Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light

Research at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light covers a wide range of topics, including nonlinear optics, quantum optics, nanophotonics, photonic crystal fibres, optomechanics, quantum technologies, biophysics, and—in collaboration with the Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin – links between physics and medicine. MPL was founded in 2009 and is one of the over 80 institutes that make up the Max Planck Society, whose mission is to conduct basic research in the service of the general public in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences and the humanities.

Experimental physicist Gerd Leuchs elected president of renowned scientific society Optica


Gerd Leuchs, Director Emeritus at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen and Senior Professor at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, has been elected President for 2024 by the members of Optica.

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Reflections without mirroring: novel concept for detecting chiral molecules


In contrast to conventional mirrors, light can be reflected on surfaces known as meta surfaces without changing its polarization. This has now been proven by physicists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL).

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Microkiss-and-tell: A new method for precision delivery of nanoparticles and small molecules to individual cells


A research team at the Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin, Erlangen led by Prof. Vahid Sandoghdar has now successfully shown how small molecules and single nanoparticles can be applied directly onto the surface of cells. In the study recently published in the journal Nature Methods, the scientists describe their technique as a “µkiss” (microkiss) – an easy and cost-effective new method, unlocking new possibilities in single-cell science with a view towards next generation therapeutic applications.

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Lead your own Max Planck Research Group at the interface between physics and medical research

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We are searching for a Max Planck Research Group Leader (m/f/d) at the newly established Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin (MPZPM) in Erlangen, Germany. MPZPM is an international and interdisciplinary research center operated by the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in collaboration with the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the Universitätsklinikum Erlangen.



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Students experience professional diversity on Girls’Day 2024

To share exciting insights into the working world of a researcher and its passion for scientific and technical career fields in which women are…

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Exploring the Physics of Basic Medical Research: Insightful Essay by Professor Vahid Sandoghdar in Physical Review Letters

The 20th century witnessed the emergence of many paradigm-shifting technologies from the physics community, which have revolutionized medical…

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Photonic computation with sound waves

Optical neural networks may provide the high-speed and large-capacity solution necessary to tackle challenging computing tasks. However, tapping their…

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MPL press team

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Managing Director
Prof. Vahid Sandoghdar, Ph.D.

Please contact:
Julia Graßer (PA)
Phone: +49 9131 7133 301


Head of Infrastructure
Dr. Dorothe Burggraf

Please contact:
Lisa Spann (PA)
Phone: +49 9131 7133 801

Upcoming Events

Girls'Day 2024

The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen is once again inviting 15 girls interested in science as part of Girls' Day [...]


Grand Opening Symposium 2024 | Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin

GRAND OPENING SYMPOSIUM on the occasion of the new Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin in Erlangen 18-19 September 2024.  [...]


MPL Research Centers and Schools