- Department Head: C2 "Solid State Light Sources"
- Project Coordinator: 1.2 "Ultrafast Laser Physics and Nonlinear Optics"
In ultrafast optics, it often proves invaluable to exactly know the temporal structure of the few-cycle pulses in the experiments. Compared to transient events in electronics, our means of precisely measuring optical transients on the femtosecond scale appear much more limited. To this end, a number of techniques have emerged that enable simultaneous measurement of the amplitude and phase structures of ultrashort pulses. Among these techniques, interferometric frequency-resolved optical gating has evolved as a particularly powerful technique, which can also be used for spectroscopic experiments on the few-cycle temporal scale.
Experimental setup for filament generation in a controlled noble-gas atmosphere. The characteristic sign for the onset of plasma formation and filamentation is the color change from red (scattered light) to violet (fluorescence) appearing at the 7 cm position on the ruler. After the collapse of the filamention process at 70 cm, a white-light spectrum emerges. Spectral width and the number of filaments inside the cell can be controlled by pressure and gas fill.
A second important aspect is measurement and control of the carrier-envelope phase of an ultrashort optical pulse. This phase plays an important role in attosecond spectroscopy. We have developed the feed-forward technique for stabilization of the carrier-envelope phase. This patented method is now commercially available from a major laser manufacturer. Our research continues and tries to explore the absolute limits of carrier-envelope phase measurements, as they are, e.g., imposed by quantum noise mechanisms.
Further research is devoted to optical filamentation. Loosely focusing an intense laser beam in air, one observes a collapse of the beam profile, and a plasma channel forms that guides the light at nearly constant beam diameter for lengths in the centimeter or meter range. Further increasing the laser power, several such filaments coexist parallel to each other and show highly dynamic behavior. The resulting beam profiles exhibit short-lived extremely bright flashes, which appear in analogy to ocean rogue waves. We carefully studied the statistics of rogue waves in our multifilament scenario and compared them to other rogue-wave supporting systems. This comparison seems to enable some intriguing new insight into the ocean rogue wave mystery, which we are currently exploring in more depth.
10/2017 Fellow, American Physical Society (APS)
09/2017 Full (W3-S) Professor, Department of Physics, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
03/2017 Fellow, International Union of Radio Science (URSI)
01/2016 Fellow, Optical Society of America (OSA)
01/2015 - 12/2017 Member Editorial Board, Physical Review A
01/2014 Outstanding Referee, American Physical Society (APS)
04/2012 - 03/2018 Topical Editor, Ultrafast Phenomena, Optics Letters
11/2008 - 10/2013 Finland Distinguished Professor Optoelectronics Research Centre, Tampere University of Technology, Finland
07/2002 - present: Senior Staff Scientist and Head of the Department C2, Solid-State Light Sources Max-Born-Institut, Berlin, Germany
09/2002 Habilitation in Experimental Physics Dissertation: New approaches to the Generation and Characterization of Few- Cycle Laser Pulses , Prof. Dr. Ursula Keller
02/1998 - 07/2002 Research Associate Institute of Quantum Electronics,Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland
11/1995 - 12/1997 Postdoctoral Researcher Research Lab of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
04/1995 - 10/1995 Postdoctoral Researcher Institute of Applied Physics, University of Münster, Germany
02/1995 Ph.D. in Physics (with distinction) Dissertation: Pulse Shaping Processes and Optical Turbulence in a Nonlinear Fiber Ring Resonator , Prof. Dr. Fedor Mitschke
05/1992 - 03/1995 Graduate Student Institute of Quantum Optics, Hannover University, Germany
05/1992 - 03/1995 Teaching Assistant (part time, several appointments) Hannover University and Hannover Medical School, Germany
04/1992 Diploma in Physics Diploma thesis: Construction and Application of a Spectrometer for the VUV/XUV Spectral Range Employing a Laser-Induced Plasma Light Source Prof. Dr. Bernd Wellegehausen
08/1987 - 04/1992 Teaching Assistant (part time, several appointments) Institute of Mathematics, Hannover University, Germany
- Rogue waves: will a forecast ever be possible? SPIE Newsroom Online (2016) 1-2
- Noninstantaneous polarization dynamics in dielectric media Optica 2 (2015) 151-157
- GaSb-based SESAM mode-locked Tm:YAG ceramic laser at 2 µm Optics Express 23 (2015) 1361-1369
- Phase retrieval via regularization in self-diffraction-based spectral interferometry Journal of the Optical Society of America B-Optical Physics 32 (2015) 983-992
- Predictability of rogue events Physical Review Letters 114 (2015) 213901/1-5
- Mode-locked Tm,Ho:KLu(WO4)2 laser at 2060 nm using InGaSb-based SESAMs Optics Express 23 (2015) 4614-4619
- Luftiger Laser Physik Journal 2 (2015) 18-19
- Supercontinuum generation as a signal amplifier Optica 2 (2015) 757-764
- Regularization of an autoconvolution problem in ultrashort laser pulse characterization Inverse Problems in Science and Engineering 22 (2014) 245-266
- Adjustable pulse compression scheme for generation of few-cycle pulses in the midinfrared Optics Letters 39 (2014) 2735-2738