Spectroscopic characterization of an artificial nanooptical metamaterail.

Nano & Quantum Optics

Spectroscopic characterization of an artificial nanooptical metamaterail.
Image: Jan-Peter Kasper/FSU
Prof. Thomas Pertsch. Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Thomas PERTSCH

Email: thomas.pertsch@uni-jena.de
Phone: +49 3641-9-47560

The Nano & Quantum Optics group targets to explore and understand the properties of nanoscale matter and their interaction with nontrivial photon states. The group's field is a rapidly developing research area that deals with the generation, propagation, manipulation, and detection of photons in nanostructures, with characteristic dimensions far below the scale of the wavelength of light. The generation, spread, and localization of photons and complex multiphoton states on such small length scales is a challenging topic, which the group explores by a broad range of methods. Hence, fundamental effects in nanostructured materials and quantum photonic systems are studied by a coherent approach of scientists in theory, technology, and experimental characterization directly within the group as well as by collaborating within multiple international networks.

In nano optics, the vectorial nature of the electro-magnetic field as well as scattering and reflection into almost every spatial direction rules the optical response of nanostructures. In quantum optics, the quantum properties of few photon states allow realizing applications, which are relying directly on the entanglement of such states. The combination of the two fields creates many challenges for fundamental research but also gives rise to opportunities for novel applications, in e.g. information processing, communication, and life science. Particularly, in our group we are able to cover the whole process chain of the design, modeling, fabrication, characterization and functional evaluation of nano and quantum optical structures with the aim of realizing and using optical systems with added functionality.

Beside our strong commitment to explore the fascinating fields of nano and quantum optics, further research directions of the group address several other photonics-related topics. On the one hand, we study fundamental science phenomena such as linear and nonlinear properties of metamaterials, photonic crystals, optical microresonators, and spatio-temporal dynamics in discrete optical systems. On the other hand, we are strongly engaged in application-oriented research fields, where we investigate, e.g., innovative approaches in near-field microscopy, quantum imaging, nonlinear imaging and spectroscopic techniques for biological specimen, and photon management in solar cells.

link to the Nano & Quantum Optics Group at the Institute of Applied Physics

Research Areas

Prof. Pertsch's research targets the understanding and control of light-matter interactions at the nanoscale using artificial nanostructured metamaterials and ultrafast nonlinear optical effects. Research interests span from fundamental science to several application fields and include:

  • ultrafast light-matter interactions and fundamental quantum phenomena in nanostructured matter, as e.g. photonic nanomaterials, metamaterials, photonic crystals, and 2D materials (TMDCs)
  • nonlinear spatio-temporal dynamics, plasmonics, near field optics, high-Q nonlinear optical microresonators, opto-optical processes in integrated optics, and all-optical signal processing
  • integrated quantum optics, quantum imaging, and quantum sensing
  • multi-tip scanning nearfield optical microscopy (SNOM), photoemission electron microscopy (PEEM)
  • application of photonic nanomaterials for multi-functional diffractive optical elements
  • application of optical nanostructures for efficiency enhancement of photovoltaic elements
  • application of advanced photonic concepts for astronomical instruments

Teaching fields

Prof. Pertsch's teaching is devoted to the early involvement of young scientists in state-of-the-art research. He gives courses in:

  • fundamentals of modern optics
  • computational physics and photonics
  • introductory and theoretical nanooptics
  • quantum optics

Research methods

The laboratories run by Prof. Pertsch offer a wide range of methods for the experimental characterization and numerical modelling of photonic nanostructures. This includes:

  • multi-tip scanning nearfield optical microscopy (SNOM)
  • high-resolution, phase-resolved micro-spectroscopy in the UV-VIS-IR
  • time-resolved single photon microscopy using superconducting nanowire detectors
  • ultrafast time-resolved photoemission electron microscopy (PEEM)
  • characterization of ultrafast nonlinear spatio-temporal dynamics up to the few-cycle regime
  • nanofabrication using focused ion beam milling (FIB) and electron beam lithography (EBL)
  • high-performance computing for rigorous numerical modelling of photonic nanostructures
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