ACP principal scientist group picture at the retreat 2014 in Suhl.

Principal scientists

All ACP principal scientists are independently running a reseach group in or related to photonics.
ACP principal scientist group picture at the retreat 2014 in Suhl.
Image: Ringberghotel Suhl

The ACP regular membership is open to all members of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena de who are leading their own research group in the field of optics and photonics and are regularly engaged in teaching in the Abbe School of Photonics.

Prof. Michael Bauer Prof. Michael Bauer Image: Michael Szabo, UKJ

Prof. Dr. Michael BAUER

Experimental Anesthesiology

  • In vivo fluorescence microscopy
  • Hepatic function monitoring by dye exclusion
  • In situ assessment of stellate cell composition
Prof. Dr. Christoph Biskup Prof. Dr. Christoph Biskup Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Christoph BISKUP

Biomolecular Photonics

  • Quantitative multidimensional fluorescence microscopy (mwFLIM, FRET, confocal patch clamp fluorometry)
  • Synthesis and characterization of indicators and nanosensors for ions and biomolecules
  • Structural and functional relationships of ion channels
PD Dr. Thomas Bocklitz. PD Dr. Thomas Bocklitz. Image: Sven Döring / Leibniz-IPHT.


Photonic-Data Science

  • Machine learning for photonic image data
  • Chemometrics for spectral data
  • Correlation of different measurement methods and data fusion
Prof. Dr. Michael Börsch Prof. Dr. Michael Börsch Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Michael BÖRSCH

Single-Molecule Microscopy

  • Single-molecule fluorescence microscopy
  • Nanomanipulation of biological protein machines with optical feedback
  • Optical super-resolution microscopy
Silvana BOTTI Silvana BOTTI Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Silvana BOTTI

Condensed Matter Theory

  • Many-body solid-state theory
  • Theoretical spectroscopy
  • Optical properties of solids and nanostructures
Prof. Dr. Axel Brakhage Prof. Dr. Axel Brakhage Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Axel BRAKHAGE

Microbiology & Molecular Biology

  • Pathobiology of Aspergillus fumigatus
  • Microbial communication and activation of silent gene clusters of the fungal secondary metabolism
  • Eukaryotic transcription factors
Prof. Dr. Delia Brauer Prof. Dr. Delia Brauer Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Delia BRAUER

Structure-Property Relationships in Glasses

  • Structure-property relationship in silicate and phosphate glasses
  • Fluoride-containing glasses and glass-ceramics for applications in optics and photonics
  • Improving the hydrolytic stability of phosphate glasses
Dr. Christin David Dr. Christin David Image: Private

Dr. Christin DAVID

Theoretical Nanophotonics

  • Plasmonic and dielectric nanoparticle distributions and ultrathin multilayers
  • Amorphous structures and surface roughness
  • Nanostructured devices for spectroscopy, microscopy, photovoltaics and catalysis
Volker DECKERT Volker DECKERT Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Volker DECKERT


  • Tip-enhanced Raman scattering (TERS)
  • Label-free single molecule spectroscopy
  • Membranes and membrane proteins
Benjamin DIETZEK-IVANSIC. Benjamin DIETZEK-IVANSIC. Image: Sven Döring (Leibniz-IPHT)

Prof. Dr. Benjamin DIETZEK-IVANSIC

Molecular Photonics

  • Spatial and temporal resolved nanospectroscopy
  • Light-induced transfers in artificial molecules
  • Microspectroscopy of bio-molecular systems


Optics in 2D-Materials

  • Fundamental optical properties of 2D-Materials
  • Integration of 2D-Materials in optical systems and components
  • Application of 2D materials for light sources and imaging systems
Prof. Christian Eggeling Prof. Christian Eggeling Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

Prof. Dr. Christian EGGELING

Biophysical Imaging

  • Advanced microscopy for the investigation of molecular organization and dynamics in cells
  • Superresolution STED microscopy
  • Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy
Prof. Torsten Fritz Prof. Torsten Fritz Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)

Prof. Dr. Torsten FRITZ

Organic Thin Films & Surface Science

  • Structure-property relations in organic molecules and thin films
  • Optical in situ spectroscopy of ultrathin films
  • Electronic and optical properties of 2D materials
Prof. Dr. Stephan Fritzsche Prof. Dr. Stephan Fritzsche Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Stephan FRITZSCHE

