Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light

www.mpl.mpg.de/
Erlangen, Germany

The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light performs basic research in optical metrology, optical communication, new optical materials, plasmonics and nanophotonics and optical applications in biology and medicine. It is part of the Max Planck Society and was founded on January 1, 2009 in Erlangen near Nuremberg. The Institute is based on the Max Planck Research Group "Optics, Information and Photonics", which was founded in 2004 at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, as a precursor. Wikipedia.

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Aspelmeyer M.,University of Vienna | Kippenberg T.J.,Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne | Marquardt F.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | Marquardt F.,Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light
Reviews of Modern Physics | Year: 2014

The field of cavity optomechanics is reviewed. This field explores the interaction between electromagnetic radiation and nanomechanical or micromechanical motion. This review covers the basics of optical cavities and mechanical resonators, their mutual optomechanical interaction mediated by the radiation-pressure force, the large variety of experimental systems which exhibit this interaction, optical measurements of mechanical motion, dynamical backaction amplification and cooling, nonlinear dynamics, multimode optomechanics, and proposals for future cavity-quantum-optomechanics experiments. In addition, the perspectives for fundamental quantum physics and for possible applications of optomechanical devices are described. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Piliarik M.,Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light | Sandoghdar V.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg
Nature Communications | Year: 2014

Detection of single analyte molecules without the use of any label would improve the sensitivity of current biosensors by orders of magnitude to the ultimate graininess of biological matter. Over two decades, scientists have succeeded in pushing the limits of optical detection to single molecules using fluorescence. However, restrictions in photophysics and labelling protocols make this technique less attractive for biosensing. Recently, mechanisms based on vibrational spectroscopy, photothermal detection, plasmonics and microcavities have been explored for fluorescence-free detection of single biomolecules. Here, we show that interferometric detection of scattering (iSCAT) can achieve this goal in a direct and label-free fashion. In particular, we demonstrate detection of cancer marker proteins in buffer solution and in the presence of other abundant proteins. Furthermore, we present super-resolution imaging of protein binding with nanometer localization precision. The ease of iSCAT instrumentation promises a breakthrough for label-free studies of interactions involving proteins and other small biomolecules. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Armaroli A.,Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light | Biancalana F.,Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light
Optics Express | Year: 2012

We analyze the modulation instability induced by periodic variations of group velocity dispersion and nonlinearity in optical fibers, which may be interpreted as an analogue of the well-known parametric resonance in mechanics.We derive accurate analytical estimates of resonant detuning, maximum gain and instability margins, significantly improving on previous literature on the subject. We also design a periodically tapered photonic crystal fiber, in order to achieve narrow instability sidebands at a detuning of 35 THz, above the Raman maximum gain peak of fused silica. The wide tunability of the resonant peaks by variations of the tapering period and depth will allow to implement sources of correlated photon pairs which are far-detuned from the input pump wavelength, with important applications in quantum optics. © 2012 Optical Society of America.


Baaske M.D.,Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light | Foreman M.R.,Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light | Vollmer F.,Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light
Nature Nanotechnology | Year: 2014

Biosensing relies on the detection of molecules and their specific interactions. It is therefore highly desirable to develop transducers exhibiting ultimate detection limits. Microcavities are an exemplary candidate technology for demonstrating such a capability in the optical domain and in a label-free fashion. Additional sensitivity gains, achievable by exploiting plasmon resonances, promise biosensing down to the single-molecule level. Here, we introduce a biosensing platform using optical microcavity-based sensors that exhibits single-molecule sensitivity and is selective to specific single binding events. Whispering gallery modes in glass microspheres are used to leverage plasmonic enhancements in gold nanorods for the specific detection of nucleic acid hybridization, down to single 8-mer oligonucleotides. Detection of single intercalating small molecules confirms the observation of single-molecule hybridization. Matched and mismatched strands are discriminated by their interaction kinetics. Our platform allows us to monitor specific molecular interactions transiently, hence mitigating the need for high binding affinity and avoiding permanent binding of target molecules to the receptors. Sensor lifetime is therefore increased, allowing interaction kinetics to be statistically analysed.


