It is now generally understood that the photon, the light particle,
will play a similar role in the development of cutting edge technologies
in the 21st century as did the electron in the 20th
century for electrical engineering and electronics. Lasers are one
of the key sources for light with very special properties. The control
of coherence, i.e. forcing light waves in step with each other,
represents a revolution in the generation of light and has led to
a breakthrough of new optical methods in research and technology.
Lasers are indispensable tools for storing and transmitting information,
for measurement techniques, for medical diagnostics as well as for
high-technology materials processing from ships and airplanes down
to computer chips.. Lasers allow for the generation of extremely
short light pulses with a duration of less than a millionth of a
millionth of a second (1 picosecond = 10-12s). Ultrafast
processes in nature can be induced and observed in real time using
such ultra-short pulses. Ultra-fast science has become an important
field of basic research and has found broad application in measurement
and - more recently - process technologies. Ultra-short pulses can
be amplified to extremely high intensities at which new states of
matter may be excited by nonlinear processes.
It is this field of research with and at ultrashort and ultraintense
lasers and laser based pulsed light sources which constitutes the
mission of the MBI. On the one hand, lasers represent a subject
of research; on the other hand, lasers are the essential tool used
for experimental studies of light-matter interaction. Hence, MBI’s
research program focuses on
- new sources for ultra short and ultra intense light pulses,
pulse shaping, pulse characterization, and measuring techniques
for ultra fast processes in a broad spectral range from the mid-infrared
to the x-ray region
- ultrafast and nonlinear phenomena with special
- atoms, molecules, clusters and plasmas
- and surfaces and solid state.
The combination of modern laser development and measuring technique
with its interdisciplinary application in basic research and for
emerging key technologies constitutes the unique profile of the
MBI and its attraction to external cooperation partners.
A schematic of the research structure is shown here.