Our Institute is known for its developments of novel optical materials and elements - from basic to application orientated research. It offers remarkable contributions to solving issues in emerging fields like information and communication, health and medicine, environment and energy (Green Photonics) as well as process technology and optical measurement methods. For this purpose, current research topics concern function, design and production of various micro- and nano-optical elements. Those include for instance resonant grating structures, metallic and dielectric polarizers and effective media to reduce reflection of surfaces. Also light propagation and nonlinear light-matter interaction in micro- and nanostructures, optical meta materials and photonic
crystals are fundamentally examined. Further research fields are application of femtosecond laser pulses, e.g. for material processing and micro- and nano-structuring, development of new concepts for solid-state lasers such as ultrafast fiber lasers based on large mode area fibers, coherent addition of multiple emissions as well as pulse shaping. Within an endowed professorship, the design of optical systems including method development - currently in particular based on freeforms - is being expedite.

Specifically, the research group Fiber & Waveguide Lasers is working on the development of new concepts for solid-state lasers such as fiber lasers, pulse shaping and fiber-optical intensification of ultrashort laser pulses.

The working group Microstructure Technology and Micro Optics attends to the function and design of micro and nano optical elements as well as applications and technology developments for micro structuring. Examples may be mentioned: metallic and dielectric polarizers in the range of IR to DUV, 3D nano structuring of crystals with ion beams, effective media to reduce reflection on smooth and micro structured surfaces.

The research group Nano & Quantum Optics deals with light propagation of nonlinear light-matter interaction in micro-and nano-structures, optical meta materials, photonic crystals and the efficiency of photovoltaic elements and could realize for the first time a polarization-intensive negative index material in the NIR as well as coupled micro resonators using lithographic techniques.

A further research group - Ultrafast Optics - examines applications of femtosecond laser pulses for micro and nano structuring of optical materials, and realized Fiber-Bragg gratings in multimode fibers by ultrashort laser pulses.

Research emphasis of the group Optical System Design can be subdivided into two main areas: In classical optics design topics such as design, tolerancing and optimization of modern optical systems as well as the design and evaluation of freeform optics for imaging and illumination are discussed. Beside, questions concerning general simulation of optical systems, like simulation of diffraction effects, microscopic image formation or point spread function engineering and Fourier optics are treated.

Applied Computational Optics focuses on the development of basic concepts of Field Tracing as well as tracing techniques to enable unified optical modeling. Besides various other applications the team investigated the use of Field Tracing for the propagation of fs pulses through optical systems.

For the treatment of such complex tasks, our Institute has access to innovative technologies and excellent facilities (clean room with electron beam, photo and laser lithography, coating techniques, equipment for the reactive ion and ion beam etching as well as high resolution cross beam for nano-processing and analysis, etc.), whose further development is being driven constantly forward.

Excellence in research confirm European research projects (two ERC Grants) as a driver of innovation in the interdisciplinary research field of laser physics and nano-optics; as well as the establishment of the Competence Center ultra optics into the Abbe Center of Photonics (ACP).
An essential part of the concept is the training of young scientists at the interface of physics, chemistry and material science. For this purpose interdisciplinary international master and graduation programs have been integrated into the Abbe School of Photonics (ASP).

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