Laser Plasmas and Spectroscopy

Our research is focused on the interaction of intense lasers with matter, in all of its forms. Current applications include finding novel materials for next generation semiconductor manufacturing and laser based methods for contaminant analysis and removal from wind turbine blades.

About the Research Area

When an intense laser interacts with matter (in all of its forms), a set of complex optical and plasma processes are set in motion. By spectroscopically analysing the light emitted (or absorbed) during the interaction these processes can be understood, and even manipulated. A host of applications are enabled in areas as diverse as energy generation, manufacturing, novel materials and environmental monitoring. We collaborate widely with international laboratories and industrial partners on all aspects of the work from theory to experiment to translation.

Research Projects

Laser Clean Project –

Laser Plasmas and Spectroscopy Publications


Laser double optical resonance excitation-ionization of Mo with optogalvanic detection. Lu, H; Varvarezos, L; Nicolosi, P; Andrighetto, A; Scarpa, D; Mariotti, E; Costello, J.T. Physica Scripta 2022

Clocking Auger electrons. Haynes, D.C; Wurzer, M; Schletter, A; Al-Haddad, A; Blaga, C; Bostedt, C; Bozek, J; Bromberger, H; Bucher, M; Camper, A; Carron, S; Coffee, R; Costello, J.T; DiMauro, L.F; Ding, Y; Ferguson, K; Grguraš, I; Helml, W; Hoffmann, M.C; Ilchen, M; Jalas, S; Kabachnik, N.M; Kazansky, A.K; Kienberger, R; Maier, A.R; Maxwell, T; Mazza, T; Meyer, M; Park, H; Robinson, J; Roedig, C; Schlarb, H; Singla, R; Tellkamp, F; Walker, P.A; Zhang, K; Doumy, G; Behrens, C; Cavalieri, A.L. Nature Physics 2021

Near-threshold two-photon double ionization of Kr in the vacuum ultraviolet. Varvarezos, L; Düsterer, S; Kiselev, M.D; Boll, R; Bomme, C; De Fanis, A; Erk, B; Passow, C; Burkov, S.M; Hartmann, G; Ilchen, M; Johnsson, P; Kelly, T.J; Manschwetus, B; Mazza, T; Meyer, M; Rompotis, D; Zatsarinny, O; Gryzlova, E.V; Grum-Grzhimailo, A.N; Costello, J.T. Physical Review A 2021

Ionization – dissociation of methane in ultrashort 400 nm and 800 nm laser fields. Varvarezos, L; Costello, J.T; Long, C; Achner, A.J; Wagner, R; Meyer, M; Grychtol, P. Chemical Physics Letters 2021

Photoionization cross-sections of carbon-like n+ near the k-edge (390–440 ev). Mosnier, J.-P; Kennedy, E.T; Bizau, J.-M; Cubaynes, D; Guilbaud, S; Blancard, C; McLaughlin, B.M. Atoms 2021

Special issue “interaction of ionizing photons with atomic and molecular ions”. Kennedy, E.T; Costello, J.T; Mosnier, J.-P. Atoms 2021

Reply to comment on ‘The 5d → 6p photoabsorption spectra of Pb II and Bi III: Evidence of excited states’ by A. N Ryabtsev. Lu, H; Varvarezo, L; Alli, M.B; Nicolosi, P; Costello, J.T; Hayden, P. Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 2021

The effect of confinement angle on self-colliding aluminium laser plasmas using spectrally resolved fast imaging. Varvarezos, L; Davitt, S.J; Costello, J.T; Kelly, T.J. Materials 2020

Vibrationally and spin-orbit-resolved inner-shell X-ray absorption spectroscopy of the NH+ molecularion: Measurements and ab initio calculations. Carniato, S; Bizau, J.-M; Cubaynes, D; Kennedy, E.T; Guilbaud, S; Sokell, E; McLaughlin, B; Mosnier, J.-P. Atoms 2020

The 5d → 6p EUV photoabsorption spectra of Pb II and Bi III: evidence of excited states. Lu, H; Varvarezos, L; Alli, M.B; Nicolosi, P; Costello, J.T; Hayden, P. Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 2020

Recombination contributions to the anisotropic emission from a laser produced copper plasma. Wubetu, G.A; Kelly, T.J; Hayden, P; Fiedorowicz, H; Skrzeczanowski, W; Costello, J.T. Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 2020

