Published: 11 May 2021, 20:58 | By: Ute Schönfelder, Christian Helgert (translation)
The German Research Foundation (DFG) has set up 17 new research training groups ("Graduiertenkollegs" in German, "GRK") to strengthen the next generation of scientists. Starting in autumn, the new cohort of research training groups will initially be funded for four and a half years with a total of around 92 million euros. Among them is also the International Research Training Group (IRTG) 2675 "Tailored Metasurfaces - generating, programming and detecting light", which is located at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena and the Australian National University in Canberra. The German spokesperson is ACP principal scientist Isabelle Staude, who was recently appointed as a full professor at the Institute for Solid State Physics. Metasurfaces consist of tailor-made, nano-scale optical elements (so-called "meta-atoms") that are arranged in one plane. In the past few years, metasurfaces have already been established as a flexible and efficient platform for controlling the properties of light fields. Most of the metasurfaces implemented so far were, however, purely passive, linear and their optical response permanently coded in the structure. "As part of this IRTG, we will now research ACTIVE metasurfaces that emit, detect and dynamically manipulate light," says Prof. Staude. With such metasurfaces, the IRTG's principal investigators from Jena an Canberra want to develop novel, among others, quantum light sources, programmable optical systems and significantly improved detectors. The IRTG 2675 will start in January 2022 and will host a total of 43 young scientists at both locations. The DFG is funding the IRTG with around 4.7 million euros.