Austin P. Spencer

Optical scientist with more than a decade of research experience in optics and lasers, ultrafast spectroscopy, and material characterization.

My experience My research


Austin Spencer

Research Scientist



I am a research scientist at Cree-LED. I have published numerous peer-reviewed articles in highly-cited journals and have presented my research at ACS, APS, and Gordon Research conferences. My work has been highlighted in Science and featured on the cover of J. Phys. Chem. C. I have designed and built more than 10 laser spectroscopy instruments in order to study how energy from light relaxes through chemical systems. This research often benefits from my hobbies, which include computer programming and building and repairing electronic equipment.


My research

A central theme of my research has been the application of optics and lasers to solving complex scientific challenges. This includes the development and application of ultrafast multidimensional spectroscopy, which utilizes femtosecond (millionth of a billionth of a second) laser pulses to create “molecular snapshots” that track the flow of energy through molecules, nanomaterials, and proteins as they relax. I am interested in coupled, “messy” problems that require new and innovative solutions to gain deeper insights. While these problems are often the hardest to address, they are also the most impactful.    Learn more


  • optics and lasers
  • materials at extreme conditions and timescales
  • experimental technique development


  • PhD in Chemistry, 2014

    University of Colorado Boulder

  • BS in Chemistry, 2009

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship



Compressive Sensing

Collect information, not data.

4D Raman–electronic spectroscopy

Gradient-assisted multidimensional electronic–Raman spectroscopy (GAMERS)

Carrier dynamics in quantum dots

Carrier dynamics and interactions in semiconductor quantum dots

Recent Posts

Spectral Interferometry

For many nonlinear spectroscopy techniques, we need to measure the complete electric field of the signal, including its phase. …

Collect information, not data

Why do we have to measure 50 MB of image data to capture a 5 MB compressed photo? Can we measure the 5 MB of information instead?