterize molecular and material processes pertinent to Navy-relevant phenomena:

  • Spectroscopy and dynamics of molecular processes including energy transfer, photochemistry and reactions
  • Fabrication and characterization of surface phonon and surface plasmon nanomaterials;
    • steady state and ultrafast studies of plasmonic materials including ultrafast energy and charge transfer in plasmonic photocatalysts
    • studies of phonon polaritons, longitudinal-optical phonon coupling, active tuning in wide-bandgap semiconductors, and characterization of metamaterials
  • Investigation of vibrational strong coupling including ultrafast dynamics of strongly coupled systems
  • High temperature operando optical studies of solid oxide fuel cells
  • Infrared and optical studies of adsorption and reactions on catalytic processes
  • Detection and classification of buried unexploded ordnance



Selected Publications

2018 Ribeiro, R. F., A. D. Dunkelberger, B. Xiang, W. Xiong, B. S. Simpkins, J. C. Owrutsky, and J. Yuen-Zhou, "Theory for Nonlinear Spectroscopy of Vibrational Polaritons", J. Phys. Chem. Lett., vol. 3766, issue 9, 2018.
2018 Dunkelberger, A. D., R. Davidson, W. Ahn, B. S. Simpkins, and J. C. Owrutsky, "Ultrafast Transmission Modulation and Recovery via Vibrational Strong Coupling", Journal of Physical Chemistry A, vol. 122, issue 965, 2018.
2018 Xiang, B., R. F. Ribeiro, A. D. Dunkelberger, J. Wang, Y. Li, B.. S. Simpkins, J. C. Owrutsky, J. Yuen-Zhou, and W. Xiong, "Two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy of vibrational polaritons", PNAS, issue 201722063, 2018.
2018 Dunkelberger, A. D., C. Ellis, D. Ratchford, A. J. Giles, J. D. Caldwell, J. Tischler, and J. C. Owrutsky, "Active Tuning of Surface-Phonon Polariton Resonances with Carrier Photoinjection", Nat. Photon, vol. 12, issue 50, 2018.
2018 Ahn, W., I. Vurgaftman, A. D. Dunkelberger, J. C. Owrutsky, and B. S. Simpkins, "Vibrational Strong Coupling Controlled by Spatial Distribution of Molecules within the Optical Cavity", ACS Photonics, vol. 5, issue 158, 2018.
2018 Dunkelberger, A. D., K. P. Fears, R. B. Davidson, W. J. Dressick, B. S. Simpkins, and J. C. Owrutsky, "Vibrational Relaxation of Small Molecules in Polymer Films", Chem. Phys., vol. 512, pp. 75-81, 2018.
2017 Dunkelberger, A.., R.. Compton, P.A.. DeSario, D.. Weidinger, B.. Spann, I.R.. Pala, C.N.. Chervin, D.R.. Rolison, K.. Bussmann, P.. Cunningham, et al., "Transient Optical and Terahertz Spectroscopy of Nanoscale Films of RuO2", Plasmonics, vol. 12, pp. 743–750 , 2017.
2017 Alberding, B.G.., P.A.. DeSario, C.R.. So, A.D.. Dunkelberger, D.R.. Rolison, J.C.. Owrutsky, and E.J.. Heilweil, "Static and Time-Resolved Terahertz Measurements of Photoconductivity in Solution-Deposited Ruthenium Dioxide Nanofilms", Journal of Physical Chemistry C , vol. 121, pp. 4037–4044 , 2017.
2017 DeSario, P.A.., J.J.. Pietron, A.. Dunkelberger, T.H.. Brintlinger, O.. Baturina, R.M.. Stroud, J.C.. Owrutsky, and D.R.. Rolison, "Plasmonic Aerogels as a 3D Nanoscale Platform for Solar Fuels Photocatalysis", Langmuir, issue 33, pp. 9444–9454 , 2017.
