MBI Staff Member – Personal info


  • Head of Department C3 "Femtosecond Spectroscopy on Solids"
  • Coordinator of Project 3.2 "Solids and Nanostructures: Electrons, Spins, and Phonons"
  • Coordinator of Project 3.3 "Transient Structures and Imaging with X-rays"


I am interested in ultrafast and nonlinear phenomena in condensed matter, in particular organic and inorganic solids and nanostructures. To this end, I generate and apply ultrashort pulses in a wide spectral range (THz to hard x-ray) to measure the nonequilibrium dynamics of elementary excitations in solids and the ultrafast structural dynamics of crystalline material. Most recent activities are two-dimensional spectroscopy in the THz frequency range (Figure: two phonon coherences in InSb) and femtosecond x-ray absorption experiments using table top high harmonic sources.

Curriculum vitae

1981-1988 Study of physics at the Technical University (TU) of Munich

1988-1991 PhD Work at TU Munich, Physics Department E11 (Prof. W. Kaiser)

1991 Graduation (Dr. rer. nat.) at the TU

1991-1993 Postdoctoral Researcher at the Physics Department E11, TU Munich

1993-1996 Postdoctoral Researcher at the Max-Born-Institute, Berlin

1997 Postdoctoral Researcher at Bell Laboratories (Lucent), Holmdel, NJ, USA

since 1997 Department head of C3 at the Max-Born-Institute, Berlin

1999 Habilitation at the Humboldt University Berlin

Recent highlight(s)

Electric polarization in the macroscopic world and electrons moving at atomic scales

Wiggling atoms switch the electric polarization of crystals

Quantum Swing - a pendulum that moves forward and backwards at the same time

Amplification of Sound Waves at Extreme Frequencies

Hot means slow: Electron plasma oscillations tuned down with light

The longer the better: Optical long-wavelength pulses generate brilliant ultrashort hard x-ray flashes

MBI Publications

  1. Kondo coherence versus superradiance in terahertz radiation-driven heavy-fermion systems

    C.-J. Yang, M. Woerner, O. Stockert, H. v. Löhneysen, J. Kroha, M. Fiebig, S. Pal

    Physical Review B 109 (2024) 235103/1-6
  2. Quantum pathways of carrier and coherent phonon excitation in bismuth

    A. Koç, I. González-Vallejo, Matthias Runge, Ahmed Ghalgaoui, K. Reimann, L. Kremeyer, F. Thiemann, Horn von Hoegen, M., K. Sokolowski-Tinten, M. Woerner, T. Elsaesser

    Physical Review B 107 (2023) L180303/1-6
  3. Nonlinear terahertz polarizability of electrons solvated in a polar liquid

    M. Runge, K. Reimann, M. Woerner, T. Elsaesser

    Physical Review Letters 131 (2023) 166902/1-6
  4. Ultrafast carrier dynamics and symmetry reduction in bismuth by nonperturbative optical excitation in the terahertz range

    M. Runge, A. Ghalgaoui, I. González-Vallejo, F. Thiemann, Horn von Hoegen, M, K. Reimann, M. Woerner, T. Elsaesser

    Physical Review B 107 (2023) 245140/1-10
  5. Femtosecond diffraction with laser-driven hard x-ray sources: Nuclear motions and transient charge densities

    C. Hauf, M. Woerner, T. Elsaesser

    Structural dynamics with x-ray and electron scattering, K. Amini, A. Rouzée, M. J. J. Vrakking (eds.) Royal Society of Chemistry (2023) 126-171
  6. Underdamped longitudinal soft modes in ionic crystallites - lattice and charge motions observed by ultrafast x-ray diffraction

    I. González-Vallejo, A. Koç, K. Reimann, M. Woerner, T. Elsaesser

    Structural Dynamics 9 (2022) 024501/1-10
  7. Field-induced electron generation in water: solvation dynamics and many-body interactions

    M. Woerner, B. P. Fingerhut, T. Elsaesser

    Journal of Physical Chemistry B 126 (2022) 2621-2634
  8. Coherent polaron dynamics of electrons solvated in polar liquids

    P. Singh, J. Zhang, A. Ghalgaoui, K. Reimann, B. P. Fingerhut, M. Woerner, T. Elsaesser

    PNAS Nexus 1 (2022) pgac078/1-8
  9. Underdamped longitudinal soft mode dynamics in KDP observed by ultrafast x-ray diffraction

    I. González-Vallejo, A. Koç, K. Reimann, M. Woerner, T. Elsaesser

    Ultrafast Phenomena 2022 Optica Publishing Group (2022) Th4A.34/1-2
  10. Intersubband shift currents in asymmetric quantum wells as a source of mono-cycle terahertz pulses

    M. Runge, T. Kang, K. Biermann, K. Reimann, M. Woerner, T. Elsaesser

    Ultrafast Phenomena 2022 (2022) Tu5A.3/1-2