Relativistic Quantum Dynamics

  • Multi-photon ionization dynamics in intense FEL radiation
  • Light-matter interactions in strong Coulomb fields
  • Particle beams carrying quantized orbital angular momentum
Prof. Wolfgang Fritzsche. Prof. Wolfgang Fritzsche. Image: Sven Döring

apl. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang FRITZSCHE


  • Molecular Plasmonics
  • Plasmonic Sensing
  • Micro-Nano-Integration
Jun. Prof. Christian Franke. Jun. Prof. Christian Franke. Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)

Jun. Prof. Dr. Christian FRANKE

Super-Resolution Microscopy

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Torsten FROSCH Torsten FROSCH Image: Sven Döring

Dr. Torsten FROSCH

Fiber Spectrocsopic Sensing

  • Fiber spectroscopic sensing
  • Spectroscopic gas sensing
  • Raman spectroscopy and imaging
Holger GIES Holger GIES Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Holger GIES

Quantum Field Theory

  • Light propagation in modified quantum vacua
  • Fundamental physics at the intensity frontier
  • Quantum optical analogues of field theory phenomena
Dr. Markus Gräfe Dr. Markus Gräfe Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)

Dr. Markus GRÄFE

Quantum-Enhanced Imaging

  • Quantum-imaging and sensing
  • Microscopy with non-classical light
  • Development of single-photon sources
Stefanie GRÄFE Stefanie GRÄFE Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)

Prof. Dr. Stefanie GRÄFE

Theoretical Chemistry

  • Strong-field molecular physics and chemistry
  • Electronic and spectroscopic properties of molecular systems
  • Theoretical methods in Femtosecond Chemistry and Attosecond Physics
Prof. Dr. Stefan Heinemann Prof. Dr. Stefan Heinemann Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Stefan HEINEMANN


  • Photonic regulation of membrane potential and optogenetics
  • Single-cell sensors for phototoxicity
  • Optical monitoring of cellular function
Rainer HEINTZMANN Rainer HEINTZMANN Image: Sven Döring, IPHT Jena.

Prof. Dr. Rainer HEINTZMANN

Biological Nanoimaging

  • Multidimensional imaging in biological systems
  • Structured illumination microscopy
  • Fluorescence microscopy in living cells
PD Dr. habil. Jer-Shing Huang, Leibniz-IPHT PD Dr. habil. Jer-Shing Huang, Leibniz-IPHT Image: Sven Döring, IPHT Jena.

PD Dr. habil. Jer-Shing HUANG


  • Surface plasmon-enhanced spectroscopy
  • Plasmonic photovoltaics
  • Optical nanocircuits and smart analytical platforms
Prof. Dr. Malte Kaluza Prof. Dr. Malte Kaluza Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

Prof. Dr. Malte KALUZA

Relativistic Laser Physics

  • Generation of petawatt laser sources
  • Laser-driven particle acceleration
  • Relativistic laser-plasma interactions
Dr. Daniil Kartashov Dr. Daniil Kartashov Image: Private


Strong Field Nanophotonics

  • Plasma based X-ray sources
  • Nonlinear optics on the nanoscale
  • Ultrabroad spectral continuum generation
Erika KOTHE Erika KOTHE Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)

Prof. Dr. Erika KOTHE

Microbial Communication

  • Microimaging of fungal cells
  • Visualization of molecular interactions
  • Detection of communication molecules
Dr. Matthias Kübel. Dr. Matthias Kübel. Image: Private archive.

Dr. Matthias KÜBEL

Molecular Movies

  • Time-resolved molecular imaging
  • Correlated ionization dynamics
  • Few-cycle laser pulses, harmonic generation and interferometry
Prof. Dr. Jens Limpert Prof. Dr. Jens Limpert Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Jens LIMPERT

Fiber & Waveguide Lasers

  • Design of high-performance & short-pulse laser systems, Novel fiber designs
  • Fiber-optical frequency conversion
  • High repetition rate Attosecond-pulse generation and characterization
Prof. Dr. Stefan Lorkowski Prof. Dr. Stefan Lorkowski Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

