Understanding and ultimately controlling the properties of matter, from molecular to quantum systems, requires imaging the elementary excitations on their natural time and length scales. To achieve this goal we developed scanning probe microscopy with ultrafast and shaped laser pulse excitation for multiscale spatio-temporal optical nano-imaging. In corresponding ultrafast movies we resolve the fundamental quantum dynamics from the few-femtosecond coherent to the thermal transport regime. I will discuss specific examples visualizing in space and time the nanoscale heterogeneity in competing structural and electronic dynamic processes that define the performance in perovskite photovoltaics or energy dissipation in 2D heterostructures. I will then extend the discussion to new forms of photon-matter hybrid states that emerge from confining light on the nano- to atomic scale, with imaging in tip-enhanced strong coupling of single emitters, to new regimes of nonlocal and quantum nonlinear nano-optics. As a perspective I will show that we are at the cusp of the ultimate goal of functional imaging and control, to link macroscopic properties to microscopic interactions in materials at their fundamental spatio-temporal levels using light.
Vorstellungskolloquium zur Besetzung einer W3-S-Professur