In our research projects, we use the unique properties of ultrashort laser pulses:

Very short flashes of light

The shortness of the pulses allows to “stop time” in the microcosm and, employed as a strobe light, to observe light-induced dynamics in slow motion. In our strobes, we use optical excitation and probe techniques as well as Ultrafast Electron Diffraction.

Image of the oscillation of sodium Dimer

Broad color spectrum

A short pulse contains many colors. These can be arranged virtually arbitrary by optical synthesizers. Such shaped laser pulses can be used for controlling chemical reactions and (in the future) detection of chirality. But also for optimizing laser material processing and the development of high-resolution microscopy techniques. The first projects exploit common coherent light-matter interaction. In contrast, during material processing the light-induced coherence is often destroyed on the time scale of a quadrillionth of a second.

Moving color components in time shapes the resulting laser pulse

Extremely high intensities

Due to the shortness of femtosecond laser pulses very high intensities can be achieved by focusing even at low energies per pulse. Using non-linear optical effects these high intensities can be employed for three-dimensional, largely athermic and therefore low-damage laser material processing and plasma spectroscopy on the nanometer scale, as well as for three-dimensional microscopy.

This field of research is being continued by the group Extreme Light for Nanostructures.