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Melanie Reber

Blurred image of a green laser used as background for stylistic purposes.
Assistant Professor

Ph.D. Chemical Physics (2012), University of Colorado, Boulder and JILA 

       Optical Science and Engineering Program (OSEP), an NSF-IGERT program at the University of Colorado, Boulder

B.A. Chemistry (2005), Macalester College

Americorps Volunteer (2000-2001), Student Conservation Association New York Adirondack Americorps

Research Interests:

          The Reber lab uses fiber-laser frequency combs to do ultrafast chemistry. Ultrafast spectroscopy is used for real-time tracking of dynamics in quantum mechanical systems on the femtosecond (10-15s) timescale. We are interested in developing new ultrafast laser technology and spectroscopies with frequency comb lasers. We combine chemistry, physics, electrical, and optical engineering to build the instruments and then apply them to look at fundamental physical chemistry problems. 

Specifically, we have a cavity-enhanced ultrafast transient absorption spectrometer. Current projects on the transient absorption spectrometer include studying the excited state dynamics of hydrocarbon radicals, as are relevant to atmospheric chemistry, combustion chemistry, and interstellar chemistry. A second project is studying the complex quantum dynamics of conical intersections in the gas phase.

The second instrument is a cavity-enhanced two-dimensional spectrometer. We are obtaining proof-of-concept data on cavity-enhanced 2D spectroscopy and then will look at 2D spectroscopy as a method to characterize molecules for quantum control applications.

The third instrument involves designing and building a new frequency comb based upon electro-optical modulation instead of ultrafast lasers. We will use this for dual-comb spectroscopy as applied both to physical chemistry questions and analytical chemistry applications.

These technologies have application in physical chemistry and analytical chemistry as well as quantum computing and defense/national security applications. We are also very interested in quantum computing and quantum technologies and the important roll physical chemistry plays in those active areas of research. The Reber Lab is looking for new graduate students from chemistry, physics, or engineering who aren't afraid to learn new things!



Selected Publications:

N. D. Cooper, U. M. Ta, and M. A. R. Reber. Spectral shaping of an ultrafast modelocked Ytterbium fiber laser through a passive intracavity optical filter: a simple and reliable route to sub-45 fs pulses. Appl. Opt. 2023; 62 (9): 2195-2199. ArXiv:

X. L. Li, M. A. R. Reber, C. Corder, Y. Chen, P. Zhao, T. K. Allison. High-power ultrafast Yb:fiber laser frequency combs using commercially available components and basic fiber tools. Rev. Sci. Inst. 2016; 87: 093114.

M. A. Roberts Reber, Y. Chen, and T. K. Allison. Cavity-enhanced ultrafast spectroscopy: ultrafast meets ultrasensitive. Optica 2016; 3:311.



Nicholas D. Cooper and Melanie A.R. Reber.  “Fiber laser frequency tuning with intracavity spectral filter” Provisional Patent Filed 07/2021. Full patent application filed 07/2022. Patent Pending: US-2023029316-A1 

Of note:

NSF CAREER Award, 2024

UGA Innovation Fellowship, 2021

Excellence in Peer Review Award, American Chemical Society, Petroleum Research Fund, 2020

Articles Featuring Melanie Reber

Dr. Melanie Reber and Dr. Christopher Newton, Assistant Professors in the UGA Department of Chemistry, have each received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their research.

Dr. Melanie Reber, assistant professor in the UGA Department of Chemistry, has been named one of two Innovation Fellows for Spring 2021.

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Assistant to the Department Head: Donna Spotts, 706-542-1919 

Main office phone: 706-542-1919 

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Head of Chemistry: Prof. Jason Locklin