December 2023: Xiaojun Wang received his PhD! Xiaojun designed and constructed new instrument to study the interaction of low energy electrons with molecules, which is relevant to radiation damage of materials and biological molecules. He is now a postdoctoral scholar at the FLASH free electron laser in Hamburg, Germany, working in ultrafast molecular science. .

May 2023: Congratulations to Yanwei Xiong on his successful PhD defense!. Yanwei made movies of rotational wavepackets in molecules that evolve on time scales of trillionths of a second. He used femtosecond laser pulses to create a rotational wavepacket and electron pulses to capture the rotational motion of the molecules with atomic resolution. His work provides a unique and direct method to observe quantum mechanical wavepackets in molecules. Yanwei is now a postdoctoral scholar working on ultrafast molecular imaging at UNL.

December 2022: Kyle Wilkin received his PhD degree!. Kyle captured 3D images of isolated molecules with atomic resolution. He used laser pulses to transiently align molecules in space and electron pulses to scatter from the molecules. He also developed new methods to retrieve the structure with atomic resolution, which allowed him to image more complex molecules than previously possible. Kyle is now working in data science in the private sector. Check out one of his publications: “Ultrafast electron diffraction from transiently aligned asymmetric top molecules: Rotational dynamics and structure retrieval” .

November 2021: We are looking for a Postdoctoral Scholar to join our group. If you are interested please contact Prof. Centurion.

October 2020: We captured our first experimental movie of a rotational wavepacket. Read the publication for more details and be sure to check the supplemental material for the 3D movies! “High-resolution movies of molecular rotational dynamics captured with ultrafast electron diffraction” .

September 2020: Prof. Centurion has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society! Click here for more details.

August 2020: The Department of Energy Office of Science highlights Prof. Centurion's work on Basic Energy Sciences: "Martin Centurion: Then and Now".

October 2019: Prof. Centurion received a new grant to study the dynamics of ring conversion reactions, with collaborators at Kansas State, Brown and Louisiana State Universities. This will enable us to image reactions using multiple experimental and theoretical methods to build a more complete picture of the dynamics. See the UNL press release.

August 2019: We are advancing the application of Ultrafast Electron Diffraction to capture more complex dynamics. Our most recent results have been published in Phys Rev A: “Diffractive imaging of dissociation and ground-state dynamics in a complex molecule” .

May 2019: The Femtosecond Electron Imaging and Spectroscopy 4 (FEIS 4) international conference was held in Lincoln, with more than 70 attendees. Visit the conference website .

July 2018: Our results on imaging a nuclear wavepacket dynamics at conical intersections have been published in Science: “Imaging CF3I conical intersection and photodissociation dynamics with ultrafast electron diffraction” .

Find here the corresponding UNL press release: “ 'Molecular movie' captures chemical reaction on atomic scale” .

April 2018:   The Centurion Group now has a Diffraction Simulator App available. Instructions are included in the application, simply download the java applet under the Research tab.

Dec 2017:  Omid Zandi completed his dissertation defense and received his PhD degree. Congratulations!  

June 2017:  Dr. Centurion gives a invited talk at the 3rd Femtosecond Electron Imaging and Spectroscopy Workshop ,Shanghai,China.  

March 2017:   Dr. Centurion is named Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor. The professorship recognizes faculty at the associate professor level who have achieved distinguished records of scholarship or creative activity and who show exceptional promise for future excellence. 

October 2016:  We have made our first molecular movie! We succeded in capturing the motion of a nuclear wavepacket in iodine molecules. The results were published in PRL "Diffractive Imaging of Coherent Nuclear Motion in Isolated Molecules" and highlighted as a Viewpoint in the APS Physics website. 

June 2016: Our summer visitors are here. Prof. Mahesh Pattabiraman will be visiting from the Chemistry Department of the Unviersity of Nebraska - Kearney and James Bork will be here as an REU student from Gustavus Adolphus College.

May 2016: Our recent results on Femtosecond Electron Diffraction have been chosen as a Science Highlight “Capturing Molecular Motion with Relativistic Electrons” by the Department of Energy – Basic Energy Sciences.

April 2016: We have finally achieved femtosecond resolution in electron diffraction from molecules in the gas phase. The experiments were done at SLAC with a relativistic electron gun. The results were picked up by several news agencies:

September 2015: UNL news coverage of our research on Molecular Imaging. We have imaged the effects of intense laser pulses on carbon disulfide molecules, in collaboration with the Uiterwaal group. (UNL Today article)

February 2015: Our research was highlighted in UNL news. (UNL Today article)

August 2014: Our joint UNL - Kansas State group grant has been approved by NSF. (NSF news release)

August 2014: Two articles published this month in Structural Dynamics and New Journal of Physics!

January 2014: Alice DeSimone has joined the group as a postdoctoral scholar.

September 2013: Kyle Wilkin has joined the group as a graduate student.

June 2012: Kyle Wilkin has joined the group for the summer as an REU student. He is working on dispersion compensation and pulse shaping of electron pulses.

June 2011: John Bower joined the Centurion Group on June 6th as a part of the Summer Research Program, the University of Nebraska Lincoln’s REU Program, and will stay until August 11th. He is currently a rising senior pursuing degrees in Physics, Mathematics, and Classics at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. He was brought into the group to design, build, calibrate, and write program for a custom GRENOUILLE device. The device will be used for measuring laser pulses longer than the group's current GRENOUILLE can measure.

January 2010: Dr. Martin Centurion awarded DOE Early Career Research Grant