Our research interest focuses on ultrafast photonics with applications in biophysics. One area is developing advanced optical microscopy for molecular and cellular imaging in medical research. Nonlinear optical microscopes based upon two-photon fluorescence, coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering and pump-probe method, are developed to image a variety of biological tissues and cells both in vitro and in vivo. We are also developing femtosecond laser spectroscopy to study ultrafast dynamics in molecular systems, e.g. organic photovoltaics and novel two-dimensional materials.


Current Projects

  • Development of a Scan-less Temporal Focusing Two-photon Fluorescence Microscope for High-speed Three-dimensional Imaging (supported by NSF)
  • Super Resolution Pump-Probe Microscopy for Biomedical Imaging (supported by NIH)
  • Nanoscale Transient Absorption Spectroscopy to Study Ultrafast Carrier Dynamics in Organic Solar Cells (supported by NSF)
  • Laser Induced Photochemistry for Micro-channels in Tissue Engineering (supported by ORSP IDR)


  • Hatch, K.A., Ornelas, A., Williams, K.N., Boland, T., Michael, K., Li, C., "Photolysis of a peptide with N-peptidyl-7-nitroindoline units using two-photon absorption", Biomedical Optics Express, 7, 4654-4659 (2016).
  • Ding, Y., Li, C., "Dual-color multiple-particle tracking at 50-nm localization and over 100-um range in 3D with temporal focusing two-photon microscopy", Biomedical Optics Express, 7, 4187-4197 (2016).
  • Li, C., Pastila, R.K., Lin, C.P., "Label-free imaging immune cells and collagen in atherosclerosis with two-photon and second harmonic generation microscopy", J. of Innovative Optical Health Sciences, 9, 1, 1640003 (2016).
  • Acosta, Y., Zhang, Q., Rahaman, A., Ouellet, H., Xiao, C., Sun, J., Li, C., "Imaging Cytosolic Translocation of Mycobacteria with Two-Photon Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer Microscopy", Biomedical Optics Express, 5, 3990-4001 (2014).
  • Yaroslavsky, A.N., Patel R., Salomatina, E., Li, C., Lin, C.P., Al-Arashi, M., Neel, V., "High Contrast Mapping of Basal Cell Carcinomas", Optics Letters, 37, 644-646 (2012).
  • Ripplinger, C.M., Kessinger, C.W., Li, C., Kim, W.K., McCarthy, J.R., Weissleder, R., Henke, P.K., Lin, C.P., Jaffer, F.A., "Inflammation Modulates Murine Venous Thrombosis Resolution In Vivo: Assessment by Multimodal Fluorescence Molecular Imaging", Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 32, 2616-2624 (2012).
  • Zhao, L., Peralta-Videa, J.R., Ren, M., Varela-Ramirez, A., Li, C., Hernandez-Viezcas, J.A., Aguilera, R.J., Gardea-Torresdey, J.L., "Transport of Zn in a Sandy Loam Soil Treated with ZnO NPs and Uptake by Corn Plants: Electron microprobe and confocal microscopy studies", Chemical Engineering Journal, 184, 1-8 (2012).


October 2016: Syeed won the APS Best Student Presenter Award!

March 2016: Faisal is accepted by University of Central Florida Physics Ph.D. program.

March 2016: Kevin is accepted by Arizona State University Physics Ph.D. program.

January 2016: Celia joined our group. Welcome!

May 2015: We moved into a newly renovated lab in Physical Science Building.

Contact Us

Physical Science Building 210, 500 W. University Ave., El Paso, Texas 79968, USA.

Tel: 915-747-7537, Fax: 915-747-5447

Email: cli AT utep.edu