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Marcos Dantus

Adjunct Professor (P-A Dept) and MSU Foundation Professor (Chemistry Dept)
Condensed Matter Physics - Experimental
Chemistry Bldg.
578 S. Shaw Lane, Room 58
(517) 353-1191
Dantus Research Group web pages


1991: Ph.D., California Institute of Technology
1985: B.A. & M.A., Brandeis University

Selected Publications

J. Lahiri, M. Moemeni, J. Kline, I. Magoulas, S. H. Yuwono, M. Laboe, J. Shen, B. Borhan, P. Piecuch, J. E. Jackson, G. J. Blanchard and M. Dantus, “Isoenergetic Two-Photon Excitation Enhances Solvent-to-Solute Excited-State Proton Transfer,” J. Chem. Phys.,  153, 224301 (2020).

J. Lahiri, M. Moemeni, I. Magoulas, S. H. Yuwono, J. Kline, B. Borhan, P. Piecuch, J. E. Jackson, G. J. Blanchard and M. Dantus, “Steric effects in light-induced solvent proton abstraction,” Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 22, 19613-19622 (2020).

J. Lahiri, J. Kline and M. Dantus, “Ultrafast pulse metrology for industrial applications,” Proc. SPIE 11270, 112700K (2020).

S. Li, D. Sierra-Costa, M. J. Michie, I. Ben-Itzhak and M. Dantus, “Control of electron recollision and molecular nonsequential double ionization,” Comm. Phys. 3, 35 (2020).

J. Lahiri, M. Moemeni, J. Kline, B. Borhan, I. Magoulas, S. H. Yuwono, P. Piecuch, J. E. Jackson, M. Dantus and G. J. Blanchard, “Proton Abstraction Mediates Interactions between the Super Photobase FR0-SB and Surrounding Alcohol Solvent,” J. Phys. Chem. B 123, 8448 (2019).

A. Ghanbarpour, M. Nairat, M. Nosrati, E. M. Santos, C. Vasileiou, M. Dantus, B. Borhan, and J. H. Geiger, “Mimicking Microbial Rhodopsin Isomerization in a Single Crystal,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 141, 1735 (2019).

M. J. Michie, N. Ekanayake, N. P. Weingartz, J. Stamm, and M. Dantus, “Quantum coherent control of H3+ formation in strong fields,” J. Chem. Phys. 150, 044303 (2019).

N. Ekanayake , M. Nairat, N. P. Weingartz, M. J. Michie, B. G. Levine, and M. Dantus, “Substituent effects on H3+ formation via H2 roaming mechanisms from organic molecules under strong-field photodissociation,” J. Chem. Phys. 149, 244310 (2018).

N. Ekanayake, T. Severt, M. Nairat, N. P. Weingartz, B. M. Farris, B. Kaderiya, P. Feizollah, B. Jochim, F. Ziaee, K. Borne, K. Raju P., K. D. Carnes, D. Rolles, A. Rudenko, B. G. Levine, J. E. Jackson, I. Ben-Itzhak, and M. Dantus, “H2 roaming chemistry and the formation of H3+ from organic molecules in strong laser fields,” Nat. Commun. 9, 5186 (2018).

W. Shang,* M. Nairat,* P. Pawlaczyk, E. Mroczka, B. Farris, E. Pines, J. Geiger, B. Borhan, and M. Dantus, “Ultrafast Dynamics of a "Super" Photobase,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 57, 14742 –14746 (2018).

Professional Activities & Interests / Biographical Information

Marcos Dantus is a pioneer in the use of spectrally and temporally shaped ultrafast (less than 40 femtosecond) laser pulses and has developed novel applications of ultrafast laser spectroscopy, including uses in the medical and defense/security industries. He is author or co-author of over 238 scientific publications and has been issued 30 patents (with more in the pipeline). He is a professor in the MSU Department of Chemistry and holds an adjunct professorship in the Department of Physics & Astronomy. He was named 2016 MSU Foundation Professor. Dantus is a fellow of the American Physical Societyfellow of the Optical Society of America and a National Academy of Inventors Fellow.


Current projects include:

Strong-field physics of polyatomic molecules
We work on polyatomic molecules which undergo surprising fragmentation processes when subjected to strong >1014 W/cm2 fields, such as releasing neutral H2 molecules that roam the multiply charged cation and capture a proton to form H3+. We have also identified coherent large amplitude motions of the ionized molecule that lead to unexpected rearrangements prior to fragmentation.

Controlling nonlinear optical processes in large molecules in solution
We use shaped femtosecond laser pulses to coherently control the different optical pathways that contribute to four wave mixing processes. We have been particularly successful adapting coherent control methods developed for isolated atoms to large molecules in solution.

Quantum Science
We use a femtosecond laser to activate arrays of single ion centers on diamond that can be used for quantum information science applications. We are building a laser microscope with optical resolution 50 X smaller than the wavelength.


Before joining MSU in 1993, Dantus did his PhD and Postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology, where he worked for Prof. Ahmed Zewail (1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry). As a graduate student, Dantus worked on the development of Femtochemistry, a spectroscopic method using femtosecond laser pulses in order to obtain snapshots of fundamental processes such as bond formation and bond cleavage as they take place in ultrafast timescales. For this work, Dantus received the Clauser Prize from Caltech and the Nobel Signature Award from the American Chemical Society. As a postdoc, Dantus developed Ultrafast Electron Diffraction, which uses femtosecond electron pulses to record changes in molecular structure as a photoinitiated reaction occurs.

To read more about these projects visit the Dantus Group webpage.