19 September the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences (Lietuvos mokslų akademija, LMA) hosted a general meeting of LMA members, which included, among other things, an award ceremony for the winners of the Young Scientists Scholarship competition. We are happy that two representatives of FTMC were recognised.
Both are laureates in the fields of science, medicine and health, agriculture and technology.
Improving ultrashort pulse lasers
Physicist Dr. Paulius Mackonis
has been awarded the prize for his research on "Development of advanced high-intensity mid-infrared laser architectures". Paulius works at the Department of Laser Technologies, in the Solid-State Lasers Laboratory.
The scientist is being honoured for his major achievements in recent years in the generation and amplification of ultrashort laser pulses in the mid-infrared (IR) spectrum.
Dr. Paulius Mackonis. Photo: FTMC
"This work is aimed at developing ultra-high-peak-power hybrid laser systems by combining or demonstrating for the first time different nonlinear optics techniques. The research has allowed our group to advance in the short-wave infrared (SWIR) range down to ~2.3 micrometres, generating high-energy pulses of <40 femtoseconds.
Forced Raman scattering studies have shown the advantages of generating intense SWIR radiation by eliminating the frequent limitations of phase alignment and optical damage in parametric crystals. This allows to go even further and to substantially simplify the architectures of future intense mid-IR lasers.
Full-spectrum coverage, the generation of molecular traces, terahertz radiation and high harmonics, exploring new regimes of non-linear optics, as well as the generation of attosecond X-ray pulses, which are needed for our type of laser systems under development, are all topics that are of particular relevance today," says Dr. Mackonis.
The scientist is grateful to his colleagues who have been working on this research for years, including Dr. Aleksej Rodin, Head of the Solid-State Lasers Laboratory, and PhD student Augustinas Petrulėnas.
(Dr. Simonas Ramanavičius. Photo from personal archive)
A method for better identification of desired molecules
Another of our colleagues, Dr. Simonas Ramanavičius
, FTMC researcher at the Department of Electrochemical Material Science, has been awarded a scholarship for his work on "Application of 2D MXene nanostructures for the detection of biomolecules using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy".
According to the chemist, the research is leading to the formation of two-dimensional MXenenanostructures of titanium and carbon (Ti3C2) with plasmonic properties.
"Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy is important because it is an extremely sensitive analytical technique that can detect single molecules. The use of MXenes, which have very complex surface chemistry, in surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy can help to improve the selectivity of this analytical method for specific molecules.
Therefore, the research is trying to apply MXene nanostructures to selectively detect various biomolecules," says Dr. Ramanavičius.
The LMA Young Scientists Scholarships are given for the period 2023-2024.