News

  • March 26, 2020
    MPG Technology Transfer Grant awarded

    short report — The Max Planck Society (Max-Planck Gesellschaft, MPG) has awarded Ioachim Pupeza and his team a »technology transfer« grant, aiming at validating infrared electric-field-resolved spectroscopy (IR-FRS) for gas-phase samples.
    Our team has pioneered the femtosecond-laser-based technologies underlying high-sensitivity IR-FRS of liquid-phase molecular fingerprinting [1]. The new project aims at the demonstration of the potential of the new spectroscopic technology for gaseous samples. In particular, compared to strongly-absorbing liquids, gases afford orders-of-magnitude longer interaction lengths with the excitation radiation. Recirculating a strong, few-cycle femtosecond infrared pulse in a resonant optical cavity (i.e., femtosecond enhancement cavity, fsEC) containing the gaseous sample promises to dramatically improve the limit of detection in gas-phase spectroscopy.
    The goal of optimizing the bandwidth-versus-finesse trade-off in optical resonators ties in with our expertise in the field of fsEC [2,3]. The project builds a bridge connecting basic research on electric-field-resolved spectroscopy and analytical application. In particular, the successful transfer of IR-FRS technology to gaseous samples will benefit biomedical applications pursued at the Laboratory of Attosecond Physics by the BIRD (Broadband Infrared Diagnostics) research group.

     

    [1] I. Pupeza, M. Huber, M. Trubetskov, W. Schweinberger, S.A. Hussain, C. Hofer, K. Fritsch, M. Poetzlberger, L. Vamos, E. Fill, T. Amotchkina, K.V. Kepesidis, A. Apolonski, N. Karpowicz, V. Pervak, O. Pronin, F. Fleischmann, A. Azzeer, M. Zigman, F. Krausz, »Field-resolved infrared spectroscopy of biological systems« (Nature 577, 52-59 (2020))
    [2] N. Lilienfein, C. Hofer, S. Holzberger, C. Matzer, P. Zimmermann, M. Trubetskov, V. Pervak, I. Pupeza, »Enhancement cavities for few-cycle pulses« (Optics Letters 42, 271 (2017)
    [3] N. Lilienfein, C. Hofer, T. Saule, M. Högner, M. Trubetskov, V. Pervak, E. Fill, C. Riek, A. Leitenstorfer, J. Limpert, F. Krausz, I. Pupeza, »Temporal solitons in free-space femtosecond enhancement cavities« (Nature Photonics 13, 214 (2019))

  • March 12, 2020
    FRS paper highlighted by Nature News & Views

    press release — Our recently published paper “Field-resolved infrared spectroscopy of biological systems” [1] has been highlighted in a News & Views article by Andreas Barth [2].
    Read it here: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03866-w
    [1] I. Pupeza, M. Huber, M. Trubetskov, W. Schweinberger, S.A. Hussain, C. Hofer, K. Fritsch, M. Poetzlberger, L. Vamos, E. Fill, T. Amotchkina, K.V. Kepesidis, A. Apolonski, N. Karpowicz, V. Pervak, O. Pronin, F. Fleischmann, A. Azzeer, M. Zigman, F. Krausz, »Field-resolved infrared spectroscopy of biological systems,« Nature 577, 52-59 (2020)
    [2] A. Barth, »Infrared spectroscopy finally sees the light,« Nature 577, 34-35 (2020)
    Figure and text reproduced from Nature News & Views by A. Barth [2]: A fresh approach for obtaining infrared spectra. a, In conventional infrared spectroscopy, molecules are irradiated with infrared light. They absorb certain frequencies of the light, which causes them to vibrate. The signals of interest are the absorption ‘troughs’ in the transmitted light spectrum, but these change the overall intensity of the transmitted light only marginally when the samples are highly diluted, limiting the sensitivity of this technique. b, Pupeza et al. [1] irradiate analytical samples with ultrashort bursts of infrared light, again causing molecules in the sample to vibrate. These vibrations continue after the pulse has ended, and generate infrared radiation, shown here as a ‘tail’ that trails after the pulse. This tail is analysed to determine the infrared spectrum of the molecules. Because the experimental signal is emitted light and is detected directly, this method can be more sensitive than absorption infrared spectroscopy.

  • February 20, 2020
    Outstanding Designer Award

    short report — We congratulate Dr. Michael Trubetskov with three main prizes at the design contest held in the frame of Optical Interference Coatings which is the most scientifical event in the field of thin film optics. The conference is hold once in three years by the Optical Society of America.

