-A billionth of a billionth of a second-

With cutting-edge tabletop High Harmonic Generation (HHG)-based Extreme Ultraviolet (XUV) and soft X-ray source, we resolve electronic and vibrational motions in an unprecedented attosecond time scale together with extraordinary state selectivity. 


May 2023

Enrico Ridente and Eric Haugen published on Science! They also featured on News From Berkeley Lab. Congratulations!

Research Article:

Femtosecond Symmetry Breaking and Coherent Relaxation of Methane Cations via X-Ray Spectroscopy

E. Ridente, D. Hait, E. A. Haugen, A. D. Ross, D. M. Neumark, M. Head-Gordon, S. R. Leone 

Science (2023)


Watching Molecules Relax in Real Time

November 2022

Natalie Gibson, our alumni, is featured on Laser Focused World!

Natalie now works as a research scientist at Meta Reality Labs. At SPIE Optics + Photonics 2022, she had an interview with the Editor in Chief of Laser Focused World, Peter Fretty. Check out the report ( and the interview video (!!

November 2022

Kylie Gannan successfully accomplished the qualification exam! Congratulations!

October 2022

Chengye Huang successfully accomplished the qualification exam! Congratulations!

July 2022

Prof. Robert Baker, our former group member, has been selected to receive the 2022 Coblentz Award! Congratulations!

The Coblentz award is presented annually to an outstanding young molecular spectroscopist.  Following postdoctoral research in the Leone group in 2014, Robert joined Ohio State University, where he is currently a professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

July 2022

Dr. Lorenz Drescher is awarded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Fellowship! Congratulations!

During the fellowship, titled "Self-Referenced XUV Transient Reflectivity Spectroscopy: Attosecond Electron Dynamics of 2D Layered Materials", Lorenz will spend two additional years in the Leone group to develop a self-referenced approach to improve XUV spectroscopy techniques with the goal to study ultrafast dynamics in novel 2D materials. Lorenz will conclude the fellowship with a one year stay at the Max-Born-Institute, Berlin, Germany.

April 2022

Dr. James Gaynor accepts a new position as Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University, to begin June 2023. Congratulations to James and best luck launching his independent career at Northwestern!

April 2022

Jonah Adelman received the 2022 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in Material Research: Physics of Materials! Congratulations!

April 2022

Jen-Hao Ou successfully accomplished the qualification exam! Congratulations!

Janurary 2022

Kuntal Chatterjee wins the Tiburtius-Preis 2021 – Preis der Berliner Hochschulen Award! Congratulations!

This competition is held among the graduating students of the universities located in Berlin every year. Kuntal was awarded for his PhD dissertation entitled "Vibrational Spectroscopy of Microsolvated Clusters of Protonated and Ionized Aromatic Molecules." Fabulous!

December 2021

Nicolette Puskar successfully accomplished the qualification exam! Congratulations!

November 2021

Lorenz Drescher wins the Carl-Ramsauer Award from Physical Society of Berlin! Congratulations!

Lorenz was awarded one of the Carl-Ramsauer Awards 2021 of the Physical Society of Berlin (PGzB). The jury recognized Lorenz's outstanding thesis titled "Transient Dipole Interactions on Subcycle Timescales" for its combination of well-founded theoretical and innovative experimental work. Congratulations! 

November 2021

Lou Barreau, our 2020 alumni, wins the Louis Armand Prize from French Academy of Sciences. Congratulations!

After finishing her postdoctoral research in Leone Group in 2020, Lou Barreau becomes a Maître de Conférences in Université Paris-Saclay, France. This year Lou received the distinguished honor, and the ceremony was held in Institut de France. Congratulations! 

Video of the ceremony (Starting 1:03:26). 

November 2021

Jonah Adelman successfully accomplished the qualification exam! Congratulations!

September 2021

Kuntal Chatterjee joined as a postdoc! Welcome!

Kuntal did his BSc with a major in chemistry from University of Calcutta and was the university topper in the year 2013. He then moved to IIT Kanpur and received his MSc degree with a specialization in physical chemistry in 2015. He was also awarded with the prestigious Shyama Prasad Mukherjee fellowship after achieving an ‘All India Rank’ 5th in the PhD entrance examination in India. Later he moved to Germany for his PhD. In 2020, Kuntal receives his PhD in Physics from TU Berlin, Germany with Prof. Otto Dopfer. He graduates with summa cum laude, the highest distinction! Before Kuntal investigated the physics of molecules of Astrochemical relevance by employing vibrational spectroscopy and mass spectrometry, and now he is going to work on time-resolved spectroscopy of diradicals. Our heartiest welcome!

August 2021

Valeriu Scutelnic published in Nature Communications! Congratulations!

X-ray transient absorption reveals the 1Au (nπ*) state of pyrazine in electronic relaxation

Nat Commun 12, 5003 (2021).

August 2021

Kristina Chang’s paper on methyl iodine is featured on Physics Today! Fantastic!

When does a molecule make up its mind?

Physics Today 74, 8, 14 (2021).

Mapping wave packet bifurcation at a conical intersection in CH3I by attosecond XUV transient absorption spectroscopy

J. Chem. Phys. 154, 234301 (2021).

July 2021

Kristina Chang begins her postdoctoral research. Our best wishes!

Kristina will work with Prof. Scott Diddams at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, CO. She holds the NRC postdoctoral fellowship.

June 2021

Ashley Fidler begins her postdoctoral research. Our best wishes!

Since graduating from the Leone Group in December 2020, Ashley has been working as a postdoctoral scholar in Marissa Weichman's research group at Princeton University, where she's designing and executing experiments that demonstrate quantum control of chemical reactions via strong light-matter coupling in optical microcavities. She recently has been awarded one of twelve Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowships awarded at Princeton for the 2021-22 academic year. 

May 2021

James Gaynor wins the Young Investigator Award, ACS Physical Chemistry Division! Congratulations!

November 2020

James Gaynor wins the Carl E. Anderson Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Laser Science, APS Division of Laser Science! Congratulations!