Forthcoming Events

23.01.2019 - 25.01.2019, DESY-Hamburg and European XFEL, Schenefeld, Germany
09.02.2019 - 13.02.2019, Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada

UniBE FAST Projects and FastLab

UniBE FAST Projects UniBE-FAST projects will expand ultrafast efforts in physics and other departments of the University of Bern.

Current and completed UniBE-FAST projects:
  1. Andrea Cannizzo (Uni Bern 2011 – 2014): Laser system for 2D UV spectroscopy.
  2. Robert Häner (Uni Bern 2013 – 2018): Joint ultrafast spectroscopy experiments on artificial DNA structures (joint PhD student Caroline Bösch).
  3. Silvio Decurtins (Uni Bern 2013 – 2017): Joint ultrafast spectroscopy experiments on electron transfer systems in view of THz Stark effect experiments.
  4. Hans Sigg (PSI 2011 – 2015): Design and fabrication of THz field enhancement structures (joint postdoc Salvatore Bagiante).
  5. Sam Leutwyler (Uni Bern 2015 – 2017): Ultrafast spectroscopy (joint senior researcher Hans-Martin Frey).

The Bern FastLab

Our newly established FastLab research facility and platform at the University of Bern is motivated by the fact that many fundamental challenges in science can be addressed only through truly interdisciplinary research, i.e., through the collaboration of specialists in cutting-edge ultrafast laser science with experts in physics, chemistry, biology or engineering. While the existing NCCR MUST fosters such collaborations, for example with Profs. Andre Stefanov, Andrea Cannizzo, Silvio Decurtins, Robert Häner and Nick Thomas, they essentially still operate on the level of individual professorships and research projects. To tackle the ever-increasing demands and complexity posed by applications of novel laser developments a technology research facility is needed that allows researchers to go beyond what a single group can afford or manage in terms of resources, know-how or complexity. Furthermore, the FastLab will support access to novel laser technologies for nonlaser expert groups to address their scientific questions. The FastLab will allow the University of Bern to pursue an internationally competitive, sustainable and cost-efficient development of cutting-edge laser technology to help to address fundamental questions and to promote new areas of science and technology. Moreover, the FastLab will help young researchers at the University of Bern (e.g., ERC grantees or SNF professors) in their academic career by providing access to expensive equipment and instrumentation that would otherwise be out of reach. It also provides an important contribution to the training and education of students, which will represent the next generation of experts, whether for industry or academia.

Currently, the FastLab is located in the labs A127/A128 in the EXWI building (Sidlerstrasse 5). It offers 72 m2 of air-conditioned and fully equipped lab space and adjacent office space for users. It is equipped with several ultrafast oscillators and one newly purchased oscillator-amplifier system plus several NOPA systems. In its present state it allows for transient absorption spectroscopy, time-resolved Raman spectroscopy, time-gated emission spectroscopy and two-dimensional spectroscopy of gaseous, liquid or solid samples. The spectral region accessible stretches from the UV to the NIR. The FastLab is operated and managed by Hans-Martin Frey.

The vision for the FastLab Bern is to anchor it within the University of Bern as an ultrafast technology facility. The FastLab is accessible for all users from within the University of Bern who find ultrafast spectroscopy useful for their science but have been reluctant to use it because of its complexity. It also serves as a virtual hub for all those who already use ultrafast spectroscopy in order to share experience, instrumentation or to organize technology workshops or hands-on courses on all aspects related to ultrafast science and technology.

Over the last decade ultrafast laser technology has made enormous progress, enabling a variety of new research fields in science and engineering. Examples include (1) the development of frequency combs which have revolutionized spectroscopy, (2) high harmonic generation which has provided coherent tabletop sources ranging from the IR down to the X-ray regime, (3) generation of intense coherent terahertz pulses for condensed-matter spectroscopy, or (4) simply robust laser sources enabling new approaches in optical communication or material processing and characterization. These new technologies present both new opportunities and new perspectives for addressing some of the fundamental challenges which we face in science but also as a society.
NCCR MUST Office : ETHZ IQE/ULP-HPT H3 | Auguste-Piccard-Hof 1 | 8093 Zurich | E-Mail | +41 44 633 36 02
The National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR) are a research instrument of the Swiss National Science Foundation