  • February 17, 2020
    Fast Lane to the Laser

    short report — To ensure that samples of plasma and serum obtained in the course of the Lasers4Life (L4L) project can be stored under optimal conditions, the BIRD Group recently took delivery of an automated refrigeration system designed for use at liquid-nitrogen temperatures. The new Biobank was installed in BIRD’s own laboratory at LEX Photonics, which minimizes the interval between sample recovery and laser analysis. The consignment, which was delivered on six pallets, consisted of the necessary components and peripherals, as well as a workbench specifically designed for the handling of frozen samples in the laboratory. Deployment of the various components of the new system required the help of a crane.

    Askion’s Hermetic Storage HS200S system is capable of storing approximately 60,000 samples at temperatures below -150°C. Under these ‘cryogenic’ conditions, samples can be kept for 10 or more years without qualitative deterioration.

    In order to maintain the cold chain even during the storage and removal of the samples, the HS200S is equipped with a robotic arm that can perform these tasks at a temperature of approximately -110°C. The dedicated workbench mentioned above facilitates the manipulation of samples at and below these temperatures, and it also provides for the automated freezing of samples in accordance with predetermined temperature profiles.

  • February 14, 2020

    press release — Controlling, shaping, and measuring the electric field of light at sub-cycle regime enhances the depth of our insight into microscopic ultrafast dynamics at femtosecond and attosecond time scale. Our developed laser architecture fulfills these criteria.On the one hand, the system allows to generate optimized, non-sinusoidal pulses with scalable peak and average-power for attosecond pulse generation.On the other hand, the system enabled us to detect the electric field of the absorbed light by water molecules at near infrared spectral range for the first time. The demonstrated control and measurement of the electric field of light at petahertz holds promise to open up new opportunities for precise observation and control of molecular vibrations over the entire molecular fingerprint region down to a few femtosecond time scales.

  • February 10, 2020
    Editor's Pick in Applied Optics Journal

    press release — Powerful and effective numerical methods are required for designing optical coatings. A new family of design algorithms, so called deep search methods has now been developed by the AMP group of the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics. The methods now provide better design solutions for complicated design problems, first of all of laser-related coatings operating in broadband visible, near-infrared, and mid-infrared spectral ranges.
    Abstract: Many existing well-known multilayer design methods are based on so-called greedy algorithms. New deep search algorithms developed for needle optimization, gradual evolution, and design cleaner methods are presented. The algorithms possess machine learning features. The advantages of the deep search methods are demonstrated on a set of examples including the OIC Design Contest 2019.
    Original publication:
    M. Trubetskov: »Deep search methods for multilayer coating design« Applied Optics 59, A75 (2020)

  • February 10, 2020
    Broadband phase-shifting mirrors for ultrafast lasers

    press release — In the frame of collaboration with the group headed by Dr. Martin Schultze, the AMO-group of the Laboratory of Attosecond Physics developed a new laser application of metal-dielectric coatings. By carefully tuning the thickness of the dielectric overcoating, a broad-band phase-shifting metal-dielectric mirror for visible light is demonstrated. Opposed to available achromatic wave plates, which consist of multiple transmissive birefringent plates and therefore often introduce group delay dispersion on the order of multiple tens to hundreds of fs2, the novel optics acts as a quarter-wave plate without introducing group delay dispersion due to its reflective nature. Its capabilities are demonstrated by turning linearly polarized, few-cycle, near-octave spanning visible laser pulses into nearly circularly polarized waveforms without additional dispersion compensation. The mirrors were produced at the Laboratory of Attosecond Physics (AMO group). Ellipsometric measurements were performed by our collaborators from Ruder Boškovic Institute (Zagreb, Croatia). These measurements as well as spectral photometric measurements performed in the AMO group allowed us to carefully characterize Ag and thin Al2O3 films. The mirrors were implemented to the laser setup.
    Abstract: Metal–dielectric phase-shifting multilayer optical elements have been developed, providing broadband, virtually dispersion-free polarization manipulation down to the few-cycle level. These optical elements are Ag/Al2O3 mirrors that operate in the spectral range from 500 to 100 nm, exhibiting reflectance higher than 95%, and a differential phase shift between the s- and p-polarization of about 90° distributed over four bounces. The mirrors have been designed, produced, and reliably characterized based on spectral photometric and ellipsometric data using a non-parametric approach as well as a multi-oscillator model. The optical elements were implemented into a few-cycle laser system, where they transformed linearly polarized few-cycle light pulses to circular polarization.
    Original publication: »Broadband phase-shifting mirrors for ultrafast lasers« (Applied Optics 59, A123 (2020))

