Prof. Andrius Baltuška received the diploma in physics from Vilnius University, Lithuania, in 1993 and the Ph.D. degree in chemical physics from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, in 2000. His dissertation research was conducted in the group of Prof. D. A. Wiersma and involved femtosecond nonlinear spectroscopy and generation and characterization of ultrashort laser pulses. From 2000 to 2002, he was a Research Associate in the Ultrafast Spectroscopy Group of Prof. T. Kobayashi at the University of Tokyo, Japan. In 2002, he joined the group of Prof. F. Krausz at the Photonics Institute of Vienna University of Technology as a Post-Doctoral Fellow of the European ATTO Network. His current research interests include high-field physics and generation and applications of intense fully controlled laser pulses. In 2004, he was a Scientist in the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics and in one year he became Leader of a Max-Planck Junior research group. Since 2006 he is a full professor at the faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Vienna University of Technology. His group works on the development of intense ultrafast laser and parametric amplifiers and applications of fully controlled optical pulses in ultrafast spectroscopy and high-field physics.
Prof. Andrius Baltuška works on developing a method to customise ultra-short laser pulses and giving them the desired shape. To accomplish this, light waves of different wavelengths must be superimposed with precision that is in the attosecond range. An attosecond is a billionth of a billionth of a second. Its relationship to a second is like one second is to the age of the universe. Many processes at the atomic and molecular level transpire in such miniscule time scales – and today, ultrashort laser pulses are in indispensable tool for researching them. A preliminary study has already shown that in principle, customised shapes of light pulses ought to be possible. Electrons can be torn off atoms with short laser pulses. The electron can then return to the atom, and the absorbed energy is reemitted in the form of an even shorter laser pulse. Andrius Baltuška group want to decisively improve such processes by optimising the shape of the laser pulse specifically for this. Also, Andrius Baltuška works on other research interests such as diode pumped solid state lasers, femtosecond nonlinear spectroscopy, adaptive optics and computer-controlled pulse shaping, refractive pulse compression using gradient-index bulk media, nonlinear fiber optics with femtosecond pulses, broadband parametric generation and amplification, stabilization of carrier-envelope phase of intense few-cycle optical pulses, electron dynamics in polar solvents, charge transfer reactions in fluids, attosecond pulse generation and metrology.
Andrius Baltuška has been awarded European Young Investigator award (EURYI 2004) and Ignaz L. Lieben Award from the Austrian Academy of Sciences in 2006.
The Andrius Baltuška, alongside two colleagues, shared a world record for creating the shortest blip of light in history. They produced a flash of light lasting only 4.5 femtoseconds (0.000 000 000 000 004 5 seconds).