ULLC (Riga, Latvia)

The Biophotonics Laboratory of IAPS UL develops optical methods and devices for medical and technological applications, focusing on laser-based diagnostics and monitoring of human skin and the cardio-vascular system. The Laser Centre (LC) is the largest laser laboratory in Latvia. Its researchers work in the areas of atomic, molecular, and chemical physics, astrophysics, as well as applications of laser techniques.
Research highlights

ULLCInstitute of Atomic Physics and Spectroscopy
(IAPS) Biophotonics Laboratory and Laser Centre (LC)
of University of Latvia (UL)



IAPS UL, BioPhotonics Lab: Vanesa Lukinsone
UL Laser Center: Andra Damberga

Institute of Atomic Physics and Spectroscopy (Biophotonics Laboratory)

PTOF (Photon time-of-flight). An experimental system for remitted photon time-of-flight (PTOF) estimation in human skin in-vivo is developed and tested. Remitted light signals are obtained using a picosecond broadband laser and a set of narrowband interference filters in visible spectral range. Measurements are performed at different wavelengths and distance combinations. [Quantum Electron. 49, 2 (2019)]

Fluorescence lifetime. In vivo autofluorescence measurements of human skin and the influence of continuous-wave long laser irradiation on fluorescence lifetime in the visible spectral range. [J. Biomed. Opt. 20, 051031 (2015)]

Laser-based skin and malformation diagnostic technologies. Developed and clinically tested laser-based devices: (i) RGB imaging of cw-laser excited skin autofluorescence intensity and photobleaching rate distributions, (ii) ps-laser excited skin autofluorescence and diffuse reflectance kinetics analysis, (iii) snapshot RGB skin chromophore mapping under triple-laser illumination. [Proc. SPIE 11047, 1104703 (2019)]

Laser Centre(LC) of University of Latvia

Molecular Spectroscopy. With the aid of a Bruker ISF-125 Fourier transform spectrometer, high-resolution spectra are obtained of molecular or atomic species. Among the research topics are obtaining spectra of diatomic atoms in order to reconstruct their long-range potential energy curves and studying the hyperfine structure of transition metals of astrophysical interest. [J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transf. 256, 107291 (2020)]

Atomic and atom-like systems. Coherent effects and hyperfine structure are exploited in alkali metal atoms and nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamonds for fundamental physics studies and magnetometry. [Phys. Rev. B 100, 075204 (2019)]

© Foto: Toms Grīnbergs, University of Latvia, Department of Communication and Innovation


The Biophotonics Laboratory at the Institute of Atomic Physics and Spectroscopy (IAPS), University of Latvia holds internationally recognised expertise in design, assembling and validation of unique optical methods and prototype devices for remote tissue diagnostics and monitoring.

The main directions of scientific work are development of optical methods and devices for medical and technological applications.

  • time-resolved diffuse reflectance and in vivo skin autofluorescence studies using time-resolved single-photon counting;
  • early non-invasive skin cancer diagnostics and classification of skin lesions using multispectral diffuse reflectance and autofluorescence imaging techniques combined with artificial neural network analysis;
  • early detection of sepsis on the knees using multispectral imaging techniques;
  • contactless photoplethysmography imaging to monitor anesthesia efficiency;
  • assessment and presentation of oxygen saturation in the skin;
  • laser beam contrast imaging for microbial growth analysis;
  • detection of counterfeit currency by multispectral imaging techniques.


The Laser Center (LC) applies theoretical and experimental techniques to study fundamental questions and potential applications involving polarization in atoms and molecules, coherent effects in atomic and atom-like systems, potential energy curves of diatomic molecules, hyperfine structure of transition metals of astrophysical interest, nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond and their applications to magnetometry and imaging of magnetic fields, and stellar spectra, stellar atmospheres, stellar nucleosynthesis and the evolution of galactic chemical composition.

Services for industry
Medical Technologies

Prototyping - Pre-commercial noninvasive diagnostic rototype development based on laser excited fluorescence, time resolved spectroscopy, Raoman and diffuse reflection imaging methods. 

Validation - Clinical validation of methods and prototypes developed at Biophotonics Laboratory, ULLC for improved healthcare at collaboraton hospitals and clinics, e.g. Latvian Oncology Center, Hospital of Traumatology and Ortophaedics, Clinic of Laser Plastics, etc.


Metrology - Three dimensional magnetic field measurements (magnetic field measurement comparison with comercially available devices) and micrometer scale spatial resolution magnetometry (quality control of thin-films, sub-micrometer particle and defect detection).

Prototyping - Creation of magnetometer prototypes (magnetometer prototype device creation in a project for the European Space Agency).


The laboratory has all necessary equipment (including cw 405nm, 457nm, 532nm, 650nm, 785nm, 808nm lasers, picosecond 405nm, 470nm, 510nm and “white” lasers, LEDs, spectrometers and monochromators with sensitive photodetectors covering the UV-NIR spectral range, high resolution microscopes, Raman spectroscopy system, fluorescences lifetime system, optical coherence tomography system, sets of fibre optic light guides, interference filters, lenses and other optical components, fully equipped optical table, electronics equipment and workshop, 3D-printers, etc.) for these kinds of applied studies.

In addition, the LC also has a Bruker Optic ISF-125 Fourier transform spectrometer with a multipass absorption cell and two Ti-Sapphhire Equinox laser systems, as well as an extensive collection of diode lasers.

Other information

IAPS UL consists of six individual laboratories:

  • Laboratory of Atomic and Atmospheric Physics and Photochemistry - measurements of atomic spectra and constants, pollution and photochemical processes in atmosphere, methods of spectroscopy and flash photolysis.
  • Laboratory of High-Resolution Spectroscopy and Light Source Technology - spectral studies of plasma, development of high-frequency electrodeless lamp technologies.
  • Biophotonics Laboratory - development of optical methods and devices for medical and technological applications.
  • Quantum Optics Laboratory – development of sensors based on Whispering Gallery Module (WGM) resonators, optical frequency metrology with a second-thigh optical frequency comb, development of ultrastable resonators for laser stabilization.
  • Laboratory of Optical Biosensors and Functional Nanomaterials - developing new photonic nanomaterials for optical chemical sensors and biosensors, research into new nano-material photo-induction processes.
  • Laboratory of Theoretical Physics - calculations of energy structures for atoms affected by various external fields, studying new non-linear equations for space-localized, three-dimensional electromagnetic solitons, possibly by photon description.


The Laser Center (LC) consists of the following four laboratories:

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics Laboratory – studies coherent effects in atomic and atom-like sy stems using experimental and theoretical techniques.
  • Molecule Optical Polarization Laboratory (MOLPOL) – performs high-resolution spectroscopic studies of diatomic molecules and transition metals.
  • Laboratory of Astrospectroscopy - applications of high-resolution spectroscopy for space research, including thechemical composition of stellar atmospheres and nucleosynthesis and evolution of Galactic chemical composition.
  • Color Centre Laboratory. - Theoretical and experimental studies of Nitrogen-vacancy centres in diamond, which present an atom-like system with unique properties that make them interesting for magnetometry applications with high spatial resolution as well as quantum computing.