Researchers at UCD


Ian Mercer


School Of Physics
Science Centre
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7162226


Permanent positions
Present: UCD,
Dublin, Ireland. Physics. Lecturer.
2000 to 2003: Powerlase Ltd,
Gatwick, UK. Director, CTO, co-founder.
1999 to 2001:
Imperial College, London, UK. Chemistry. Lecturer.
1997 to 1999:
LLNL, CA, US. Advanced laser development for industrial materials processing. PI and Team Leader.

Post doctoral research positions
1995 to 1997: Imperial College, London, UK. Chemistry.
Lund Institute of Technology, Lund, Sweden. Atomic Physics.
Imperial College London UK, and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot UK.


Honours and Awards

Year: 2000.
Title: Governors Award, Imperial College


Patent WO2009147425 : Apparatus and method for sample analysis
Patent WO03009439 : Laser apparatus
Patent WO03009433 : Laser apparatus
Patent WO02091807 : High flux, high energy photon source
Patent WO0223683 : Pulse laser resonator
Patent WO0219781 : Electromagnetic radiation generation using a laser produced plasma
Patent WO0124325 : Tapered laser rod


Year 1993 Institution: Imperial College, London, UK
Qualification: PhD Subject:
Year 1989 Institution: Imperial College, London, UK
Qualification: BSc Subject:



Book Chapters

Ian P. Mercer; (2004) 'Industrial Application of Lasers' In: Ian P. Mercer; (eds). Encyclopedia of Modern Optics. Oxford: Elsevier. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

