Research in the Working Groups

Research Areas of the Institute of Quantum Optics

The Institute of Quantum Optics focuses on applied and fundamental research in laser physics and the interaction of light and matter. The systems under investigation range from individual cold atoms and molecules all the way to living biological organisms, such as the eye. The research takes place within eleven distinct research areas focussing on individual aspects of the interaction of light and matter.


Our research focus is the interaction of light and biological tissue, for example, of light and cells. Based on a fundamental understanding of the basic interactions, we develop new techniques, which can be applied in microscopy, stimulation of cells or tissue, or manipulation in tissue.


We study fully guided matter wave interferometers with respect to their applicability to perform inertial measurements in dynamic environments, as required for systems for inertial navigation, as well as a testbed for fundamental physics.


Research activities in the Department of Laser Components are dedicated to complex optical coating systems of highest precision and quality for laser applications and modern optics. The group is also working in field of laser active fibers and maintains a complete chain for the production of specialty fibers for new concepts in laser development and materials research.


Our research focuses on the preparation and study of molecular gases at record-low temperatures of a few hundred Nanokelvin above absolute zero. It is at such low temperatures that quantum mechanics and quantum statistics determines the collective behaviour of the molecular samples.


The group scientific interests span through the following disciplines: laser physics and laser applications, laser nanotechnologies, nanophotonics, biomedical implants and devices, microfluidics, additive manufacturing, and biofabrication, tissue engineering, and laser printing The group is involved in the Excellence Clusters: PhoenixD, QuantumFrontiers, and Rebirth. It has strong cooperation with Medical High School and Industry.   


Ultracold atoms in a Bose-Einstein condensate occupy the same quantum state and
are thus equivalent to light in a laser beam. The group "Quantum Atom Optics"
applies the tools of quantum optics to such matter waves - for the creation of
entanglement, fundamental quantum experiments, and novel interferometry concepts.


By combining spectroscopic techniques with quantum logic methods developed for quantum computation with trapped ions, absolute frequency metrology and coherent control of many-level atoms and molecules is performed. This approach will allow us to improve current limits on fundamental constants and their temporal variation.


Thanks to the precise manipulation possibilities of atomic ensembles by means of the atom-light interaction, highly accurate measurements of a wide range of quantities can be carried out with cold or quantum-degenerate gases. This enables a fascinating variety of experiments, which give us deep insights into quantum mechanics. Based on these findings, we are researching optical atomic clocks and quantum-limited sensors for terrestrial and space-based applications for tests of fundamental theories of modern physics.


Trapped ions are exceptionally well controllable quantum systems. Manipulating them at the level of single quanta using microwaves and lasers enables for the simulation of quantum many body systems and high precision tests of fundamental symmetries of the Standard Model.


Short pulses of laser light enable a fascinating range of experiments including time resolved experiments on the femtoscond scale and the production of laser light in the x-ray spectrum