MBI Staff Member – Personal info


Principal Investigator, ERC Advanced Grant BIOVIB

Director emeritus, Max-Born-Institut für Nichtlineare Optik
und Kurzzeitspektroskopie im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

Professor emeritus for Experimental Physics at the
Humboldt Universität zu Berlin


Ultrafast phenomena in condensed matter, in particular molecular liquids, polyatomic molecules, organic and inorganic solids and nanostructures:

  • Generation and application of ultrashort pulses in a wide spectral range (THz to hard x-ray),
  • Nonequilibrium dynamics of elementary excitations in solids, coherent charge transport,
  • Ultrafast vibrational processes in hydrogen bonds and other molecular systems,
  • Ultrafast x-ray diffraction.

Curriculum vitae

since 2019Principal Investigator, ERC Advanced Grant BIOVIB


C4/W3-S-Professor for Experimental Physics at the Humboldt University
1993-2022Director at the Max-Born-Institute
1991Habilitation in Physics at the Technical University of Munich
1990Postdoctoral research at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, NJ, USA
1986-1993Research associate (Akademischer Rat and Oberrat) at the Physics Dept. E11
1982-1986PhD work at the Physics Department E11 of the Technical University of Munich (Prof. W. Kaiser). Thesis on 'Picosecond infrared spectroscopy of molecules and semiconductors'
1982Diplom in Physics, Technical University of Munich
1979Vordiplom in Physics, University of Heidelberg
1957born in Tübingen, Germany

Honors and awards

2022Ahmed Zewail Award for Ultrafast Science and Technology (American Chemical Society) 
2022Visiting Professor SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, CA
2019ERC Advanced Grant BIOVIB
2019Chercheur invité international at Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris (Physics Dept.)
2017Professeur invité at Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris (Physics Dept.)
2017Outstanding Referee American Physical Society
2017Guest Editor, Chemical Reviews (American Chemical Society): Ultrafast Processes in Chemistry
2016Ellis R. Lippincott Award (Optical Society, Coblentz Society, Society for Applied Spectroscopy)
2015TRVS Lifetime Achievement Award (Int. Conference on Time-Resolved Vibrational Spectroscopy)
2012Professeur invité at Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris (Physics Dept.)
2012Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics
2012George Fisher Baker Lectureship Symposium on Water, Cornell University, USA
2011Fellow of the American Physical Society
2010Innovation Prize Berlin Brandenburg for femtosecond x-ray plasma source,
Institute for Scientific Instruments GmbH, Berlin-Adlershof, and MBI
2010Regular Member Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences
2009ERC Advanced Grant ULTRADYNE
2009Morino Lecturer for Chemical Physics (Morino Foundation, Japan)
2009Fellow of the Optical Society of America
2006Lecturer, Frontiers in Chemical Research, Texas A&M University
2006Karl Friedrich Bonhoeffer Lecture, MPI f. Biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen
2004Professeur invité at Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris (Chemistry Dept.)
2003Lecturer, Swiss Graduate Schools in Chemistry, Convention intercantonale romande
1995Otto-Klung-Prize in Physics (Otto Klung Foundation)
1991Rudolf-Kaiser-Prize (Stifterverband/Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft)
1986Prize for the best PhD thesis in physics (Bund der Freunde TU Munich)

Professional Affiliations

  • Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft
  • American Physical Society
  • Gesellschaft Deutscher Naturforscher und Ärzte (GDNÄ)


