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Ultrafast Laser Researcher Dantus Named 
MSU Foundation Professor

Marcos Dantus

Michigan State University (MSU) Distinguished Professor Marcos Dantus has been named an MSU Foundation Professor. Dantus, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has pioneered the use of spectrally and temporally shaped ultrafast pulses and has invented revolutionary laser optimization instruments.

According to MSU Provost June Pierce Youatt, MSU Foundation Professorships demonstrate the university’s commitment to recognizing and rewarding world-class scholars. The title is bestowed by MSU, with support from the MSU Foundation, to provide supplemental research support over five years to awardees. Dantus will hold the MSU Foundation Professor designation permanently.

“Professor Dantus has achieved notable success in the field of ultrafast lasers,” said Youatt. “His work has advanced the application of laser technology in such diverse areas as biomedical imaging and standoff detection of explosives.”

R. James Kirkpatrick, dean of the College of Natural Science, said Dantus’s development of an instrument capable of automated laser pulse compression is enabling research around the world as well as novel fiber laser designs. “He has consistently earned top awards and recognition for his work.”

Dantus, who received his doctorate from Caltech in 1991 worked with A. H. Zewail on the development of Femtosecond Transition State Spectroscopy, now known as Femtochemistry (1999 Chemistry Nobel Prize to Zewail).

Since joining Michigan State University in 1993, Dantus has published more than 200 scholarly articles and has been issued 25 patents, with several more pending. Dantus regularly collaborates with different branches of the U.S. Department of Defense, and has been invited to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Scientist Helping America, Arbitrary Waveform Generation, and Program for Ultrafast Laser Science workshops.

Stephen Hsu, Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies said, “Dantus’s contributions range from the discovery of nonlinear optical properties and processes to the development of theory to simulate and predict the interaction of molecules with shaped laser beams.”

Hsu noted that Michigan State is particularly proud of Dantus’s entrepreneurial energy in bringing his work directly to the marketplace. Dantus founded Biophotonic Solutions, a company that is commercializing automated femtosecond pulse compression.

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