The Engel Group at The University of Chicago

The Engel Group strives to exploit femtosecond dynamics to steer and to control excited state reactivity. We use a combination of ultrafast spectroscopy, theory, synthesis, and biophysics to approach this problem.


Revealing Nature's Designs

Nature has had 2.4 billion years to evolve and engineer excited state dynamics. From photosynthesis to vision to photoenzymes, we examine natural mechanisms to steer excited states. Our goal is to isolate and identify new design principles to control quantum dynamics.

Steering Excited State Dynamics

Electronic excited states carry enough energy to make and break chemical bonds. Photochemistry operates outside the Born-Oppenheimer regime -- thereby escaping our standard chemical intuition. We seek new strategies to steer excited states and to control their reactivity.


Seeing the Unseen

You can't engineer what you can't see. We build new spectroscopic tools to probe femtosecond dynamics of electronic excitations. In living cells, protein complexes, and small molecules, we capture how these systems evolve with unprecedented depth and specificity.

Paper Accepted   9/14/2023

Indranil GhoshOlivia WedigJake Higgins

Congratulations to Indranil Ghosh, Olivia Wedig, Jake Higgins and our collaborators in the Mazziotti Group on having their paper entitled "Quantum sensing using multi-qubit quantum systems and the Pauli polytope" accepted at Physical Review Research.

New Summer Researcher   8/21/2023

Nate Lopez

Welcome to Nate Lopez, who is joining the group as a Summer Researcher.

Poster Award   8/15/2023

Indranil Ghosh

Congratulations to Indranil Ghosh on winning a poster award from the PHYS Division of ACS at the national meeting in San Francisco

Fellow of the American Chemical Society   8/14/2023

Greg Engel

Greg Engel was honored at the ACS National Meeting and inducted as an ACS Fellow.

Quantum Biology activities within the Engel Group

Quantum Biology

Ultrafast Spectroscopy activities within the Engel Group

Ultrafast Spectroscopy

Quantum Materials activities within the Engel Group

Quantum Materials

Photocatalysis activities within the Engel Group


Theory activities within the Engel Group


Coherent Dynamics activities within the Engel Group

Coherent Dynamics

Light Harvesting Materials activities within the Engel Group

Light Harvesting Materials

Ultrafast Chiral Response activities within the Engel Group

Ultrafast Chiral Response

Live Cell Studies activities within the Engel Group

Live Cell Studies

I. Avdic, L.M. Sager-Smith, I. Ghosh, O.C. Wedig, J.S. Higgins, G.S. Engel, and D.A. Mazziotti, "Quantum sensing using multi-qubit quantum systems and the Pauli polytope", Physical Review Research (accepted) 2023.

G. Lin, G.T. Nash, T. Luo, I. Ghosh, S. Sohoni, A.J. Christofferson, G. Liu, G.S. Engel, W. Lin, "Two-Dimensional Nanosonosensitizers Facilitate Energy Transfer to Enhance Sonodynamic Therapy", Advanced Materials, 35, 2212069 2023.

University of Chicago
Chemistry Department
Biophysical Sciences
Institute for Molecular Engineering
James Franck Institute
Institute for Biophysical Dynamics
Lockheed Martin