1.1 Fundamentals of Extreme Photonics

Project coordinators: O. Smirnova, B. P. Fingerhut


The aim is time-resolved description of electron dynamics in atoms, molecules, gases and solids triggered by attosecond and/or intense laser pulses. Topics include generation, amplification, and characterization of extreme ultraviolet (XUV) and soft-Xray pulses, description, control and imaging of attosecond electron and coupled electron-hole dynamics using tailored light fields shaped on sub-cycle time-scale, with attosecond and angstrom-scale precision, high harmonic generation and high harmonic spectroscopy of electron dynamics in atoms, molecules, and transparent solids.


The goals of our research are: to explore the opportunities offered by the ubiquitous nature of sub-laser cycle response to strong IR fields for shaping, controlling and imaging quantum matter, to understand the link between topological and chiral dynamical phenomena and to create new concepts for shaping, controlling, and imaging of “oriented” media: media with orbital momentum, spin, and handedness, including efficient chiral discrimination in molecules with optical fields (see viewpoint by Olga Smirnova in Nature Reviews Physics).


This topic focuses on the theory of light-matter interaction in complex quantum photonic systems. Specifically, research in this field aims to discover and investigate novel physical effects, to develop concepts and designs for functional elements (e.g. quantum sensors) and to provide interpretative as well as predictive support for experiments. Starting from fundamental principles, it utilizes a synergic combination of analytical and numerical tools to go beyond the state-of-the-art.


Our aim is the real-time description of ultrafast biomolecular dynamics in condensed liquid phase. Topics include nonadiabatic relaxation dynamics of complex molecular systems and method developments relying on path integral formalism for the description of condensed phase dephasing dynamics.


Our aim is ab-initio description of materials in ground-state as well as excited state. We do parameter free calculations for extended systems-- no input from experiments is used. This gives allows us to be predictive. In order to achieve this we (a) extend theories, (b) implement this into a highly accurate electronic structure code and finally (c) apply this to realistic materials.

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