  • February 6, 2020

    press release — First steps have been made towards a new light source for ultra-broadband laser pulses in the mid-IR spectral range. A high-power (200 W, 2 mJ) nonlinear thin-disk amplifier serves as a source for 200 fs pulses which are subsequently broadened and compressed to 40 fs in a multi-pass gas cell using the nonlinear effect of self-phase modulation (SPM). The last stage of pulse shortening consists of a high-power argon-filled hollow-core fiber, which has been added to the system recently and is now able to produce a spectral bandwidth of more than 200 nm supporting pulse durations of less than 10 fs. Subsequent conversion of these pulses to the mid-IR using difference frequency generation (DFG) will allow for CEP-stable pulses for attosecond pulse generation.
    Image descr.: High-power hollow-core fiber in operation

  • January 30, 2020
    The first directly diode-pumped KLM Cr:ZnSe oscillator

    short report — The LAP team has achieved the first directly diode-pumped Kerr-lens mode-locked Cr2+-doped II-VI oscillator capable of providing average output powers over 500 mW using a single-emitter diode as the pump source. This development will dramatically reduce the cost — by over 5 times — over existing fiber laser technologies available today.
    The results of the project were presented at the CLEO conference during 2019’s Laser World of Photonics in Munich, and have recently been published in the journal Optics Express1, 2 .
    »With this new class of cost-effective and table-top driver for mid-infrared generation, we have taken a crucial step in providing a more accessible alternative to synchrotron-like infrared radiation,« emphasized Nathalie Nagl, the lead author of the latest publication.
    Accessible mid-infrared (MIR) sources are vital to advancing the numerous promising spectroscopic techniques, such as field-resolved spectroscopy that is also being developed at the LAP. Coherent light in the MIR, also known as the molecular »fingerprint region«, can be used to measure biological samples at unprecedented sensitivities for the early detection of illnesses. With the Lasers4Life project, the LAP team is already involved in one of the largest international clinical trials of infrared spectroscopy for the early detection of cancer.
    The performance of the team’s solution rivals larger, more costly fiber-pumped oscillators by yielding 2.5-times the peak power compared to previous Cr:ZnSe oscillators while still delivering outstanding low-noise performance. The researchers now aim to improve the performance further by shortening the pulse duration and scaling the output power to even higher levels.
    1. https://www.osapublishing.org/oe/abstract.cfm?uri=oe-27-17-24445
    2. https://seminex.com/lmu-munich-and-mpq
    Profile:
    Nathalie Nagl, 26, received her Bachelor Degree in Physics from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in 2015, followed by her Master Degree from the same university in 2017. Her Master project, in the LAP team, focused on the nonlinear spectral broadening and characterization of femtosecond pulses from a Cr:ZnS laser oscillator. She continued her work as a doctoral student and is a member of the International Max Planck Research School of Advanced Photon Science. She has also been awarded a doctoral scholarship by the Bischöfliche Studienförderung Cusanuswerk. Nathalie is now working on the further development of diode-pumped Cr:ZnS/ZnSe laser systems, which will serve as the next-generation driver for spectroscopic applications performed in-house.

  • January 2, 2020

    press release — In cooperation between the Laboratory of Attosecond Physics at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the Centre for Advanced Laser Applications of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, the King Saud University Riad and the Center for Molecular Fingerprinting (Budapest, Hungary), we have developed a molecular spectroscopy technique that overcomes long-standing limitations of traditional techniques, like Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. A powerful femtosecond laser delivers 28 million pulses per second, with highly repeatable waveforms, comprising merely a few infrared-electric-field oscillations. Transmitting these pulses through a complex, molecular sample synchronously excites infrared-active vibrations of molecular bonds, each at its own eigenfrequency. The signals emitted by the vibrationally-excited molecules in the wake of the impulsive excitation coherently add up to a ‘molecular fingerprint’ characteristic of the sample’s molecular composition.
    In contrast to traditional spectroscopies, where the entire response of the sample to an infrared excitation hits the detector(s), in field-resolved spectroscopy sub-optical-cycle portions of the time-domain fingerprint field are sequentially carved out by means of nonlinear optics. This dramatically reduces any infrared background on the measured signals, including the noise originating from the excitation and thermal background. This conceptional advance results in an unprecedented detection sensitivity and dynamic range.We have also demonstrated first biological applications that have so far been beyond the reach of infrared vibrational spectroscopies. These applications include first high-signal-to-noise ratio infrared transmission measurements of living biological tissue and fingerprinting of liquid biopsies with sub-µg/ml sensitivity. Thus, field-resolved spectroscopy promises improved molecular sensitivity and molecular coverage for probing complex, real-world biological and medical settings.