Prof. Dr. Stefan LORKOWSKI

Imaging of Cellular Processes

  • Uptake and intracellular transport of small molecules (nutrients, metabolites and drugs)
  • Visualization of molecular processes in atherosclerosis
  • Immune cells as therapeutic targets and biological read-out systems
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Timo Mappes Prof. Dr.-Ing. Timo Mappes Image: Private

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Timo MAPPES

History of Physics with focus on Science Communication

  • Transferring historic optics concepts to recent applications in optics and photonics
  • Reproducing, revisiting and interconnecting milestones in optics and photonics
  • Science communication in optics and photonics
Prof. Ute Neugebauer Prof. Ute Neugebauer Image: Private


Clinical Spectroscopic Diagnostics

  • Spectroscopic elucidation of pathogenesis mechanisms during difficult-to-treat infections
  • Spectroscopic characterization of the host response during inflammation, infection and sepsis
  • Characterization of drug-pathogen interactions to reveal phenotypic antibiotic susceptibility
Stefan NOLTE Stefan NOLTE Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Stefan NOLTE

Ultrafast Optics

  • Material processing with ultrashort laser pulses
  • 3D structuring inside transparent materials
  • Linear and nonlinear optics in discrete systems
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Paulus Prof. Dr. Gerhard Paulus Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

Prof. Dr. Gerhard PAULUS

Nonlinear Optics

  • Quantum optics with single optical cycles
  • Attosecond laser physics
  • Nonlinear optics with vortex beams
Thomas PERTSCH Thomas PERTSCH Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Thomas PERTSCH

Nano & Quantum Optics

  • Photonic nanomaterials and metamaterials
  • Nanoplasmonics
  • Nonlinear space-time dynamics
Prof. Dr. Ulf Peschel Prof. Dr. Ulf Peschel Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Ulf PESCHEL

Solid State Optics

  • Integrated optics and nanophotonics
  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Electromagnetic modelling
Adrian PFEIFFER Adrian PFEIFFER Image: Private

Dr. Adrian N. PFEIFFER

Attosecond Laser Physics

  • Novel technologies for attosecond science
  • Time-resolved deep UV spectroscopy
  • Strong-field driven electron dynamics


Jürgen Popp Jürgen Popp Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Jürgen POPP


  • Raman spectroscopy for biomedical diagnostics (microbial analysis & cell and tissue diagnostics)
  • Multimodal imaging
  • Chip based analytics and diagnostics


Carsten RONNING Carsten RONNING Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Carsten RONNING

Physics of Nanoscale Solids

  • Semiconductor nanowires
  • Metasurfaces
  • Photovoltaics



Dr. Jan Rothhardt Dr. Jan Rothhardt Image: Private


X-ray Spectroscopy and Microscopy

  • Laser-based short wavelength sources and spectroscopy
  • Nanometer scale imaging techniques
  • XUV spectroscopy of highly charged ions


Prof. Dr. Felix Schacher Prof. Dr. Felix Schacher Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Felix SCHACHER

Polymeric Nanostructures

  • Self-assembly of macromolecules
  • Synthesis & characterization of functional polymers
  • Hierachical structures


Markus SCHMIDT Markus SCHMIDT Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Markus A. SCHMIDT

Fiber Sensors

  • Novel concepts in fiber optics (e.g. plasmonics, metamaterials)
  • Nanophotonics
  • Biophotonic fiber sensors


Prof. Heidemarie Schmidt. Prof. Heidemarie Schmidt. Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)

Prof. Dr. Heidemarie SCHMIDT

Quantum Detection

  • Cryogenic single photon detectors
  • Impedance biochips
  • Magnetooptics and electrooptics



Michael SCHMITT Michael SCHMITT Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)

apl. Prof. Dr. Michael SCHMITT

Material- & Biophotonics

  • Non-linear multimodal microspectroscopy
  • Raman- and resonance Raman spectroscopy
  • Optical Pathology



Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schubert Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schubert Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Ulrich SCHUBERT

Organic & Macromolecular Chemistry

  • Chemical fabrication methods for photonic materials
  • Nanolithograhy and Nanochemistry
  • Block copolymer nanostructures


