Albert Stolow


Albert Stolow
Full Professor

Room: ARC 322
Bureau: (613) 993-7388
Work E-mail:



Our understanding of Nature rests upon the view that the world is made of atoms and molecules. Studying molecules and materials led to the idea that the shape of a molecule or the structure of a solid determines what it does or what it can be used for. But Nature is not static. There are extremely rapid dynamical processes which cannot be understood from a purely static, structural point of view. Dr. Stolow’s research uses ultrafast laser technology to both make ultrafast ‘movies’ and, via Quantum Control, to direct atoms and molecules to perform new roles. His goal is to develop a molecular level but dynamical view of Nature.

Dr. Stolow and his team are developing new laser sources, producing ultrashort pulses ranging from infrared to X-rays. With these, they are observing some of the fastest processes in nature – electronic and atomic motions. Using advanced pulsed molecular beam and particle detection techniques to make ultrafast ‘movies’, they are learning about the electronic/atomic motions which underlie the dynamic processes of Nature. This understanding will help the development of new technologies such as molecular electronic devices, laser material processing, photo-activated drugs and responsive materials.

Ultrafast lasers also advance ‘biophotonics’, the use of light in biological and biomedical research. This is particularly so for the microscopy of live cells. Using optical techniques for shaping light pulses, Stolow and his team are developing label-free but chemical-specific imaging methods for making real-time videos of live cells. These methods apply equally to imaging the distributions of specific compounds within ores and rocks, opening up the new field of ‘geophotonics’.

Selected publications:
  • J. Mikosch, A.E. Boguslavskiy, I. Wilkinson, M. Spanner, S. Patchkovskii & A. Stolow. Channel- and Angle-Resolved Above Threshold Ionization in the Molecular Frame. Physical Review Letters 110, 023004, 2013
  • A.E. Boguslavskiy, J. Mikosch, A. Gijsbertsen, M. Spanner, S. Patchkovskii, N. Gador, M.J.J. Vrakking, A. Stolow. The multielectron ionization dynamics underlying attosecond strong field spectroscopies. Science 335, 1336, 2012
  • P. Hockett, C.Z. Bisgaard, O.J. Clarkin, A. Stolow. Time-resolved imaging of purely valence-electron dynamics during a chemical reaction. Nature Physics 7, 612, 2011
  • C.Z. Bisgaard, O.J. Clarkin, G. Wu, A.M.D. Lee, O. Geßner, C.C. Hayden & A. Stolow. Time-resolved Molecular Frame Dynamics of Fixed-in-Space CS2 Molecules. Science 323, 1464, 2009
  • W. Li, R. Lock, S. Patchkovskii, A. Stolow, H.C. Kapteyn, M.M. Murnane. Time-resolved Dynamics in N2O4 probed using High Harmonic Generation. Science 322, 1207, 2008

Fields of Interest

  • Experimental Photonics
  • Canada Research Chair in Molecular Photonics
  • Atomic Molecular
  • Optical Physics
  • Femtosecond-Attosecond Time-Resolved Dynamics
  • Quantum Control
  • Nonlinear Optical Microscopy of Live Cells
  • Strong Field Physics
  • Molecular Beams
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