  • December 13, 2019
    Honorary membership for Prof. Krausz

    short report — Prof. Ferenc Krausz has recieved the honorary membership of the Roland Eötvös Physical Society, Budapest. After receiving the membership the laser physicist of the Ludwig-Maximilians University München and the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics held an lecture about how attosecond science technologies can in the future contribute to a new way of finding molecules in human biofluids like blood. This may path the way for medical applications to detect diseases by analyzing so called molecular fingerprints with the help of strong laser light pulses.

  • November 25, 2019

    press release — The AMO group as a part of the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics has for the first time designed and produced Complementary pair of dispersive multilayers operating in the 2-4 µm spectral range. The mirrors comprise layers of Si and SiO2 thin-film materials. The pair exhibits unparalleled reflectance exceeding 99.7% and provides a group delay dispersion of (-200) fs2. The mirrors can be used in Cr:ZnS/Cr:ZnSe femtosecond lasers and amplifiers.
    Our motivation for developing these Complementary pair of dispersive multilayers was the fact that Novel 2.4-µm chromium doped zinc sulfide (Cr:ZnS) high-power lasers are being developed at the Laboratory of Attosecond Physics. The lasers will extend laser output to 3.2 µm. Dispersive mirrors are key elements of these lasers. In order design and produce dispersive mirrors suitable for the spectral region 2-4 µm, Si/SiO2 materials pair was proposed. The combination Si/SiO2 exhibits a high refractive index ratio and allows one to produce broadband dispersive mirrors.
    Original publication:»Complementary Si/SiO2 dispersive mirrors for 2-4 µm spectral range« (Optics Express 27, 34901 (2019))

  • November 1, 2019

    press release — For the first time the AMO-group oft he Laboratory of Attosecond Physics developed Broadband dispersive mirrors operating in the mid-infrared spectral range 6.5-11.5 µm. The team was motivated by the fact, that the key elements of the Field-Resolved Spectroscopy are powerful coherent ultrashort infrared pulses exciting molecular vibrations. The shorter the pulse, the better is the separation of the temporal fingerprint specific for the molecules in the sample from the non-resonant part of the response. To obtain such short pulses in mid-infrared range, broadband dispersive mirrors compensating GD/GDD accumulated in the ZnSe windows of the liquid cells as well as additional phase modulation in the system.
    Abstract of the paper: Broadband dispersive mirrors operating in the mid-infrared spectral range 6.5-11.5 µm are developed for the first time. The mirrors comprise Ge and YbF3 layers which have not been used before for manufacturing of multilayer dispersive optics. The design and production processes are described; mechanical stresses of the coatings are estimated based on experimental data; spectral and phase properties of the produced mirrors are measured. The mirrors compensate group delay dispersion of ultrashort laser pulses accumulated by propagation through 4 mm-ZnSe windows and additional residual phase modulation of an ultrashort laser pulse.
    Original publication: »Broadband dispersive Ge/YbF3 mirrors for mid-infrared spectral range« (Optics Letters 44, 5210 (2019))

  • August 23, 2019
    News about NIR-MIR mirrors

    short report — AMO group will give an invited talk on Advance Solid State Lasers Conference in Vienna, Austria. Dr. Vladimir Pervak, member of the Laboratory of Attosecond Physics (LAP) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU), will speak about new developed NIR-MIR mirrors. The talk has the title "Octave spanning dispersive mirror in NIR and MIR". Date: Tuesday, October 1st, at 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM. We are looking forward to see you there.

    More information:https://www.osa.org/en-us/meetings/osa_meetings/laser_congress/program/invited_speakers/

  • August 5, 2019
    A dream coming true

    short report — For Hadil it’s a dream come true. She is now directly involved in the development of a new optical amplifier, which will generate pulses of laser light with higher energies than have been attainable up to now. But her path to a PhD project at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics was anything but straightforward. Hadil is a thoughtful and reflective person, who has succeeded against all the odds in retaining her optimism. Hadil was born and raised in the Syrian city of Aleppo, and studied electronic engineering there. “I had long dreamt of doing a Master’s thesis abroad, because opportunities to carry out research in Syria are very limited,” she says. But she also understood that her wish to study abroad would be difficult to realize. She was reminded again and again that just obtaining a visa would be almost impossible. “During my BSc studies I had become fascinated with photonics, but there are no specialist courses in photonics available in Syria,” she explains. Despite of these obstacles, photonics always remained at the back of her mind.

