Kimberly Briggman is a physical chemist and leader of the Molecular and BioPhotonics Group in the Applied Physics Division. Her work at NIST began in 1999 through a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship to develop and apply nonlinear optical spectroscopic methods to organic and biological interfaces. She served as a senior policy analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (July 2009 - January 2011) and as a program analyst in the Program Office of NIST (March 2008 - June 2009).
Her research in the Molecular and BioPhotonics Group focuses on developing nonlinear optical methods to measure properties of interfaces which may be found at the surfaces of materials, in thin-film systems, or buried in layered materials. An example is the technique of broadband vibrational sum frequency generation (VSFG), in which two laser pulses at different frequencies combine to produce light at their sum frequency with an efficiency that depends on the broken symmetry at the interface. Using femtosecond laser pulses, SFG provides broad spectral coverage in addition to a time-resolved optical diagnostic uniquely sensitive to interface structure. Measurements include spectroscopic characterization of molecules at buried epitaxial interfaces, ultrafast monitoring of molecular dynamics at interfaces, assessment of the structure and quality of thin films, and the development of vibrational techniques for the assessment of membrane protein structure.
Additionally, she is involved in phantom development as part of the Optical Medical Imaging program.