Francesca Calegari

Femtosecond and attosecond laser spectroscopy

Francesca Calegari leads the Attosecond Science division at DESY, and is professor of physics at the University of Hamburg. The main focus of her research is to track and ideally control in real time the electron dynamics occurring in systems with increasing complexity from simple molecules to molecules of biological interest and nanostructured materials. To this purpose, her group develops table-top light sources providing extreme time resolution (from a few femtoseconds down to attoseconds). In her group, XUV attosecond technology is used to understand the role of the electron dynamics in the photo-induced chemical changes that occur in our own biomolecules (e.g. DNA and proteins) in a bottom-up approach. Her research will allow to disclose the physical origin of a variety of light-driven processes of crucial importance in photo-chemistry and photo-biology. Her approach is fully synergetic with the possibility to resolve structural changes in biomolecules through femtosecond time-resolved x-ray diffraction using XUV/X-ray Free Electron Lasers (FELs) .

Academic career

Since 2016 Leading Scientist at DESY and Professor (W3) at the University of Hamburg
2013-2016 Adjunct Professor of Physics at Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
2011-2016 Staff Researcher at IFN-CNR, Milan, Italy
2014 Visiting Scientist at MPSD, Hamburg, Germany
2009-2011 Post Doctoral Researcher at Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
2009 Post Doctoral Researcher at INFM, Milan, Italy
2009 PhD in Physics, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
2005 Master Degree in Physics, Università Statale di Milano, Milan, Italy



Optical Society of America (OSA)
PRC “Diluted Matter” for Synchrotron SOLEIL
Several Italian and international scientific committees