    Her decision to focus on natural science in her last years in high school was already linked to the intention to learn skills that would be useful to society. And her subsequent choice of electronic engineering at university was also largely the outcome of rational consideration. For a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering would open up a range of options for a Master’s thesis and provide access to many professional careers. Her boyfriend, whom she had met at university, had by this time obtained a job as an electronic engineer in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi-Arabia. When war broke out in Syria in 2011, and life in Aleppo became more and more hazardous, Hadil moved to Riyadh to join him in the end of 2012. Once she arrived in Saudi Arabia, they married “I wanted to work in science,” she says. But owing to the segregation of the sexes, the restricted role of women in the public sphere and the preferential allocation of university places to Saudis, she was unable to find anything suitable. She ended up teaching children in mathematics and physics. Indeed, apart from the odd trip to a shopping centre, the taxi rides to the homes of her pupils were the only times she was able to leave her apartment. “I was not at all happy with this situation,” she recalls.

    Under these circumstances, it’s no wonder that her still unrealized dream was revived. The vague notion of ‘abroad’ became more concrete, and she decided she would try to go to Germany. “The Master’s programs here are very good, and the focus on photonics and laser sciences means that the prospects of getting an interesting job in the field are very promising,” she says. In recent years, it has become particularly difficult for Syrians to obtain a visa. To demonstrate her personal commitment, Hadil learned German for a year, but she applied for admission to Master’s programs at universities in Canada and Germany. She ultimately chose to enroll in the Master’s Program in Advanced Optical Technologies at the Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) in Erlangen-Nürnberg and obtained the vital visa. Once settled in, she began to explore the foothills of the Allgäu and the foothills of the Alps. In the meantime, Hadil wants to expand the radius. I want to see all of the Alps! I love the Alpine landscape.

    In the course of her Master’s project on optical amplifiers, she worked for Dausinger + Giesen in Stuttgart on a system that is based on thin-disk laser technology, and her subsequent application for a doctoral fellowship in the Thin-Disk Laser Technology Group led by Professor Ferenc Krausz was successful. Hadil has now been at the MPQ since June, and is now working on an amplifier that will further enhance the energy of pulsed laser light without compromising pulse duration, repetition rate or beam quality.

    Hadil’s parents have always supported her, not only in her wish to study science and her decision to go abroad to further her career. Above all they are in agreement with her desire to choose her own way of life. Her mother was a schoolteacher and continued to do so after the births of her children. Hadil herself rejects the notion of the subservient role of women that remains dominant in Syrian society. “It is still the case that most female graduates marry and start families as soon as they have their Bachelor’s degree.” But she emphatically rejects this view: “I find it much easier to identify with the high degree of equality accorded to women in Germany,” she says. During her own university career, about one-fifth of her fellow-students were women, both in Aleppo and at the FAU. – And she never experienced any discrimination at either university. The differences that stuck her most lay in the superior standard of laboratory facilities in Germany. She very much appreciates the opportunities she has here, and she does not want to go into detail concerning the instances of discrimination she has experienced as an Arab in Germany. After all, there is discrimination everywhere, including Syria, she remarks.

    Hadil finds it much more important to improve her knowledge of German. In addition, she greatly enjoys cooking and is interested in classical music. If ever she finds the time, she would love to learn to play the cello. She hasn’t had time to think of what will come after her PhD, and is content to wait and see what will turn up. But she would very much like to stay in Bavaria, where there are lots of opportunities in laser physics and in the business sector. Apart from such considerations, after her experiences in war-torn Aleppo and her unhappy time in Saudi Arabia, she has found a huge sense of freedom in her new home: “Bavaria will always be in my heart,” she says.

  • July 31, 2019
    HFS team distinguished at Light Conference 2019

    short report — The HFS group and their colleagues were awarded with the prize “Rising stars of light” on the Light Conference 2019 in Changchun, China. The team was honoured with the second prize for their outstanding presentation of their work “Mode-locking beyond the emission bandwith limit”.

  • July 23, 2019

    press release — Our knowledge of how electrons behave in atoms and molecules is steadily increasing. This is largely due to the advances in attosecond physics that have taken place over the past two decades. Professor Ferenc Krausz was one of the pioneers in this young field. Indeed, he was the first to break into the attosecond domain, generating pulses of light with sub-femtosecond durations in 2001. Such ultrashort flashes can be used to study the ultrafast dynamics of electrons within atoms. Krausz has now published a book that traces the development of attosecond physics.

  • July 15, 2019

    press release — The researchers and technicians involved in the Lasers4Life Project (L4L) recently welcomed a new member to the team. Since March, a pipetting robot has taken on the task of processing blood samples for subsequent analysis with an infrared laser. The outcome of such an analysis is a ‘molecular fingerprint’ of the metabolic products present in the sample, which are expected to differ between healthy donors and patients who are ill. Based on these differences, L4L researchers hope to develop a new analytical test for the early diagnosis of cancers.