Ludwig M.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | Marquardt F.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | Marquardt F.,Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

We study the nonlinear driven dissipative quantum dynamics of an array of optomechanical systems. At each site of such an array, a localized mechanical mode interacts with a laser-driven cavity mode via radiation pressure, and both photons and phonons can hop between neighboring sites. The competition between coherent interaction and dissipation gives rise to a rich phase diagram characterizing the optical and mechanical many-body states. For weak intercellular coupling, the mechanical motion at different sites is incoherent due to the influence of quantum noise. When increasing the coupling strength, however, we observe a transition towards a regime of phase-coherent mechanical oscillations. We employ a Gutzwiller ansatz as well as semiclassical Langevin equations on finite lattices, and we propose a realistic experimental implementation in optomechanical crystals. © 2013 American Physical Society.


van Loock P.,Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light
Laser and Photonics Reviews | Year: 2011

This article reviews recent hybrid approaches to optical quantum information processing, in which both discrete and continuous degrees of freedom are exploited. There are well-known limitations to optical single-photon-based qubit and multi-photon-based qumode implementations of quantum communication and quantum computation, when the toolbox is restricted to the most practical set of linear operations and resources such as linear optics and Gaussian operations and states. The recent hybrid approaches aim at pushing the feasibility, the efficiencies, and the fidelities of the linear schemes to the limits, potentially adding weak or measurement-induced nonlinearities to the toolbox. © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Gmeiner B.,Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light
Nature Photonics | Year: 2016

The pioneering experiments in linear spectroscopy were performed using flames in the 1800s, but nonlinear optical measurements had to wait until lasers became available in the twentieth century. Because the nonlinear cross-section of materials is very small, macroscopic bulk samples and pulsed lasers are usually used. Numerous efforts have explored coherent nonlinear signal generation from individual nanoparticles or small atomic ensembles with millions of atoms. Experiments on a single semiconductor quantum dot have also been reported, albeit with a very small yield. Here, we report the coherent nonlinear spectroscopy of a single molecule under continuous-wave single-pass illumination and the switching of a laser beam by on the order of ten pump photons. The sharp molecular transitions and efficient photon–molecule coupling at a tight focus allow for optical switching with less than a handful of pump photons and are thus promising for applications in quantum engineering. © 2016 Nature Publishing Group


Chremmos I.,Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light
Optics Letters | Year: 2014

We theoretically propose a temporal cloaking scheme based on accelerating wave packets. A part of a monochromatic light wave is endowed with a discontinuous nonlinear frequency chirp, so that two opposite accelerating caustics are created in space-time as the different frequency components propagate in the presence of dispersion. The two caustics open a biconvex time gap that contains negligible optical energy, thus concealing the enclosed events. In contrast to previous temporal cloaking schemes, where light propagates successively through two different media with opposite dispersions, accelerating wave packets open and close the cloaked time window continuously in a single dispersive medium. In addition, biconvex time gaps can be tailored into arbitrary shapes and offer a larger suppression of intensity compared with their rhombic counterparts. © 2014 Optical Society of America.


Kang M.S.,Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light | Butsch A.,Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light | Russell P.S.J.,Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light
Nature Photonics | Year: 2011

Dynamic optical isolation with all-optical switching capability is in great demand in advanced optical communications and all-optical signal processing systems. Most conventional optical isolators rely on Faraday rotation and are realized using micro/nanofabrication techniques, but it is not always straightforward to incorporate magneto-optical crystals into these compact systems. Here, we report the experimental demonstration of a reconfigurable all-optical isolator based on optical excitation of a gigahertz guided acoustic mode in a micrometre-sized photonic crystal fibre core. This device has remarkable advantages over its passive counterparts, including a large dynamic range of isolation, fast switching capability and reversibility, which provide new functionality that is useful in various types of all-optical systems. Devices based on similar physical principles could also be realized in CMOS-compatible silicon on-chip platforms. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Baaske M.,Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light | Vollmer F.,Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light
ChemPhysChem | Year: 2012

Optical resonator biosensors are emerging as one of the most sensitive microsystem biodetection technology that does not require amplification or labeling of the analyte. This minireview provides a scholarly introduction to this research area and reviews current advances in molecular diagnostics and nanoparticle detection. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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