MBI Staff Member – Personal info


  • Project Member 1.2 "Ultrafast Laser Physics and Nonlinear Optics"
  • Project Member 3.2 "Solids and Nanostructures: Electrons, Spins, and Phonons"


Spatio-temporal shaping and characterization of ultrashort wavepackets

Ultrafast Nondiffacting Optics and Ultrafast Singular Opticsopen new prospects for the study of fundamental problems of optical physics as well as future applications. For the spatio-temporal shaping and diagnosing few-cycle wavepackets, in particular for the flexible generation of nondiffracting pulses and pulses with orbital angular momentum (OAM), liquid-crystal-on-siilicon spatial light modulators (LCoS-SLMs) and novel types of tunable reflective components are applied. Low-dispersion mirrors and spiral phase plates for few-cycle laser applications are developed and characterized. In proof-of-principle experiments, the application of angular tunable Fresnel mirrors to the adaptive autocorrelation and adaptive self-reconstruction was demonstrated. In analogy to well-known interferometric techniques, the capability of phase shift approaches to improve the resolution is studied. Specific transformations of propagating OAM pulses like spatial oscillations of spectral momenta, temporal aberrations or Guoy effect in sepctral domain are studied in detail. First experimental results were found to be consistent with numerical simulations and extend the classical theory of polychromatic vortex beams to singular light pulses with only few (sub-3) oscillations of the electromagnetic field amplitudes.

Collaboration: Institute of Microsystem Technology (IMTEK), University Freiburg (Prof. Ulrike Wallrabe), FernUniversität Hagen (Prof. Jürgen Jahns), Metrolux, Göttingen (Dr. Carsten Fischer); HoloEye, Berlin (Max Liebmann), FSU Jena (Prof. Frank Wyrowski)

Joint DFG project: MAXWELL-III (GR 1782/16-1, 2019-2021) with IMTEK, U Freiburg

Nonlinear spectroscopy of nanomaterials

Photoluminescence, Second Harmonic Generation (SHG), Third Harmonic Generation (THG) and Kerr effect of semiconductor nanolayers and nanorods (ZnO, TiO2) are studied with sub-3-cycle pulse excitation and single-photon spectroscopy (together with the group of PD Dr. Steinemeyer). 
Tailored hybrid nonlinear nanomaterials are used for plasmon management and localization. The ultrafast dynamics of femtosecond-laser plasmon excitation and nano-feedback processes are analyzed. Pump-probe diffraction experiments are performed with highly sensitive two-dimensional EMCCD detectors. Preliminary results yield essential contributions to the understanding of basic mechanisms of structural changes in materials which are still controversially discussed in literature. The creation of transient Drude metals via single and multiphoton excitation is investigated for semiconducting and dielectric materials (Si, ZnO, TiO2, SiO2).

Collaboration:Dublin City University, Ireland (Prof. Enda McGlynn), University Barcelona, Spain (Prof. Frank Güell),FSU Jena (PD Wolfgang Seeber), Gangadhar Meher University, Sambalpur, India (Prof. Susanta Kumar Das), INNOVENT, Jena (Dr. Andreas Pfuch)

Curriculum vitae

Professional career

  • since 1998 with Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy, Senior Scientist, Group Leader
  • 1993-1998 Light & Art GmbH, Managing Director, projects with polymer fibers and microoptics, collaboration with Lumenyte Corp., USA
  • 1991-1998 Society for the Promotion of Applied Optics, Optoelectronics, Quantum Electronics and Spectroscopy, Berlin, Leader of the Laboratory for Microoptics and Laser Beam Shaping, research projects in collaboration with MBI, small and medium enterprises and Siemens AG, Germany
  • 1986 PhD Thesis at HUB: Experimentelle Untersuchungen zur XeCl-Laser-induzierten stoßfreien UV-Mehrphotonendissoziation ausgewählter organischer und metallorgansicher Moleküle (Experimental investigations of the XeCl-laser induced collision-free UV multiphoton dissociation of selected organic and metal-organic molecules), Supervisor: Prof. Johannes H.Hertz
  • 1982-1991 Central Institute for Optics and Spectroscopy, Academy of Sciences, Berlin
  • 1982 Diploma Thesis at HUB: Untersuchungen der spontanen Emission eines diffusen N2-Laser-Plasmas (Investigations of the spontaneous emission of a diffuse N2-laser plasma)
  • 1977-1982 Humboldt University Berlin (HUB), Study of Physics

Working visits abroad 

  • 2010 Visiting professor at University Barcelona, Spain
  • 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 Laval University, Canada (Prof. Michel Piché) 
  • 2002, 2003 University of Toronto, Canada (Prof. Peter Herman)


  • 2008 International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE)
  • 1997 European Optical Society (EOS)
  • 1995 Optical Society of America (OSA)
  • 1995 WISTA Solar, Founding member
  • 1990 Society for the Promotion of Applioed Optics, Optoelectronics, Quantum Electronics and Spectroscopy, Berlin (GOS), Founding member
  • 1981 German Physical Society (DPG)