  • July 1, 2019
    The AMO group in Albuquerque

    short report — AMO group has actively participated at the Optical Interference Coatings 2019 Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, 02-07 June 2019. Since forty years, the OIC conference has been serving as the main world-leading conference in the field of optical interference coatings. The group presented three oral presentations. The first one dealt with Laser-Related Broadband Dichroic Filters Based on Ge/YbF3 and ZnS/YbF3 Thin-Film Materials. The second one was held about Broadband Phase-Shifting Mirrors for Ultrafast Lasers. And the third one broached the issue of Broadband Si/SiO2 Dispersive Mirrors For Ultrafast Mid-Infrared Lasers. In addition, Dr. Vladimir Pervak was a co-organizer of the design contest and give a short course on Sunday afternoon in the frame of the OIC Conference. He had an invited talk "Results of the OIC 2019 Design Problem Contest"Internet: https://www.osa.org/en-us/meetings/topical_meetings/optical_interference_coatings

  • February 21, 2019

    press release — Researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics in Garching have built the first-ever laser-driven particle accelerator that can generate pairs of electron beams with different energies.

  • November 12, 2018
    Expert for Blood Samples

    short report — At the beginning of October Dr. Frank Fleischmann joined the Broadband Infrared Diagnostics (BIRD) team led by Dr. Mihaela Zigman. Fleischmann began his career in biology as a botanist, but later switched to medical research. Before taking up his present position as a member of the BIRD team, he worked for a commercial provider of genetic tests, including the genotyping of cancer patients, for example. Fleischmann’s role in the BIRD team is akin to that of an archivist. He is responsible for the cataloging and storage of blood samples. Needless to say, accurate documentation and painstaking handling of test samples are of fundamental importance in medical research. After all, its ultimate goal is to produce a therapeutic agent or procedure that will be used to treat real patients every day. Fleischmann is also in charge of the database specially developed for the Lasers4Life project, and meticulously documents everything done with each and every one of the vital samples in his care.At the moment, the samples of blood plasma and the sera obtained from them are being stored at a temperature of −80°C. However, even this temperature is not low enough for long-term storage of such samples, as slow ice recrystallization alters their consistency, and after a certain time they have to be discarded. Fleischmann is working on an automated cooling system based on liquid nitrogen as the refrigerant, which will allow the samples to be kept at temperatures as low as −180°C. This is sufficiently cold to inhibit ice recrystallization in the liquid – and under these conditions, the constituents of the various blood fractions will remain unchanged for decades. Thus, as even more advanced methods of laser spectroscopy are developed in the future, the new system will enable the BIRD team to re-examine the samples already collected.

  • October 31, 2018
    Congratulations 2018 Physics Nobel Prize Winners

    short report — The LAP team warmly congratulates Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland on winning the 2018 Physics Nobel Prize! Our colleagues are being honored for their ground-breaking inventions in laser physics. Arthur Ashkin is being awarded the prize for the development of optical tweezers and its application in biological systems and Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland for their method of producing ultra-short, high-intensity optical pulses. The latter is a technique that we use daily and are developing further in our laboratories. Ultra-short pulse laser physics represents a focal point of our research and we are honored that such importance is being attached to this area of expertise.

  • October 22, 2018
    Doctoral scholarship for Nathalie Nagl

    short report — Nathalie Nagl has been awarded a doctoral scholarship by the Bischöfliche Studienförderung Cusanuswerk. She has already written her master’s thesis in Dr. Oleg Pronin’s group in the LAP team and can now continue her work as a doctoral student. Nathalie is working on a new, pulsed laser light source that emits near-infrared radiation. It uses a Cr:ZnSe crystal as a laser medium, as well as novel diodes, which are needed to pump the crystal. The system is designed to detect specific molecules in biological samples. The molecules that researchers are interested in are often very weakly concentrated and thus difficult to find. For this reason, the laser source used must produce as little noise as possible and send out extreme strong light at very specific frequencies.  Molecules each react only to a well-defined frequency of light.Nathalie now wants to push the laser deeper into the infrared range. This could make it possible to detect an even wider range of molecules.

  • August 20, 2018

    short report — Junior researchers at LMU Munich are also actively involved in the Lasers4Life project. One of them is Maša Bozič. As part of her Master’s project, she is using visible light to analyse blood samples, before they are examined with the newly developed near-infrared laser.

  • July 12, 2018
    Important visitor from Hungary

    short report — An Important visitor made an appearance at the Center for Advanced Laser Applications and the Laboratory for Extreme Photonics last Friday. Dr. László Palkovics, Minister for Innovation and Technology was on the research campus in Garching and visited the two laser research facilities at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität.While there, he received a tour of the large laser systems in the laboratories from Professor Ferenc Krausz and Dr. Andreas Döpp. The minister was particularly impressed by the enormous developments that laser technology has made in recent years and the associated opportunities for their use in medicine. Of particular interest for him, was the BIRD project and its blood analysis using laser light. Collaboration with clinics in Hungary in the framework of the project is currently being planned.