Dr. Frank Setzpfandt Dr. Frank Setzpfandt Image: Private


Quantum Optics

  • Quantum Imaging
  • Photon-pair generation
  • Nonlinear optics



Jun. Prof. Dr. Giancarlo Soavi Jun. Prof. Dr. Giancarlo Soavi Image: Private

Jun. Prof. Dr. Giancarlo SOAVI

Ultrafast Optical Spectroscopy

  • Optics of 2D materials
  • Time-resolved spectroscopy
  • Nonlinear optics


Christian SPIELMANN Christian SPIELMANN Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Christian SPIELMANN

Quantum Electronics

  • Generation of laser based coherent x-ray radiation
  • High resolution x-ray microscopy
  • Time resolved x-ray spectroscopy


Prof. Isabelle Staude. Prof. Isabelle Staude. Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)

Prof. Dr. Isabelle STAUDE

Photonic Nanomaterials

  • High-index dielectric nanoparticles
  • Nanoantennas and hybrid quantum systems
  • Functional metasurfaces



Fabian STEINLECHNER Fabian STEINLECHNER Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)


Quantum Communication Technologies

  • Nonlinear quantum optics
  • High-dimensional quantum information processing
  • Long-distance quantum communication


Prof. Dr. Thomas Stöhlker Prof. Dr. Thomas Stöhlker Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Thomas STÖHLKER

Atomic Physics in Extreme Coulomb & Laser Fields

  • x-ray spectroscopy, polarimetry & instrumentation
  • Laser-based x-ray generation
  • Strong field effects in the dynamics and structure of simple atomic systems at high-Z
Adriana SZEGHALMI Adriana SZEGHALMI Image: Private


Atomic Layer Deposition

  • Thin film coatings for optical applications
  • Technology research on novel ALD methods
  • Resonant diffractive optical elements
Prof. Dr. Andreas Tünnermann Prof. Dr. Andreas Tünnermann Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)

Prof. Dr. Andreas TÜNNERMANN

Applied Optics

  • Design, manufacturing & characterization of advanced photonic systems (e.g. freeform optics)
  • Diode pumped solid state lasers and amplifiers
  • Laser - material interaction
Andrey TURCHANIN Andrey TURCHANIN Image: Private

Prof. Dr. Andrey TURCHANIN

Applied Physical Chemistry & Molecular Nanotechnology

  • Emerging two-dimensional materials (graphene, carbon nanomembranes, MoS2, etc.) and their van der Waals heterostructures
  • Nanolithography and ultramicroscopy
  • Applications in electronic and optoelectronic devices
Maria WÄCHTLER Maria WÄCHTLER Image: Private


Quantum Confined Nanostructures

  • Exciton dynamics in semiconductor heteronanostructures
  • Light-induced charge separation in semiconductor-metal or semiconductor-molecular hybrids 
  • Ultrafast spectroscopy
Prof. Lothar Wondraczek Prof. Lothar Wondraczek Image: Private

Prof. Dr.-Ing Lothar WONDRACZEK

Optical Materials

  • Topological origin of the properties of non-crystalline and glassy solids
  • Characterization of glasses by optical and x-ray scattering techniques
  • Development of new glass composites for optical applications
Uwe ZEITNER Uwe ZEITNER Image: Private

apl. Prof. Dr. Uwe ZEITNER

Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro- and Nano-Optics

  • Nanostructuring of high-index materials
  • Optical- and electron-beam lithography
  • Application platforms for diffractive optical elements


Prof. Matt Zepf. Prof. Matt Zepf. Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

Prof. Dr. Matt ZEPF

Laser-Particle Acceleration

  • Strong Field Physics/QED
  • Laser-driven particle acceleration
  • Relativistic laser-plasma interactions



Former ACP principal scientists

Prof. em. Dr. Hartmut Bartelt Prof. em. Dr. Hartmut Bartelt Image: Private

Prof. em. Dr. Hartmut BARTELT

Prof. Hartmut Bartelt had been working at the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT) for 23 years and became a Professor Emeritus in 2017. The former research of his fiber optics group was focused on the propagation properties of fiber-guided light as well as its efficient and flexible control. Fiber modules and systems for a broad range of applications were being researched as well. Hartmut Bartelt's research focus combined the scientific skills in the modeling, characterization, and application of fiber-optical components and systems with know-how in materials and technology required for the manufacture of optical specialty fibers used in a wide parameter range. The most important applications made under his guidance were material processing using novel light sources as well as fiber-optical measurement and sensor technology. In particular, fiber-optical solutions delivered an important bridging function to topics in life and environmental sciences by biological and chemical sensor technology as well as in process measurement technology. The succeeding fiber sensors group at the Leibniz-IPHT Jena is headed by ACP principal scientist Markus Schmidt.