Awards, Honors

  • 2021 Outstanding Reviewer 2020 (Pramana, Indian Academy of Sciences)
  • 2019 Fellow Member, SPIE (The International Society for Optics and Photonics)
  • 2015 Senior Member, SPIE (The International Society for Optics and Photonics)
  • 2013 Outstanding Reviewer (Applied Surface Science, Elsevier)
  • 2012 Best Student's Paper Award (ISOT Conference, Paris)
  • 2011 Senior Member, OSA (The Optical Society of America)
  • 1982 Heinrich Gustav Magnus Award (Humboldt University, Berlin)

International Advisory Boards

  • 2012-2015 Centre for Nonlinear Studies (CENS), Estonian Centre of Excellence in Research, Tallinn University of Technology (TUT)

Program Committees and Editorial Boards

  • 2021 Associate Editor (Optics Express, OSA)
  • 2018 Editor, Applied Sciences (MDPI)
  • 2015 Editor, Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group)
  • 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 SPIE Photonics West (Complex Light and Optical Forces)
  • 2011 IQEC/CLEO Pacific Rim (Information Optics, Optical Storage & Displays)
  • 2011 Workshop Nonlinear Nano-Optics (Organizer)
  • 2008 International Photonics Cluster, Summer School, Berlin

Recent highlight(s)

  • Adaptive autocorrelation and self-reconstruction of ultrashort pulses 
  • Spectral and temporal transformation of propagating few-cycle vortex pulses
  • Linear light bullets
  • Application of spectral moments and meta-moments to analyze anomalies in the vicinity of singularities
  • Short wavelength tail effects in multiphoton induced luminescence from ZnO (with the group of Dr. Günter Steinmeyer)
  • Indication of ombined plasmonic-thermal mechanisms of nanostrcuture formation in silicon by fs-pmp-probe diffraction
  • Study of the very initial phase of plasmonic excitation of silicon (reconfiguration of scatterers)
  • Generation of 60-nm structures in ultrathin metal foils by femtosecond laser induced plasmon excitation
  • Nanostructure-enhanced particle acceleration in strong laser fields (with the group of Dr. Matthias Schnürer)
  • Temporally invariant nondiffracting Talbot effect with needle beams
  • Extension of diffractive Talbot self-imaging to vortex beam arrays with orbital angular momentum
  • Spectral Gouy rotation of OAM-encoded vortex pulses, Gouy rotation echoes, control of spectral rotation
  • Statistical tools for spectroscopic mapping, introduction of radial meta-moment
  • Beam propagation and wavefront ambiguities
  • Accelerating needle beams
  • Nondiffracting quantum interference
  • Spatio-temporal focusing



MBI Publications

  1. Generation of propagation-dependent OAM self-torque with chirped spiral gratings

    R. Grunwald, M. Jurke, M. Liebmann, A. Treffer, M. Bock

    Photonics 11 (2024) 11050463/1-15
  2. Characterization of orbital angular momentum beams by polar mapping and Fourier Transform

    R. Grunwald, M. Bock

    Photonics 11 (2024) 1-15
  3. Structuring light by combining spatial modulation and fast angular shaping

    R. Grunwald, M. Jurke, M. Liebmann, M. Bock, B. P. Bruno, H. Gowda, U. Wallrabe

    SPIE Proceedings Series 1243606 (2023) 1243606/1-6
  4. Orbital angular momentum encoded beam tracking and wavefront sensing

    R. Grunwald, M. Jurke, M. Liebmann, M. Bock

    Journal of Lightwave Technology 41 (2023) 2017-2024
  5. High-flexibility control of structured light with combined adaptive optical systems

    R. Grunwald, M. Jurke, M. Bock, M. Liebmann, B. Poyyathuruthy Bruno, H. Gowda, U. Wallrabe

    Photonics 9 (2022) 9010042/1-13
  6. Simultaneous spatio-temporal focusing with pulse front symmetrization

    D. Kühn, A. Treffer, F. Wyrowski, R. Grunwald

    Optics Letters 47 (2022) 750-753
  7. Tailored spectral rotation of vortex pulses by non-uniform spiral phase gratings

    M. Liebmann, A. Treffer, M. Bock, M. Jurke, U. Wallrabe, R. Grunwald

    SPIE Proceedings Series 11701 (2021) 11701V/1-7
  8. Ultrashort vortex pulses with controlled spectral Gouy rotation

    M. Liebmann, A. Treffer, M. Bock, U. Wallrabe, R. Grunwald

    Applied Sciences 10 (2020) 4288/1-14
  9. Micro Fresnel mirror array with individual mirror control

    B. P. Bruno, R. Schütze, R. Grunwald, U. Wallrabe

    Smart Materials & Structure 29 (2020) 075003/1-8
  10. Needle beams: A review

    R. Grunwald, M. Bock

    Advances in Physics X 5 (2020) 1736950/1-25

Other Publications

M. Sakabe, C. Lienau, R. Grunwald (Eds.), Progress in Nonlinear Nano-Optics, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg (2015).

R. Grunwald, Thin-film microoptics - new frontiers of spatio-temporal beam shaping, Elsevier, Amsterdam (2007).

More publications: see Google Scholar