I. P. Mercer; (2010) 'Angle-Resolved Coherent Optical Wave Mixing'. Physical Review A, 82 . [Details]
Ian P. Mercer, Yasin C. El-Taha, Nathaniel Kajumba, Jonathan P. Marangos, John W. G. Tisch, Mads Gabrielsen, Richard J. Cogdell, Emma Springate & Edmund Turcu; (2009) 'Instantaneous Mapping of Coherently Coupled Electronic Transitions and Energy Transfers in a Photosynthetic Complex Using Angle Resolved Coherent Optical Wave Mixing'. Physical Review Letters, 102 . [Details]
Ross C. Walker, Ian P. Mercer, Ian R. Gould and David R. Klug; (2007) 'A Comparison of Basis Set Effects and the Performance of Ab Initio and DFT Methods for Probing Equilibrium Fluctuations'. Journal of Computational Chemistry, 28 (2):478-490. [Details]
B.M. Cho, R.C.Walker, H. Amer, I. Mercer, D.R. Klug, I.R. Gould; (2005) 'Effect of adiabaticity on electron dynamics in zinc myoglobin'. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, . [Details]
R.C. Walker, M.M. de Souza, I.P. Mercer, I.R. Gould, D.R. Klug; (2002) 'Large and fast relaxations inside a protein: Calculation and measurement of reorganization energies in alcohol dehydrogenase'. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, . [Details]
I.P. Mercer; (2002) 'EUV light source and laser considerations for scalability and high-energy conversion efficiency'. PROCEEDINGS OF S.P.I.E, . [Details]
Y. Tachibana, S.A. Haque, I.P. Mercer, J.E. Moser, D.R. Klug, J.R. Durrant; (2001) 'Modulation of the rate of electron injection in dye-sensitized nanocrystalline TiO2 films by externally applied bias'. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, . [Details]
Y.Tachibana, S.A.Haque, I.P.Mercer, J.R.Durrant and D.R.Klug; (2000) 'Electron injection and recombination in dye sensitised nanocrystalline titanium dioxide films: a comparison of ruthenium bipyridyl and porphyrin sensitiser dyes'. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, . [Details]
C.Tillman, G.Grafstrom, A.Jonsson, B.Jonsson, I.Mercer, S.Mattsson, S.Strand and S. Svanberg; (1999) 'Survival of mammalian cells exposed to ultrahigh dose-rates from a laser-produced plasma X-ray source'. RADIOLOGY, . [Details]
J.R. Durrant, Y. Tachibana, I. Mercer, J.E. Moser, M. Gratzel, D.R. Klug; (1999) 'The excitation wavelength and solvent dependence of the kinetics of electron injection in Ru(dcbpy)(2)(NCS)(2) sensitized nanocrystalline TiO2 films'. International Journal of Research in Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics, . [Details]
I.P.Mercer, I.R.Gould, D.R.Klug; (1999) 'A Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical approach to solvation dynamics: calculation of the optical properties of solvated Bacteriochlorophyll-a'. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 103 (36). [Details]
Ian P. Mercer, Stefan Abend, Ian R. Gould, David R. Klug; (1998) 'A Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Approach to Solvation Dynamics Tested by Three Pulse Photon Echo Measurements'. Springer Series in Chemical Physics, 63 . [Details]
C.Altucci, C. Delfin, M.B.Gaarde, A.L'Huillier, I.Mercer, T.Starczewski and C.-G. Walstrom; (1998) 'Frequency-resolved time-gated high-order harmonics'. PHYSICAL REVIEW A, . [Details]
R.J.Tompkins, I.P.Mercer, M.Fettweis, C.J.Barnett, D.R.Klug, L.G.Porter, I.Clark, S.Jackson, P.Matousek, A.W.Parker, M.Towrie; (1998) '5-20 keV laser-induced x-ray generation at 1 kHz from a liquid-jet target'. REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS, . [Details]
E.Mevel, I. Mercer, R. Zerne, A.L'Huillier, P. Antoine, C.G.Wahlstrom; (1997) 'The control of the spatial mode of higher-order harmonics'. Annales de Physique, . [Details]
I.P.Mercer, I.R.Gould, D.R.Klug; (1997) 'Optical properties of solvated molecules calculated by a QMMM method: Chlorophyll-a and Bacteriochlorophyll-a'. Philosophical Transactions: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, . [Details]
I.Mercer, E.Mevel, R.Zerne, A.L'Huillier, P.Antoine, C.G.Wahlstrom; (1996) 'Spatial Mode Control of High-Order Harmonics'. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, . [Details]
C.Tillman, I.Mercer, S.Svanberg, K.Herrlin; (1996) 'Elemental Biological Imaging by Differential Absorption Using a Laser-Produced X-ray Source'. Journal of the Optical Society of America B-Optical Phy, 13 (1). [Details]
M.Gratz, C.Tillman, I.Mercer, S.Svanberg; (1996) 'X_ray Generation for Medical Applications from a Laser-produced Plasma'. APPLIED SURFACE SCIENCE, . [Details]
F.Zhou, I.P.Mercer, M.H.R.Hutchinson, C.N.Danson, C.B.Edwards,; (1995) 'Double-side Pumped Ti:sapphire Regenerative Pre-amplifier Operating at 1.053nm Wavelength'. ELECTRONICS LETTERS, . [Details]
S.Kohlweyer, G.D. Tsakiris, C.G.Wahlstrom, C.Tillman, I.Mercer; (1995) 'Harmonic Generation from Solid-Vacuum Interface Irradiated at High Laser Intensities'. OPTICAL COMMUNICATIONS, . [Details]
T.Ditmire, M.H.R.Hutchinson, M.Key, C.L.Lewis, A.Macphee, I.Mercer, D.Neely, M.Perry, R.Smith, J.Wark and M.Zepf ; (1995) 'Amplification of XUV Harmonic Radiation in a Gallium Amplifier'. PHYSICAL REVIEW A, . [Details]
I.P.Mercer, Z.Chang, C.N.Danson, C.B.Edwards, M.H.R. Hutchinson, M.R.G.Miller; (1994) 'Diode-Pumped Picosecond Nd:YLF Laser Oscillator at 1053 nm'. OPTICAL COMMUNICATIONS, . [Details]
C.N.Danson, L.Barzanti, Z.Chang, A. Damerell, C.B.Edwards, S.Hancock, M.H.R.Hutchinson, M.H.Key, S.Luan, R.Mahadeo, I.P.Mercer, P.Norreys, D.A.Pepler, D.A.Rodkiss, I.N.Ross, M.A.Smith, R.A.Smith, P.F.Taday, W.T.Toner, K.Wigmore, T.B.Winstone, R.W.Wyatt and F.Zhou; (1993) 'High Contrast multi-terawatt pulse generation using chirped pulse amplification on the VULCAN laser facility'. OPTICAL COMMUNICATIONS, . [Details]


Research Interests

Laser-based investigation of proteins and biomolecules in-vitro using new laser methods and laser technology.
Investigating the mechanisms by which energy is efficiently transported in photosynthetic proteins.

Recent research is highlighted in the STFC UK government report of 2009: see (p.16). For lay articles, see also:   


The investigation of protein dynamics under physiological conditions. This research is rate-limited by ultra-fast laser-based techniques and technologies, which I have built to my own design ahead of vendor-availability. In separate academic beaks, I have led an industrial programme at LLNL (US) and co-founded a high power laser spin-out company from Imperial College (UK), both focused to advancing laser technology to enable new applications such as next generation lithography and materials processing. I have developed Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical optical response protocols for the simulation of enzymes and biomolecules, and I have also developed: nanomaterials; x-ray lasers; and ultra-high brightness biomedical x-ray imaging.



Internal Collaborators

External Collaborators

Imperial College, London, UK
University of Glasgow, UK
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK