Research Programme

Overall scientific concept with short-term and long-term goals

The photon concept, introduced by A. Einstein in 1905, has led to momentous advances in experimental and theoretical physics. One of the most exciting inventions based on Einstein's discovery was the laser (1960), which revolutionized basic research as well as engineering and started to turn optics into photonics.

Recent developments in nonlinear optics, spectroscopy, imaging and telecommunications (Physics Nobel Prize 2009: fibers and CCDs) attest to this fact. Due to the manifold opportunities and the future potential of optics and photonics the 21st century is expected to develop into "the century of the photon".

Periodic structures and the combination of novel materials in photonics enable the control of light creation, propagation, and light-matter and light carrier interaction from collective excitations down to single atom manipulation.

Unforeseen novel photonic concepts based on the interplay of technology, theory, and experiments will strongly influence gas phase, cluster, and condensed matter research during the next decade and will form a symbiosis of basic and applied research.


The SFB NextLite generates strong momentum in the following areas:

Light Synthesis

  • High-intensity coherent femtosecond/sub-femtosecond light sources
  • Multicolor phase-locked infrared optical parametric amplification
  • Quantized transitions in nanostructures (Microwaves, MIR & THz)
  • Plasmon emission from nano-particles
  • Coherent exciton-polarition emission from micro-cavities
  • Single photon emission

Light-Matter Interaction

  • Sub-cycle tunneling dynamics in solids
  • Dynamics of quantized transitions in nanostructures
  • Strong coupling (excitons, intersubband transitions, nitrogen vacancies) in cavities
  • Plasmonic control and enhancement of light-matter interaction

Light Cavities

  • Micro-cavities (visible, NIR, MIR, THz, MW)
  • Ring-cavities for directional control
  • Cavity coupling for light control
  • Optical bottle microresonators
  • Photonic molecule/crystal cavities
  • Plasmonic guiding and coupling







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