Professional Service

  • Secretary of the Mathematics and Science Class, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Max-Planck-Institute for Quantum Optics, Garching
  • Chair of the International Advisory Committee, Conference on Time-Resolved Vibrational Spectroscopy (TRVS)
  • Associate Editor, Science Advances (AAAS)
  • Associate Editor, Structural Dynamics (AIP) 
  • Member, Editorial Board Chemical Physics Letters
  • Member Standing Committee for the Evaluation of Max Planck Centers, Max Planck Society (2021-2023)
  • Member, FXE Proposal Review Panel, European XFEL (2017-2023)
  • Member, Scientific Policy Committee SLAC, Menlo Park (2017-2022)
  • Elected Member, Management Board GDNÄ (2015-2022)
  • Member, LCLS Proposal Review Panel for Hard Condensed Matter (2015-2021)
  • Chair, Prize Committee Ellis R Lippincott Award, OSA (2016-2018)
  • Member, Editorial Board, The Journal of Chemical Physics, AIP (2015-2017)
  • Divisional Associate Editor, Physical Review Letters (2009-2015)
  • Member, Editorial Board New Journal of Physics (2009-2014)
  • Member, Editorial Board Chemical Physics (2001-2014)
  • Conference Chair, International Conference on Ultrafast Structural Dynamics 2012, Berlin
  • Organizer, 6th International Conference on Coherent Multidimensional Spectroscopy (CMDS 2012), Berlin
  • Vertrauensdozent of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (2007-2013)
  • Member, Editorial Board Applied Physics A (1996-2011)
  • Member, Steering Committee, ESF Network DYNA: Ultrafast structural dynamics in physics,
  • chemistry, biology and materials science (2005-2010)
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Board PULSE, Stanford, USA (2008-2009)
  • Director at large, Optical Society of America (2007-2009)
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Board ELBE (free electron laser, FZ Rossendorf, 2004-2009)
  • Coordinator, DFG Topical Research Program 1134 'Ultrafast x-ray diffraction' (2002-2008)
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Board BESSY (2004-2008)
  • Member, Beamtime Committee BESSY (2005-2008)
  • Member, Facility Access Panel, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot, UK (2003-2008)
  • Member, Apparateausschuss Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, 2001-2006)
  • Member of numerous program and advisory committees of international conferences
  • General Chair, Ultrafast Phenomena XII, Charleston 2000
  • Program Chair, Ultrafast Phenomena XI, Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1998
  • Organizer, HCIS-10, Nonequilibrium Carrier Dynamics in Semiconductors, Berlin 1997
  • Member, Steering Committee, ESF Network ULTRA: Femtochemistry and Femtobiology (2000-2003)
  • Member, Committee Ellis R. Lippincott Award (Optical Society of America, 2002-2004)
  • Member, Committee Gustav-Hertz-Prize (Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, 1997-2002)
  • Topical Editor Ultrafast Phenomena, Journal of the Optical Society of America B, 1995-2000
  • Chairman of Sektion D, Leibniz-Gemeinschaft, 1998-1999
  • Member, Quantum Electronics Division, European Physical Society, 1995-1998

More than 500 publications in refereed journals and books, 6 patents, more than 400 invited talks at conferences, colloquia, and seminars.

MBI Publications

  1. Polarization-mode dynamics in strained 1.3 µm InGaAsP/InP lasers under picosecond current modulation

    A. Klehr, R. Müller, P. Enders, M. Voss, T. Elsaesser

    Opt. Commun. 118 (1995) 323-328
  2. The role of coherence in the photogeneration process of hot carriers

    T. Kuhn, F. Rossi, A. Leitenstorfer, A. Lohner, T. Elsaesser, W. Klein, G. Boehm, G. Traenkle, G. Weimann

    Hot Carriers Semiconductors IX Plenum, New York (1995) 199-205
  3. Resonance Raman studies of heterocyclic aromatic compounds showing ultrafast intramolecular proton transfer

    M. Pfeiffer, K. Lenz, A. Lau, T. Elsaesser

    J. of Raman Spectrosc. 26 (1995) 607-615
  4. Stimulated emission in multi-valley lead salts with star degeneracy lifted by strain and magnetic fields

    J.W. Tomm, K.H. Herrmann, S. Haertle, T. Kelz, M. Mocker, T. Elsaesser, R. Klann, V.B. Novikov, V.G. Talalaev, V.E. Todorovskii, H. Böttner

    Inst. Phys. Conf. Ser. 144 (1995) 135-139
  5. Threshold of stimulated emission in multi-valley lead salts

    J.W. Tomm, M. Mocker, T. Kelz, T. Elsaesser, R. Klann, B.V. Novikov, V.G. Talalaev, V.E. Tudorovskii, H. Böttner

    Journal of Applied Physics 78 (1995) 7247-7254
  6. Ultrafast thermalization of nonequilibrium hole plasma in p-type tetrahedral semiconductors

    M. Woerner, T. Elsaesser

    Phys. Rev. B 51 (1995) 17490-17498
  7. Femtosecond intramolecular proton transfer in the condensed phase

    T. Elsaesser

    Femtosecond Chemistry Verlag Chemie, Weinheim (1995) 563-579
  8. Femtosecond studies of vibrationally hot molecules produced by intramolecular proton transfer in the excited state

    C. Chudoba, S. Lutgen, T. Jentzsch, E. Riedle, M. Woerner, T. Elsaesser

    Chemical Physics Letters 240 (1995) 35-41
  9. Generation of 16 fs pulses at 425 nm by extracavity frequency doubling of a mode-locked Ti:sapphire laser

    S.H. Ashworth, M. Joschko, M. Woerner, E. Riedle, T. Elsaesser

    Opt. Lett. 20 (1995) 2120-2122
  10. Femtosecond intramolecular proton transfer in hydrogen bonded systems

    T. Elsaesser

    Ultrafast Reaction Dynamics and Solvent Effects American Institute of Physics, New York (1994) 240-254