Ultrafast terahertz nanoscopy laboratory

Imaging the femtosecond dynamics of electrons in atoms, molecules, and solids

Spencer's convocation

Spencer Ammerman becomes the first PhD student to graduate from the Cocker Group at MSU (December 2022). Congrats Dr. Spencer!

Spencer's PhD defense

Spencer Ammerman successfully defends her PhD thesis, titled, "Ultrafast Terahertz Microscopy of Atomically Precise Graphene Nanoribbons" (November 2022). Congrats Dr. Spencer!

STM 2 arrives

A new low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope (STM) arrives, supported by the ONR DURIP program (October 2022).

New Grant

Prof. Tyler Cocker and MSU collaborator Prof. Pengpeng Zhang win a Grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), to begin October 2022.

Poster Award

Sheng Lee wins a Poster Award at the "Midwest Quantum Collaboratory (MQC) Entanglement 2022" workshop, which took place in Ann Arbor, Michigan (July 2022). Congrats Sheng!

Teaching award

Stefanie Adams receives the "Graduate TA Award - Upper-Level Course" from the MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy (June 2022). Congrats Stefanie! Pictured: Stefanie receiving her award from department Chair Steve Zepf.

Tyler Cocker honored as Jerry Cowen Endowed Chair of Experimental Physics

The chair was created by Randy Cowen to honor his father's legacy as a longtime professor in the MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy. Read the MSU press release here. Pictured: Tyler with MSU's President Stanley, Provost Woodruff, and fellow honoree Prof. Jonas Becker.

New Paper

"Algorithm for subcycle terahertz scanning tunneling spectroscopy" is published in Physical Review B in March 2022.


Spencer Ammerman wins a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the MSU College of Natural Science (March 2022). Congrats Spencer!

Poster Award

Dr. Vedran Jelic wins a Poster Award at the 756th Heraeus Seminar, titled "Faster, Smaller, Stronger, Brighter - Advances in Scanning Probe Techniques," which took place at the Physikzentrum Bad Honnef in Germany (Nov. 2021). Congrats Vedran!

New Paper

"Nanoscale terahertz scanning probe microscopy" is published in Nature Photonics in August 2021.

New Paper

"The 2021 ultrafast spectroscopic probes of condensed matter roadmap" is published in Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter in July 2021.

New Grant

Prof. Tyler Cocker wins a Grant from the Office of Naval Research, to begin July 2021.

New Grant

A team including Prof. Tyler Cocker (co-PI) and led by Prof. Jeremy Levy (PI, University of Pittsburgh) wins a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) Award from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), to begin June 2021. The team is made up of researchers from Pitt, MSU, Harvard, UNL and UWM. Read the press release here.

New Grant

Prof. Tyler Cocker wins a Defense University Research Instrumentation (DURIP) Award from the Office of Naval Research, to begin June 2021. Read the press release here.

New Grant

Prof. Tyler Cocker wins a Young Investigator Award from the Army Research Office, to begin April 2021. Read the press release here.

Presentation Award

Ph.D. student Spencer Ammerman receives first prize in the Best Student Presentation Award competition at the conference IRMMW-THz 2020 in November 2020. Read the MSU news story here.

Endowed Chair

Prof. Tyler Cocker named Jerry Cowen Endowed Chair in Experimental Physics in August 2019.


After intensive building and testing, in March 2019 our terahertz scanning tunneling microscope (THz-STM) measures its first THz-pulse-driven tunnel current!

STM arrives

Low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope (STM) installed, February 2019.

New Grant

Prof. Tyler Cocker wins a Grant from the Office of Naval Research, to begin January 2019.

Ultrafast laser arrives

40 W femtosecond laser and optical parameteric amplifier installed, October 2018.

Lab renovations complete

Laboratory renovations completed, August 2018.

Lab renovations begin

After extensive design work by Michigan State University Infrastructure Planning and Facilities and Prof. Cocker, renovations of the lab space for the Ultrafast Terahertz Nanoscopy Laboratory begin, January 2018.

The Cocker Group is founded

Tyler Cocker moves to the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University as an Assistant Professor, starting a new research group for Ultrafast Terahertz Nanoscopy on January 1st, 2018. The group will study ultrafast dynamics on the nano and atomic scales with a variety of techniques, including lightwave-driven terahertz scanning tunneling microscopy and terahertz spectroscopy.