Division B: Transient Electronic Structure and Nanophysics

Director: Prof. Dr. S. Eisebitt, Technical University of Berlin

Head of Division B is Prof. Dr. Stefan Eisebitt, in a joint appointment with the Technische Universität Berlin. Research in Division B extends from the fundamentals of light-matter interaction to ultrafast processes and transient electronic structure in condensed matter. In particular, this includes the optical manipulation of spin structures and generally the investigation of transient nanoscale structures on their intrinsic timescale. The connection of spectroscopic information with spatial information from scattering and imaging over a wide spectral range from THz to x-rays is a recurring, cross-sectional approach. The development of laser systems for basic research as well as for applications, e.g. at free electron x-ray lasers, is one of the key competences in Division B.

Division B is substructured in three departments:

Department Department Head
B1Electron and Spin DynamicsClemens v. Korff Schmising
B2Imaging and Coherent X-raysBastian Pfau
B3Laser DevelopmentMatthias Schnürer


The titles of the departments indicate the know-how available in Division B.

In summary, the areas of competence are described as follows:


  • Time resolved imaging, scattering and spectroscopy in the XUV and x-ray spectral range
  • Interference-based imaging at short wavelength of nm-scale structures in solids
  • Short pulse lasers and x-ray sources, x-ray optics
  • Gas phase spectroscopy of electrons, ions, metastable atoms and molecules
  • Short pulse and high field laser systems
  • Laser-synchrotron synchronization, instrumentation for synchrotron and free electron x-ray laser experiments


  • Thin film sample growth via magnetron sputtering
  • Focused ion beam nanopatterning
  • Electron lithography and microscopy
  • Magnetic sample characterization

Theory, in conjuction with the Theory Department

  • Atoms, molecules and clusters in intense laser fields
  • Ultrafast correlated electron dynamics
  • Relativistic effects and quantum electrodynamics
  • Ab-initio condensed matter theory (TD DFT) 


In the framework of the research structure of the MBI, scientists of division B participate in the following projects:

Close Collaborations also exist between

2.2 and project 2.1 Time-resolved XUV-Science