link to the press release on the vitae of Hartmut Bartelt issued by the Leibniz IPHT

Prof. em. Dr. Friedhelm BECHSTEDT

Prof. em. Friedhelm Bechstedt. Prof. em. Friedhelm Bechstedt. Image: Private

For almost three decades, Friedhelm Bechstedt was a respectable colleague, scientist and director of the Institute of Condensed Matter Theory and Optics (IFTO) at the Friedrich Schiller University. Prof. Bechstedt retired in 2014 after a distinguished acacemic career with seminal contributions to the field of theoretical spectroscopy. The group was concerned with the development of many-body descriptions and density functional theory approaches and their implementation in codes. Many of these activities were embedded in European Networks, where the vital parts of the Jena group concerned the inclusion of excitonic and spin effects. The Bechstedt group greatly contributed to the inclusion of dynamical screening and spin effects in the theory of quasiparticle excitations and excitons, especially in their description in optical spectra. Many activities were directed at computing features such as Wannier-Mott excitons in spectra of the complex systems. A time-evolution method has been developed to calculate spectra which include excitonic effects for systems consisting of up to about 100 atoms per supercell. To predict band structures of wide-gap systems, Bechstedt et al. demonstrated that the electronic structures resulting from hybrid exchange-correlation functionals represent reasonable starting points for solving the quasiparticle equation which even include spin-orbit interaction. Still today, Friedrich Bechstedt is holding an Emeritus Chair at his former institute.


Prof. Dr. Birgitta Bernhardt-Schultze. Prof. Dr. Birgitta Bernhardt-Schultze. Image: Private

The research group for ultraviolet dual comb spectroscopy led by the former Junioer Professor Birgitta Bernhardt-Schultze was funded by the Carl Zeiss Foundation, and had been established at the Abbe Center of Photonics in 2017. The group was devoted to absorption spectroscopy in the (extreme) ultraviolet (XUV) region with ultrahigh spectral resolution. Dual comb spectroscopy is an innovative form of traditional Fourier transform spectroscopy (FTS). The combination of two short pulse lasers with slightly different repetition rates abandons a moving mirror, so far being the characteristic but also limiting component of FTS as the most abundant technique for broadband high-resolution spectroscopy. In this way, one million times shorter measurement times with simultaneously unprecedented spectral resolution become possible. Due to the versatility of the method, a variety of dual comb spectrometers have been realized recently in the THz, visible and infrared spectral region. In Jena, the Bernhardt-Schultze group was working on the world's first dual comb spectrometer in the (X)UV between 4 and 60 eV via high harmonic generation. In 2019, Birgitta Bernhardt-Schultze was appointed as an associate professor at the Technical University Graz in Austria where she is now building her own research group. We are glad about this achievement as it demonstrates once again that ACP's junior scientists are highly internationally competitive.

Prof. Dr. Rachel GRANGE​

Prof. Dr. Rachel GRANGE Prof. Dr. Rachel GRANGE Image: ETH Zurich

Rachel Grange received her PhD at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich in the field of laser physics. During her postdoc at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Dr. Grange was involved in cross-disciplinary projects within the Institutes of Bioengineering and Microengineering for developing nonlinear bioimaging techniques. In 2011, she was appointed as Group Leader of the Multiphoton Nanomaterials Group at ACP. In their Jena-based work, the group encompassed several aspects starting from the synthesis of core-shell nanoparticles and nanowires, the investigation of their optical properties, the development of advanced nonlinear microscopy setup for enlarging the imaging toolbox as well as the applications to biology. Rachel Grange has been appointed as a Professor of Optical Nanomaterials at the ETH Zurich in 2014.