2017 Rafaela, N.., N.. Charipar, J.. Naciri, K.. Park, A.. Dunkelberger, J.. Owrutsky, A.. Pique, R.. Vaia, B.. Ratna, and J.. Fontana, "Widely Tunable Infrared Plasmonic Nanoantennas Using Directed Assembly", Advanced Optical Materials, issue 1700335, 2017.
2017 Ratchford, D.C.., A.D.. Dunkelberger, J.C.. Owrutsky, and P.E.. Pehrsson, "Quantification of Efficient Plasmonic Hot-electron Injection in Gold Nanoparticle - TiO2 Films", Nano Letters, vol. 17, pp. 6047-6055 , 2017.
2017 Ratchford, D. C., A. D. Dunkelberger, I. Vurgaftman, and J. C. Owrutsky, "Quantification of efficient plasmonic hot-electron injection in Au nanoparticle – TiO2 films", Nano Lett, vol. 17, issue 6047, 2017.
2017 Xiang, B., R. F. Ribeiro, A. D. Dunkelberger, J. Wang, Y. Li, B.. S. Simpkins, J. C. Owrutsky, J. Yuen-Zhou, and W. Xiong, "Revealing Hidden Vibrational-Polariton Interactions by 2D IR Spectroscopy", PNAS, 2017.
2016 Tsoi, S.., F.J.. Bezares, A.. Giles, J.P.. Long, O.J.. Glembocki, J.D.. Caldwell, and J.C.. Owrutsky, "Experimental Demonstration of the Optical Lattice Resonance in Arrays of Si Nanoresonators", Applied Physics Letter , pp. 108, 2016.
2016 Spann, B.T.., R.. Compton, D.. Ratchford, J.P.. Long, A.D.. Dunkelberger, P.B.. Klein, A.. J. Giles, J.. D. Caldwell, and J.. C. Owrutsky, "Photoinduced Tunability of the Reststrahlen Band in 4H-SiC", Physical Review B, issue 93, 2016.
2016 Kirtley, J.D.., S.N.. Qadri, D.. A. Steinhurst, and J.C.. Owrutsky, "In Situ, Simultaneous Thermal Imaging and Infrared Molecular Emission Studies of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Electrodes", Journal of Power Sources, issue 336, pp. 54-62, 2016.
2016 Ellis, C.T.., J.G.. Tischler, O.J.. Glembocki, F.J.. Bezares, A.J.. Giles, R.. Kasica, L.. Shirley, J.C.. Owrutsky, D.N.. Chigrin, and J.D.. Caldwell, "Aspect-Ratio Driven Evolution of High-Order resonant Modes and Near-Field Distributions in Localized Surface Phonon Polariton Nanostructures", Scientific Reports, vol. 6, 2016.
2016 Dunkelberger, A.D.., B.T.. Spann, K.P.. Fears, B.S.. Simpkins, and J.C. Owrutsky, "Modified Relaxation Dynamics and Coherent Energy Exchange in Coupled Vibration-Cavity Polaritons", Nature Communications, vol. 7, 2016.
2016 Dunkelberger, A.D.., R.. Compton, P.A.. DeSario, D.. Weidinger, B.T.. Spann, I.R.. Pala, C.N.. Chervin, D.R.. Rolison, K.. Bussmann, P.D.. Cunningham, et al., "Transient Optical and Terahertz Spectroscopy of Nanoscale Films of RuO2", Plasmonics, vol. 1-8, 2016.
2016 Caldwell, J.D.., I.. Vurgaftman, J.G.. Tischler, O.J.. Glembocki, J.C.. Owrutsky, and T.L.. Reinecke, "Atomic-Scale Photonic Hybrids for Mid-Infrared and Terahertz Nanophotonics", Nature Nanotechnology, vol. 11, pp. 9-15, 2016.
2015 DeSario, P.A., J.J.. Pietron, D.H.. Taffa, R.. Compton, S.. Shunemann, R.. Marschall, M.. Wark, J.C.. Owrutsky, and D.R.. Rolison, "Correlating Changes in Electron Lifetime and Mobility on Photocatalytic Activity at Network-Modified TiO2 Aerogels", Journal of Physical Chemistry, vol. C, issue 119, 2015.
2015 Owrutsky, J.C.., J.P.. Long, C.N.. Chervin, K.. Bussmann, and D.R.. Rolison, "The Effect of Disorder on the Optical Constants of Nanoscale RuO2", Thin Solid Films, vol. 589, issue 344, 2015.