  • July 3, 2018
    Summer school students

    short report — The Laboratory of Attosecond Physics (LAP) at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität is hosting guests from Saudi Arabia this summer. For one month Abdullah Ali Alshehri, Ibrahim Abdullah Almuhanna, Rayan Khalid Alzahrani, Lamyaa Alasim and Saleha Mansour Alshalwi will be completing the Summer School for Quantum Optics in the LAP team’s research groups. All five participants are studying physics. The summer school is a joint project of the LAP team and the King Saud University in Riyadh. At the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, the students will work in the laboratories, as well as attend lectures and round table discussions with senior scientists. We wish them a successful and eventful stay here!

  • June 22, 2018

    short report — IMPRS-APS offers young researchers a unique combination of education and training opportunities in the physics and technology of photon sources and their advanced application in physics, chemistry and biology.
    This year´s application round will be open until July 30th, 2018.

  • June 14, 2018
    Blood donation for cancer research

    short report — A blood donation campaign will be organized on the 14th and 15th of June, 2018 within the framework of the »Lasers 4 Life« project. Please take part!
    For more information, visit: https://www.lasers4life.de

  • June 8, 2018
    A new member of the Elisabeth Schiemann Kolleg

    short report — Dr. Hanieh Fattahi was selected as the member of the Elisabeth-Schiemann-Kolleg of the Max Planck Society. "You are one of the new excellent scientists selected by the members of the Kolleg," writes Director and Speaker of the Elisabeth Schiemann Kolleg Prof. Dr. Katharina Landfester.

  • May 17, 2018
    Two invited talks at the SPIE Conference

    short report — Our group presented two invited talks at the recent SPIE Conference »Optical Systems Design«, Frankfurt am Main, 14-17 May 2018 <br>1. Tatiana Amotchkina, Michael Trubetskov, Vladimir Pervak, Optical and mechanical properties of layers typically used in the mid-infrared spectral range (the talk was given by Tatiana Amotchkina).
    2. Vladimir Pervak, Michael Trubetskov, Tatiana Amotchkina, Oleg Pronin, Ka Fai Mak and Ferenc Krausz, Broadband Si/SiO2 dispersive mirrors for the 2-3.2 µm spectral range (the talk was given by Vladimir Pervak).

  • April 23, 2018

    press release — Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of health. Researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) – a joint venture between Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) in Garching near Munich – want to use brilliant infrared light to study molecular disease markers in much greater detail, for example to facilitate early stage cancer diagnosis. The team has developed a powerful femtosecond light source which emits at wavelengths between 1.6 and 10.2 micrometers. This instrument should make it possible to detect organic molecules present in extremely low concentrations in blood or aspirated air.

  • April 17, 2018

    press release — Researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU), the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have taken a major step towards the clinical application of a new laser-based source of X-rays. They recently demonstrated that the instrument enables the tomographic reconstruction of the three-dimensional fine structure of a bone sample within a few minutes. Up to now, laser-based measurements of this sort took several hours. The breakthrough was made possible by the further development of ATLAS, the high-performance laser in LMU’s Laboratory for Extreme Photonics (LEX Photonics) der LMU on the Research Campus in Garching. Reconstruction of the sample from the imaging data was also facilitated by the use of specially designed computer programmes.

  • April 12, 2018

    press release — Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort light pulses in the infrared and visible regions of the spectrum. Extremely high-energy laser pulses, each lasting for a few femtoseconds, have made spectacular experiments possible, which have in turn yielded revolutionary insights. Above all, the growth in understanding of the interaction between light and electrons opens up entirely new prospects for the future of electronics. In the journal Review of Modern Physics (10 April 2018), Dr. Stanislav Kruchinin, Prof. Ferenc Krausz and Dr. Vladislav Yakovlev from the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ)) in Munich, provide a timely overview of current research in ultrafast solid-state physics. They describe recent breakthroughs and take a look at what we can expect from the field in the coming years.

  • April 9, 2018
    We congratulate Marcus Seidel with the successful PhD defense

    graduation — The PhD title is "A new generation of high-power, waveform controlled, few-cycle light sources".

  • March 26, 2018
    High-reflectance broadband infrared dispersive mirrors

    short report — For the first time, broadband infrared dispersive mirrors exhibiting reflectance exceeding 99.6% and providing group-delay dispersion of -100 fs2 and -200 fs2 in the spectral range from 2 to 3.2 µm have been designed and produced in our group. The dispersive mirrors, based on Si/SiO2 thin-film materials, are key optical elements for mode-locked Cr:ZnS and Cr:ZnSe oscillators and pave the way for the development of ultrafast optics operating in the mid-infrared spectral range.