Prof. em. Dr. Herbert GROSS

Prof. Dr. Herbert Gross Prof. Dr. Herbert Gross Image: Private

The research group Optical System Design was appointed with Prof. Herbert Gross in 2012. Before taking on this professorship, Herbert Gross had a long-term experience as an industrial researcher, particularly at ZEISS. He was and still is recognized as one of the world's largest experts in the theory of optical systems. For more than 10 years, he was outstandingly engaged in the teaching acitities of the Abbe School of Photonics, coining more than 100 students in this very applied area of optics. Particularly, he was giving courses at all levels in technical optics, design and correction of systems, aberration theory and microscopy, or lens design with optical design software. Due to the practical approach of his teaching, he also held numerous seminars and courses for professionals in the field  of optical design. Furthermore, his vast research portfolio delt with optical systems, their design, modelling, simulation and performance evaluation, including, e.g., modelling of coherent and partial coherent light propagation, computational methods for illumination,optimization methods of optical systems, initial trials and structure of systems,performance evaluation of non-symmetrical and free form surface optical systems, phase retrieval for metrology, phase imaging, microscopy, image formation with enhanced contrast and resolution or calculation of scattering of light in tissue.

With the retirement of Herbert Gross in 2021, the appointment procedure for finding a successor in optical system design is currently ongoing. 

Prof. Dr. Alexander HEISTERKAMP

Prof. Dr. Alexander Heisterkamp Prof. Dr. Alexander Heisterkamp Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

The ACP group of Prof. Alexander Heisterkamp has been performing research in the field of optics with special focus on medical applications. In their Jena-based research, the group has mainly studied the interaction and application of laser, especially fs-laser pulses, at the cellular level in an interdisciplinary approach, including, for example, cellular manipulation using ps- and fs-laser pulses together with nanotechnologies, such as goldnanoparticles. Further studies covered laser-based imaging and ablation with multiphoton processes as well as laser transfection by fs-laser and optical trapping and tweezers. In 2014, Alexander Heisterkamp left Jena and ACP for accepting a professorship of Biomedical Optics at the Leibniz University Hannover.

Dr. Ernst-Bernhard KLEY

Dr. Ernst-Bernhard Kley Dr. Ernst-Bernhard Kley Image: Private

E.-Bernhard Kley was the head of the Microoptics and Micostructure Technology Group at the Institute of Applied Physics for more than two decades. He has spent his whole scientific life at the Beutenberg Campus and retired after a distinguished career in student suprevision and research in 2017, accounting more than 300 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, 61 patents and the supervision of more than 300 theses. Still, he is a frequent guest at the institute, where his competence, enormous creativity and advice is always highly appreciated. The Kley research group concentrated fundamentally on function and design of micro- and nano-optical elements as well as applications and technology developments for microstructuring. Since 2018, the research group Microstructure Technology is headed by ACP principal scientist Uwe Zeitner.

Prof. em. Dr. Richard KOWARSCHIK

Prof. Dr. em. Richard Kowarschik Prof. Dr. em. Richard Kowarschik Image: Private

For many years, Richard Kowarschik was the director of the former Institute of Applied Optics at the Friedrich Schiller University. Prof. Kowarschik retired after a distinguished career in teaching, student advising and research in 2016. The primary research interests of Richard Kowarschik as Chair of Coherent Optics at the Institute of Applied Optics were the physics of the interaction of optical wave fields with media and boundary surfaces and cover optical measuring techniques, optical information storage and processing, and diffractive optical elements. His work with regard to optical measuring techniques had, following a long tradition, a strongly application-oriented character. It included optical methods for the measurement of 3D surface profiles and deformations (structured light, digital holography, holographic interferometry), wavefront sensing and adaptive optics, the analysis of laser modes, and microscopy with interferometric techniques, optical information storage and processing include the investigation of real-time storage materials (photorefractive crystals, photo polymers) and light-induced processes (wave mixing, spatial solitons) within these materials. A third research field of Richard Kowarschik concerned the synthesis, analysis and transformation of laser modes and the laser beam forming by means of diffractive optical elements (DOEs).

Prof. em. Dr. Falk LEDERER

Prof. em. Dr. Falk Lederer Prof. em. Dr. Falk Lederer Image: Private

Falk Lederer was the head of the Solid State Optics Group at the Institute of Condensed Matter Theory and Solid State Optics de and served as spokesman of the Abbe School of Photonics since 2008. From the first day of ACP's foundation in 2010 abd until September 2013, he was an esteemed member of ACP's board of directors. Prof. Lederer retired after a distinguished career in teaching, student advising and research in 2013. The primary research interests of Falk Lederer were devoted to the intrinsic localization of light in nonlinear media, to ultrafast all-optical processes, to discrete optics and to the control of light in engineered photonic materials. His group is well acknowledged in the scientific community for several seminal papers on novel nonlinear localized structures and discrete optical effects. He authored and co-authored more than 400 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and has a h-factor higher than 50. Beside his strong commitment in the education and training of students and young-career scientists, one of Falk Lederer's biggest achievements was to take part in the acquisition of the first Collaborative Research Center (SFB), on "Physics and Chemistry of Optical Films" from the German Research Foundation (DFG) at the Neue Länder in 1993. He was the initiator and contributed essentially to the DFG Innovation Center "Optical Information Processing". Prof. Lederer provided essential input to the establishment and to the work in the DFG research unit "Nonlinear spatio-temporal dynamics in dissipative and discrete optical systems". He was a member of the DFG Priority Programs "Optical Signal Processing", "Optical Transmission Networks" and "Photonic Crystals". Until 2013, he has been the spokesman of the Priority Research Area Optics & Photonics at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. On the European scale, Falk Lederer was the coordinator of the first FET Open project ROSA on ultrafast optical signal processing. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and provided service to this organization as a Topical Editor of Optics Letters from 2008-2013 and as General Chair and Program Chair of CLEO and various Topical Meetings.

Prof. Dr. Carsten ROCKSTUHL

Prof. Carsten Rockstuhl / KIT. Prof. Carsten Rockstuhl / KIT. Image: Private.

Carsten Rockstuhl was Junior Professor and head of the Theoretical Nanooptics Group at the Center for Innovation Competence Ultra Optics and at the Institute of Condensed Matter Theory and Solid State Optics until December 2013. Moreover, he served as the local coordinator for the Erasmus Mundus Master Degree Program "OpSciTech - Optics in Science and Technology". During eight years of intense research and teaching activities in Jena, the former ACP member authored more than 150 peer-reviewed publications in nanooptics and contributed with several seminal papers to establish this research field sustainably in Jena. Carsten Rockstuhl's work is and was distinguished by close interactions with a large number of experimental and theoretical groups that work in the same and adjacent scientific areas. In 2014, Carsten Rockstuhl was appointed as full professor of Theoretical Solid State Physics at the Institute of Theoretical Solid State Physics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). With his newly founded group in Karlsruhe and still strong bonds to the ACP Jena, he continuous to explore the possibilities to control the properties of light by means ofmicro- and nanostructured materials. His scientific findings contribute to the basic understanding of light-matter interaction and to enabling applications previously inaccessible. Prof. Rockstuhl's Theoretical Photonics Group relies on a large variety of different numerical and theoretical tools and mainly focuses on the subjects plasmonics, optical nanoantennas, metamaterials, photon management in solar cells, nonlinear and quantum optics.

Prof. em Dr. Christian RÜSSEL

Prof. Dr. Christian Rüssel Prof. Dr. Christian Rüssel Image: Private

Christian Rüssel was chair for glass chemistry at the Friedrich Schiller University and at the Otto Schott Institute of Materials Research for the majority of his long academic life. His primary research interests were devoted to various technical glass types and glass-ceramics, their preparation, structure and properties, and liquid state. His group also explored fundamental studies on glass rheology, glass crystallization, phase separation and thermal behaviour. After a long and meritful academic career, Christian Rüssel became Professor Emeritus in 2018. He published more than 300 peer-revied papers and, at this time, had a h-index of 28. His legacy at the Otto Schott Institute of Materials Research is taken over by the new glass chemistry chairholder and ACP principal scientist Lothar Wondraczek.

link to the former research group of Prof. Rüssel

PD. Dr. Alexander SCHILLER

PD Dr. Alexander Schiller PD Dr. Alexander Schiller Image: Private

Alexander Schiller was a DFG Heisenberg fellow and junior professor for inorganic chemistry at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena until 2016.He His research group "Biomimetic Signal Transduction" incorporated methods from the areas of materials- and bio-inorganic photo chemistry and supra-molecular analytical chemistry. Research thrusts included photo-inducible nitric oxide (NO) and carbon mon-oxide (CO)-releasing molecules and materials, molecular probes for bioanalytes in water and "molecular logic" - computing using sensors and light. Since 2016, Dr. Schiller is a full-time trainer, certified coach and facilitator: teaching advanced research skills, such as communication in science, team building and leading competences and didactics and methodology in university teaching. He is a member in the „Bundesverband für Training, Beratung und Coaching“. Since 2018, Dr. Schiller is a „Certified Advanced Coach“ by the The Thiagi Group, Inc.

link to the Schiller & Mertens coaching services

Prof. Dr. Stefan SKUPIN

Prof. Dr. Stefan Skupin Prof. Dr. Stefan Skupin Image: Private

Stefan Skupin was holding a Carl Zeiss endowed Junior Professorship at ACP from 2009 until 2013. He was the head of a junior research group for Computational Photonics at the Institute of Condensed Matter Theory and Solid State Optics de. At the same time, Stefan Skupin was and is affiliated with the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden. During his time in Jena and with the ACP, he showed an outstanding engagement in teaching B.Sc. and M.Sc. students, including lecturing Fundamentals of Modern Optics, Structure of Matter, Computational Physics, Nonlinear Optics and Waveguide Theory. By the end of 2013, Stefan Skupin was appointed as Professor of Physics at the Université Bordeaux 1. The main focus of his ongoing research is the interaction of high-intensity, ultra-short laser pulses with matter, and, in particular, its numerical modeling. His research thrusts include

  • novel light sources from high-intensity laser matter interaction,
  • nonlinear ultra-short pulse generation and propagation,
  • pattern formation, solitons, vortices and topological excitations,
  • Bose-Einstein condensation phenomena,
  • laser-based charged particle acceleration and relativistic optics, and
  • large-scale parallel computing, hardware accelerators.

Prof. Dr. Alexander SZAMEIT

Prof. Dr. Alexander Szameit Prof. Dr. Alexander Szameit Image: Private

Alexander Szameit was a Junior Professor at ACP until 2016, where he established a flourishing research group aimed at the fundamental understanding of the propagation of optical waves in different systems whose structure and material parameter are based on the different macroscopic manifestations of carbon. After an incredibly successful junior professorship rich of innovations, high-impact publications, distinctions and awards, Alexander Szameit was appointed as a full professor at the University of Rostock. There, being Chair for Experimental Solid-State Optics, Alexander Szameit is head of a group exploring the fundamental theoretical and experimental understanding of wave-physical phenomena in periodic and functionalized media. The basis of their investigations is the evolution of classical optical wave packets and entangled single photons in three-dimensional systems of coupled waveguides, which were inscribed in optical glass chips using ultrashort laser pulses - a technique adapted from the work done in Jena. The research directions of the Szameit group include, among others, the emulation of solid-state phenomena in optical systems, the emulation of relativistic physics, topological photonics, and integrated quantum optics.
link to the Szameit group in Rostock

Prof. em. Dr. Andreas WIPF

Prof. Dr. Andreas Wipf Prof. Dr. Andreas Wipf Image: Private

Andreas Wipf had been an esteemed member, researcher and teacher at the Faculty of Physics and Astronomoy and at the Institute of Theoretical Physics in Jena. In his long and meritful scientific career, he focused on the theoretical description of systems with many or infinitely many degrees of freedom under extreme conditions - in very strong electromagnetic and gravitational fields, at high temperatures and at high densities. The Wipf group gave seminal contributions to the understanding and calculation of physical effects like Hawking radiation in strong gravitational fields, dispersive and absorptive vacuum effects in quantized electrodynamics, phase transitions in the early universe and the phase diagram of strongly coupled gauge theories, and in particular of quantum chromodynamics. Andreas Wipf was particularly committed to teaching. For decades, he engaged strongly both in undergraduate and graduate physics education including the major theoretical courses in Classical and Quantum Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics as well as advanced courses concerning Quantum Field Theory, Path Integrals, Supersymmetry and Symmetries in Physics. He was also the spokesperson of the DFG-funded research training group "Quantum and Gravitational Fields" with a special commitment to PhD education. Andreas Wipf was awarded the status of a so-called senior professor of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena in early 2021.

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