The nano-optics division at MPL aims to advance experimental and theoretical mastery of light-matter interaction at the nanometer scale. Our research portfolio encompasses a wide spectrum of scientific questions, but our current emphasis is on the two main areas of nano-quantum-optics and nano-bio-photonics. A common feature of these efforts is that they typically take place in the condensed phase with a considerable degree of complexity. The challenge that we take upon ourselves is to conceive projects and devise measurement strategies that allow us to nevertheless obtain a quantitative understanding of these complex systems in an elegant fashion.
For more information, please consult the list of our publications and highlights section on this website.
History of nano-optics:
Our group was originally founded in 1997 at the University of Konstanz, where we pioneered the combination of concepts from quantum optics, laser spectroscopy, cryogenics, optical imaging, nanotechnology, and scanning probe technology. After ten productive years of research at ETH Zurich, we moved to MPL in Erlangen in 2011. In September 2017, we organized a symposium to celebrate 20 years of nano-optics as an overarching research area dedicated to the interaction of light and matter at the nanometer scale. At this occasion, we interviewed sixteen pioneers who have contributed to this field and created a video that gives an account of how nano-optics emerged as a field and what the future challenges might be (click here to watch the video). The individual interviews are also available at the “MPL tube” video depository.
Two undergraduate-level courses on Fundamentals of Optics and on Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy were recorded at MPL as an online resource. These can also be accessed on the MPL tube.