Albert Stolow
Albert Stolow
Full Professor

(613) 993-7388

Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences
Department of Physics


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

  • O. Schalk, A.E. Boguslavskiy, A. Stolow. Two-Photon Excited State Dynamics of Dark Valence, Rydberg, and Superexcited States in 1,3-Butadiene. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 5, 560, 2014
  • T. Sekikawa, O. Schalk, G-R. Wu, A.E. Boguslavskiy, A. Stolow. Initial Processes of Proton Transfer in Salicylideneaniline Studied by Time-Resolved Photoelectron Spectroscopy. Journal of Physical Chemistry A 117, 2791, 2013
  • O. Schalk, A.E. Boguslavskiy, A. Stolow, M.S. Schuurman. Through-Bond Interactions and the Localization of Excited State Dynamics. Journal of the American Chemical Society 133, 16451, 2011
  • D. Townsend, B.J. Sussman, A. Stolow. A Stark Future for Quantum Control. Journal of Physical Chemistry A 115, 357, 2011
  • G. Wu, A.E. Boguslavskiy, O. Schalk, M.S. Schuurman, A. Stolow. Ultrafast Non-adiabatic Dynamics of Methyl Substituted Ethylenes: the ?3s Rydberg State. Journal of Chemical Physics 135, 164309, 2011

Research interests

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Femtochemistry
  • Ultrafast Spectroscopy
  • Chemical Reaction & Photodissociation Dynamics
  • Nonlinear Optical (CARS) Microscopy of Live Cells
  • Mass Spectrometry