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. Phonon-induced valence-charge relocation in cubic BN observed by ultrafast x-ray diffraction

    M. Woerner, S. Priyadarshi, I. González-Vallejo, C. Hauf, K. Reimann, T. Elsaesser

    Ultrafast Phenomena 2022 Optica Publishing Group (2022) Th2B.4/1-2
  2. Phonon-induced relocation of valence charge in boron nitride observed by ultrafast x-ray diffraction

    S. Priyadarshi, I. González-Vallejo, C. Hauf, K. Reimann, M. Woerner, T. Elsaesser

    Physical Review Letters 128 (2022) 136402/1-6
  3. Ultrafast nonlinear phonon response of few-layer hexagonal boron nitride

    T. Kang, J. Zhang, A. Kundu, K. Reimann, M. Woerner, T. Elsaesser, B. Gil, G. Cassabois, C. Flytzanis, G. Fugallo, M. Lazzeri, R. Page, D. Jena

    Physical Review B 104 (2021) L140302/1-6
  4. Mono-cycle terahertz pulses from intersubband shift currents in asymmetric semiconductor quantum wells

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

    Optica 8 (2021) 1638-1641
  5. Two-dimensional terahertz spectroscopy of condensed-phase molecular systems

    K. Reimann, M. Woerner, T. Elsaesser

    Journal of Chemical Physics 154 (2021) 120901/1-14
  6. The origin of terahertz soft-mode nonlinearities in ferroelectric perovskites

    S. Pal, N. Strkalj, C.-J. Yang, M. C. Weber, M. Trassin, M. Woerner, M. Fiebig

    Physical Review X 11 (2021) 021023/1-13
  7. Terahertz polaron oscillations of electrons solvated in liquid water

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

    Physical Review Letters 126 (2021) 097401/1-5
  8. Compact high-flux hard X-ray source driven by femtosecond mid-infrared pulses at a 1 kHz repetition rate

    A. Koç, C. Hauf, M. Woerner, L. von Grafenstein, D. Ueberschaer, M. Bock, U. Griebner, T. Elsaesser

    Optics Letters 46 (2021) 210-213
  9. Two-color two-dimensional terahertz spectroscopy: A new approach for exploring even-order nonlinearities in the nonperturbative regime

    M. Woerner, A. Ghalgaoui, K. Reimann, T. Elsaesser

    Journal of Chemical Physics 154 (2021) 154203/1-9
  10. Frequency upshift of the transverse optical phonon resonance in GaAs by femtosecond electron-hole excitation

    A. Ghalgaoui, K. Reimann, M. Woerner, T. Elsaesser, C. Flytzanis, K. Biermann

    Physical Review Letters 125 (2020) 027401/1-5