Stephen Leone

Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Physics
Faculty, Applied Science and Technology
John R. Thomas Endowed Chair in Physical Chemistry

Available as a research director for the Applied Sciences and Technology (AS&T) Ph.D. program.

office: 209 Gilman
phone: (510) 643-5467
fax: (510) 643-1376
lab: D40, D42, D39, D35, D60 Hildebrand
lab phone: (510) 643-5464
student/post doc office: D44/D62 Hildebrand, 2-300B LBNL

Research Group
Recent Publications
Physics webpage
Applied Science & Technology faculty

Kathleen Fowler, Assistant
B62 Hildebrand

Patricia Jung, LBNL Assistant
2-302 LBNL

Research Interests

Physical Chemistry, Chemical Dynamics and Nanostructured Materials

Professor Leone's research interests include ultrafast laser investigations and soft x-ray probing of valence and core levels, attosecond physics and chemistry, state-resolved collision processes and kinetics investigations, nanoparticle fluorescence intermittency, aerosol chemistry and dynamics, probing with near field optical microscopy, and neutrals imaging.

Current projects are grouped along several main themes: Ultrafast laser molecular dynamics, including x-ray probing and attosecond pulse production and investigations; chemical dynamics of molecules, nanoparticles, and clusters; nanostructured materials investigations with scanned probe microscopies. Projects include: femtosecond laser dynamics, ultrafast soft x-ray, time-resolved x-ray photoelectron dynamics, attosecond dynamics, near field and ultrafast optical microscopy of semiconductors and nanowires, infrared near field microscopy, photofragmentation and radical-radical reactions, aerosol chemistry, low temperature reactions for the chemistry of Saturn and Titan.

Several examples are considered briefly. Ultrafast lasers are used to probe the dynamics of molecular motion on the time scales of vibrational, rotational, or electronic periods. The Leone group investigates coherent properties. The study of molecular photodissociation by soft x-ray laser techniques has opened the way to analyze the simple breaking of a molecular bond in greater detail. High order harmonics are produced by high fields in a rare gas and used to probe valence shell photoelectron spectra and core level spectroscopy of time-evolving systems, ranging from atoms to small molecules to metal clusters. Phase-shaping of the high order harmonics has been investigated. Transient x-ray absorption is used to probe alignment and molecular fragmentation pathways through core level spectroscopy. By using few cycle carrier-envelope phase-stabilized laser pulses, isolated attosecond pulses are generated to study electronic timescales in molecules and clusters by ejecting inner shell electrons on attosecond timescales. An apparatus to probe photoelectron angular images with time-resolved high order harmonics is used to study outgoing electron waves and phases. Research also investigates the ultralow temperature gas phase kinetics for the atmospheres of Titan and Saturn, as well as to probe combustion dynamics through radical reactions. Heterogeneous chemistry is a significant new area of investigation, with applications to fuel droplet combustion and aerosol aging in the atmosphere.

Experiments are being explored in confocal microscopy, apertureless near field optical microscopy, and single pulse coherent anti-Stokes Raman microscopy with phase control, and studies involving quantum dot blinking and pump-probe ultrafast studies of semiconductor nanocrystals. Other projects study aerosol light scattering and spectroscopy, aerosol reactions, as well as surface probing of neutrals desorbed by scanning ion microprobes using the chemical dynamics beamline at the Advanced Light Source.


Chemical Dynamics:

  • attosecond laser pulse production and electron dynamics
  • nanoparticle and atmospheric aerosol dynamics
  • ultrafast soft x-rays, time-resolved x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, transient absorption
  • Radical reaction dynamics, combustion chemistry, and low temperature chemistry

Surface/Semiconductor Processes:

  • apertureless near field optical microscopy of semiconductors
  • Single pulse CARS microscopy of polymers
  • pump-probe dynamics in nanocrystals
  • blinking dynamics of nanoparticles


Professor, Born 1948; B.A. Northwestern University, 1970; Ph. D., Physical Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, 1974; Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, 1977-81; Department of Commerce Silver Medal Award (1980); American Chemical Society Pure Chemistry Award (1982); American Chemical Society Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry, jointly with D.J. Nesbitt and J.T. Hynes, 1983; Coblentz Award for Spectroscopy, 1984; Department of Commerce Gold Medal Award, 1984; Arthur S. Flemming Award for Government Service, 1986; Fellowship, Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, 1986; John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, 1988; Herbert P. Broida Prize of the American Physical Society, 1989; Visiting Miller Research Professor to the University of California, Berkeley, 1990; Visiting Professor at the Chemistry Research Promotion Center, Taiwan, 1992; Samuel Wesley Stratton Award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, 1992; Bourke Medal of the Faraday Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 1995; Fellow, American Physical Society, Optical Society of America, and American Association for the Advancement of Science; Member of the National Academy of Sciences, 1995; Centennial Speaker, American Physical Society, 1999; Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2000; American Chemical Society Peter Debye Award, 2005; Morris Belkin Visiting Professorship, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, 2009; JILA Fellow Adjoint, 2006-2011; Morris Belkin Visiting Professorship, Weizmann Institute, 2009; Polanyi Medal of the Gas Kinetics Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK, 2010; Miller Professorship, Miller Research Institute, 2010; National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship, Department of Defense, 2010