Team Members:

Dr. sc. Silvije Vdović – principal investigator.

Silvije Vdović interest in the field of ultrafast spectroscopy started more than 10 years ago with involment in the research on frequency comb spectroscopy and effects of near-resonant propagation of femtosecond laser pulses  where laser light interacted with alkali atomic vapor of different concentration. First time-resolved measurements, again, investigated interaction between ultrashort (fs) laser pulses and alkali atoms (sodium) adopting four wave mixing method in transient grating configuration. We observed quantum beats at the wavelength of the third harmonic when the fundamental beams are three-photon resonant with the period of beating corresponding to fine structure energy-level splitting. Furthermore, absence of signal at certain time delays was observed, explained using interference effect between excitation pathways involving the fundamental and the third-harmonic fields, which leaves atoms virtually unexcited and prevents formation of population grating. During his postdoc research at the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ICCAS), he became familiar with the ultafast broadband transient absorption technique that was used for investigation of relaxation pathways, intramolecular interactions and structural changes, and solvation effects. Damir Dominko – research associate.

Damir Dominko is studying correlated phenomena in solid state physics. From his postdoc on he is studying ultrafast phenomena in systems with strong electron-phonon coupling, like the one-dimensional semiconductor (NbSe4)3I . His task in this project is to conduct investigation of driven, non-linear phenomena, in (NbSe4)3I using ultrafast spectroscopy techniques. Damir Dominko is participating in performing experiments, processing and data analysis. Breaking the inversion symmetry induces additional phonon modes which become Raman active below phase transition, and thereby visible with pump-probe spectroscopy. Our goal is to explore in detail recently observed unexpected driven phenomena upon increasing the energy of the pump pulse. To resolve built-up heating effects from the driven phenomena, we plan to use different laser systems with different repetition rates. Hence, for the same pulse fluence decreasing the repetition rate will decrease the average laser power. Expected outcome of this research will be better understanding of system with collective states such as charge density wave (CDW) and superconductors. Mario Rakić – postdoc.

Mario has rich experience with different applied apsects of physics (new light sources, new spectrometers, applied physics in dentistry etc.). During his postdoc research at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Mario gained experience in developing new laser techniques which could be used for optical logic gates. He combined two laser sources and nanoparticles as a gain medium to achieve logic gates. His current focus is on developing new advanced spectroscopic techniques that we plan to introduce successively in our research: high sensitivity transient absorption using high repetition rate (MHz) lasers and 2D electronic spectroscopy. These techniques would be primarily used for investigation of photochemical and photophysical processes of QM formation, but also some other complex molecules, such as carotenoids that have important role in photosynthesis i.e. efficient energy transfer processes. Currently he is working on construction of noncollinear optical parametric amplifier. In addition, he performed testing of TA setup and is participating in TA measurements of photochemical reaction of quinone methide formation. Mateo Forjan – assistant.

Mateo Forjan graduated at University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science, Physics Department in 2018. Thesis focused on ultrafast dynamics of rhodamine B and the characterization of experimental setup for transient absorption. Currently, using transient absorption he is investigating photochemical reaction of dehydration and deamination of several phenol, naphthol and anthrol derivatives followed by quinone methide formation.



Mag. appl. chem. Antonija Husak- PhD student.

Antonija Husak is presently an assistant at the Laboratory of Synthetic Organic Chemistry at the Ruđer Bošković Institute. She graduated applied chemistry in 2013 at the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology, University of Zagreb, Croatia, received her Master degree in 2015 from Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology, University of Zagreb, Croatia as well.Her research interests include: synthesis of peptide quinone methide precursors (synthesis of unnatural amino acid, derivative of tyrosine and oligopeptides which containing the unnatural amino acid), photophysical characterization of peptides, investigation of the photochemical deamination reaction in these peptides and applications in biology, as well as investigation of covalent and noncovalentinteractions of peptides with DNA and proteins. In this project, Antonija Husak is performing synthesis of several phenol, naphthol and anthrol derivatives, precursors in photochemical reaction of dehydration and deamination followed by formation of quinone methide. She also participates in the analysis of results from transient absorption measurements and interpretation of photochemical reaction mechanisms.


Mag.phys. Vedran Brusar – PhD student.

Vedran Brusar graduated at University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science, Physics Department in 2020. Thesis focused on building a non-colinear optical parametric amplifier (NOPA) and its employment on measuring ultrafast dynamics of rhodamine B. NOPA greatly enhanced existing transient absorption experimental setup by improving its time resolution and by making a setup wavelength tunable. Currently, using transient absorption he is investigating photochemical reactions of liquid samples and by additionally using transient reflection he is investigating electron dynamics in solid-state samples, e.g. perovskites.


Dr. sc. Hrvoje Skenderović – senior scientist.

Hrvoje Skenderović’s main research interests cover different topics: ultrafast pump- probe spectroscopy including four-wave mixing in gas and liquid phase, femtosecond spectroscopy with optical comb, quantum cryptography, ultrashort pulse propagation and coherent control, laser microstructuring etc. His main contribution to the project will be development of new experimental ultrafast spectroscopy techniques. Hrvoje was fellow of the Max Planck Society (2003.-2004.) and Alexander von Humboldt Society (2002.-2003.).

Dr. sc. Nikola Basarić – senior scientist.

Nikola Basarić is head of the Laboratory of Synthetic Organic Chemistry at Ruđer Bošković Institute. His main reserach interest are: synthesis of polycyclic compounds, adamantane derivatives (incorporation in amino acids and cyclic peptides), synthesis and photochemistry of heterocyclic compounds (pyrrole and phthalimide derivatives), mechanistic organic photochemistry (study of intramolecular hydrogen transfer) and synthesis and spectroscopic characterization of supramolecular systems. His main contribution to our project will be data analysis and interpretation of photochemical processes.