Papanikolas Group

Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Ultrafast Microscopy

John Papanikolas

Professor of Chemistry


John received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Bowdoin College in 1987, before moving to the University of Colorado at Boulder/JILA.  There, he earned his PhD in Chemical Physics in 1994 with Carl Lineberger and Robert Parson studying cage recombination dynamics in mass-selected ionic clusters. Afterwards, he remained at JILA to pursue postdoctoral work with Stephen Leone. In the Leone group he combined ultrafast pulse-shaping methods with high-resolution state selection to achieve coherent control over wave packet motion.  In 1997 he moved to the University of North Carolina and joined the Department of Chemistry. Since 2009 he has served as Deputy Director of the UNC Energy Frontier Research Center.

Papanikolas Group (2013)

Current Group

Front Row (left to right): Li Wang, Ernest Vallorz, Stephanie Bettis, Melissa Gish, Emma Cating, Michelle Gabriel, Will Fondrie. Back Row (left to right): Alexander Gilligan, David Zigler, Justin Kirschbrown, Zach Morseth, Erik Grumstrup, Robert Brown, Aaron Brown, John Papanikolas

Graduate Students

Michelle Gabriel

Emma Cating

Zachary Morseth

Melissa Gish

Erika Van Goethem

Jason Malizia


David Zigler

Robert Dillon



Alex Gilligan

Stephen Page

Former Group Members

Graduate Students

Stephanie Bettis

Justin Kirschbrown

Robert Brown

Ryan Vary

Brittany Westlake

Brian Mehl

Ralph House

Kyle Brennaman

David Styers-Barnett

Erika Gannon

George Shaw

Cavan Fleming


Erik Grumstrup

Li Wang

Ming Liu


Alex Gilligan

Stephen Page

Aaron Brown

Ernest Vallorz

Will Fondrie

Chris Mize

Anna Curtis

Scott Barnes

Shaun Hampton

Chuan Zhang

Abhineet Uppal

Jeremy Granger

Stephen Ellison

Paul Jang

Carter Brown


Papanikolas Group
Department of Chemistry
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill