We strive to advance science and technology in the fields of optics and photonics through advanced functional materials, novel laser systems and measurement techniques.
Light has played an important role during the development of many topics in modern physics. Atomic, molecular, optical (AMO) physics certainly relies strongly on steady developments in optics and photonics. Also a variety of experiments in condensed matter physics, bio-physics, chemistry, engineering, and medical sciences demand for a steady sophistication of optical tools. Optical tools indeed improve very rapidly: The precision of laser-based spectroscopy improved million-fold during the past 20 years. This extraordinary evolution was driven by rapid advances in femtosecond science as well through the invention of laser frequency combs, ultra-narrow line-width lasers, and advances in laser cooling and trapping of atoms and ions. In our group we strive to bring these advances to a broader audience through the development of chip-scale ultrafast laser sources as well as chip-scale optical frequency comb generators. To shrink the current technology to a chip-scale presents a variety of exciting problems. We are currently developing and characterizing novel materials based graphene (single atomic layers of carbon) that allow ultrafast optical switches. We also pursue nonlinear frequency conversion inside micro resonators on silicon chips, and we work towards fully monolithic solid-state lasers that could survive even under the harsh conditions in a spacecraft. We are also interested in novel time and frequency resolved tools for spectroscopy for a variety of scientific and industrial applications. Please contact us if you wish to learn more about our research. (We are part of the campus-wide optics initiative that integrates education and research in science and technology.)