Soft X-ray photoabsorption spectra of photoionized CH4 and CO2 plasmas. Varvarezos, L; Lu, H; Costello, J.T; Bartnik, A; Wachulak, P; Fok, T; Wgrzyński, Ł; Fiedorowicz, H. Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 2020

K-shell Photoionization of the N+, NH+ and NH2+ ions. McLaughlin, B.M; Mosniert, J.P; Kennedy, E.T; Sokell, E; Bizau, J.M; Cubaynes, D; Guilbaud, S; Carniato, S. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 2020

Oxygen K-shell photoabsorption spectra of photoionized CO2 plasmas. Varvarezos, L; Lu, H; Costello, J.T; Bartnik, A; Wachulak, P; Fok, T; Wgrzyński, Ł; Fiedorowicz, H. Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 2020

Vacuum ultraviolet laser induced breakdown spectroscopy for detecting sulphur in thermally aged transformer insulation material. Neettiyath, A; Alli, M.B; Hayden, P; Vasa, N.J; Sarathi, R; Costello, J.T. Spectrochimica Acta – Part B Atomic Spectroscopy 2020

Stable nano-silver colloid production via Laser Ablation Synthesis in Solution (LASiS) under laminar recirculatory flow. Freeland, B; McCann, R; Alkan, G; Friedrich, B; Foley, G; Brabazon, D. Advances in Materials and Processing Technologies 2020

High-efficiency generation of nanomaterials via laser ablation synthesis in solution with in-situ diagnostics for closed-loop control. Freeland, B; McCann, R; Foley, G; Brabazon, D. Proceedings of SPIE – The International Society for Optical Engineering 2020

Two-color XUV+NIR femtosecond photoionization of neon in the near-threshold region. Düsterer, S; Hartmann, G; Bomme, C; Boll, R; Costello, J.T; Erk, B; De Fanis, A; Ilchen, M; Johnsson, P; Kelly, T.J; Manschwetus, B; Mazza, T; Meyer, M; Passow, C; Rompotis, D; Varvarezos, L; Kazansky, A.K; Kabachnik, N.M. New Journal of Physics 2019

A comparative study on ionization-induced dissociation of methane, irradiated by 800 nm and 400 nm laser fields. Varvarezos, L; Achner, A; Wagner, R; Rivas, D.E; Costello, J.T; Meyer, M; Grychtol, P. 2019 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe and European Quantum Electronics Conference, CLEO/Europe-EQEC 2019 2019

Chemical surface modification of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) films using extreme ultraviolet. Ahad, I.U; Murtaza, A; Sreenilayam, S; Budner, B; Bartnik, A; Fiedorowicz, H; Aqeel-Ur-Rehman| Brabazon, D. AIP Conference Proceedings 2019

Ion energy distribution from colliding laser plasmas. Doherty, C.B; Kelly, M; Donnelly, T; Lunney, J.G; Costello, J.T. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 2019

Colliding laser plasmas formed in air. Davitt, S.J; Walsh, N; Kelly, T.J; Costello, J.T. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 2019

Population modelling of the He II energy levels in tokamak plasmas: I. Collisional excitation model. 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Hidalgo, C; Highcock, E.G; Hill, M; Hillairet, J; Hillesheim, J; Hillis, D. Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 2019

Vibrational effects in the photo-ion yield spectrum of the SiH2+ molecular ion following 2p inner-shell excitation. Kennedy, E.T; Mosnier, J.P; Van Kampen, P; Bizau, J.M; Cubaynes, D; Guilbaud, S; Carniato, S; Puglisi, A; Sisourat, N. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 2019

VUV photoabsorption spectra of Pb and Bi ions using dual laser plasma technique. Lu, H; Hayden, P; Nicolosi, P; Costello, J. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 2019

Threshold fluences for conditioning, fatigue and damage effects of DKDP crystals. Li, Y; Zhu, D; Zhang, Q; Brabazon, D. Optical Materials 2019

X-rays put molecules into a spin. Costello, J.T; Manson, S.T. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2019

A compact Fourier transform spectrometer with no moving parts for laser induced breakdown spectroscopy. Davitt, S.J; Costello, J.T; Kelly, T.J. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 2019

Space integrated, time resolved studies of the formation of aluminium (II) oxide in laser produced plasmas. Kelly, T.J; Walsh, N; Costello, J.T. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 2019

Aluminium thin films depth profiling using LIBS. Zehra, S.S; Nicolosi, P; Costello, J; Hayden, P. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 2019