  • March 26, 2018
    Front cover: Infrared lasers

    short report — In article number 1700273, Jinwei Zhang and co‐workers investigate two different gain materials — Tm:YAG and Ho:YAG — in thin‐disk configuration. Using a 72‐pass pump cavity, thin‐disk lasers with high powers and optical‐to‐optical efficiencies at 2 µm are realized, paving the way for further scaling of power towards kW‐level based on thin‐disk technology. The image was made and processed by Thorsten Naeser, Dennis Luck, and Kilian Fritsch together with the authors of this manuscript.

  • March 19, 2018
    A new editor of Optics Letters

    short report — Dr. Tatiana Amotchkina has reached a strong international reputation in the research field of thin films and multilayer coatings allowing her to be invited to the Board of Editors of Optics Letters journal. Her significant record of publications in peer reviewed high quality journals, track records in the scientific carrier as well as excellent many-years reviewing activities form a good basis for the editorial responsibilities.

  • March 7, 2018
    Dr. Moritz Ueffing

    graduation — Moritz Ueffing has defended his doctoral thesis: Direct Amplification of Femtosecond Pulses.

  • February 23, 2018
    Student's visit of CALA labs

    short report — Students from LMU today visited our lab and got a short impression of state-of-the-art high-power laser development in CALA. Our visitors have been attending the 3rd term lecture on optics and were invited to visit different labs at both LMU and MPQ.

  • February 23, 2018

    press release — Infrared light has a keen sense for molecules. With the help of this light, researchers are able to go in search of the small particles which shape and determine our lives. The phenomenon, in which infrared light sets molecules in vibration, is pivotal in this search. Scientists are exploiting this phenomenon by using infrared light to analyze the molecular makeup of samples. In the hope that this analysis can become even more exact, the laser physicists from the Laboratory of Attosecond Physics (LAP) at the Ludwig-MaximiliansUniversität(LMU) Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) have developed an infrared light source that has an enormously broad spectrum of wavelengths. This light source is the first of its kind worldwide and can be used to help detect the smallest amounts of molecules in liquids like blood.

  • January 31, 2018

    press release — In their experiments, the group fired a powerful laser pulse at a micrometer-sized plastic sphere, blasting a bunch of protons from the target and accelerating them to velocities approaching the speed of light. The resulting velocity distribution is much narrower than that obtained when thin metal foils are used as targets.

  • December 20, 2017
    Xmas Celebration 2017

    short report — Laser goggles on and ready for attosecond and femtosecond challenges in 2018. Attosecond team (ATTO) and us celebrated Xmas holidays together.

  • October 22, 2017
    Wine gums, balloons and a tour of CALA

    short report — Open Day this year drew a crowd of approximately 11,000 to the Research Campus in Garching, and for the first time visitors had access to the new Centre for Advanced Laser Applications (CALA). On guided tours of the new facility, CALA’s guests were informed about the experiments that will be carried out at the Center, and were treated to a mesmerizing laser light show.Visitors also took part in an aeronautical experiment, releasing a host of balloons from a take-off point in front of the building. The person who launched the ‘farthest flier’ can look forward to free tickets for the German Museum. Colour was also the order of the day at the Institute for Advanced Studies. In the space set aside for exhibitions, two dedicated members of Photonlab (our laser laboratory for school students) had painstakingly constructed a wave generator, using the unlikely combination of sticky tape, kebab skewers and – jellybabies. This inventive masterpiece was a particularly big hit with our youngest visitors. Needless to say, not all the jellybeans survived!

  • August 17, 2017
    Cross-polarized, multi-octave supercontinuum generation

    short report — We celebrated the recently published work of Haochuan, in a Chinese restaurant. The work discusses the enhancement of the Kerr nonlinearity through a second order cascaded process. This nonlinearity enhancement relaxes the requirement on the laser's peak power in variety of nonlinear process like supercontinuum generation.

  • July 31, 2017
    Ayman Alismail's work is featured in a 10-min video

    short report — An Yb:YAG, thin-disk amplifier developed by Ayman Alismail in the group of Dr. Hanieh Fattahi has been featured in a 10 min video by the Journal of Visualized Experiments. The video can be found here.

  • July 25, 2017
    We thank our volunteers

    short report — We have successfully completed the collection of samples for our small longitudinal study in Garching to evaluate the inter-personal and intra-personal variability of molecular fingerprints.We would like to thank all the contributors and invite them all to a party on Friday, July 28th!

  • July 25, 2017
    Joint clinical studies with three LMU clinics have taken off!

    short report — We develop a new infrared laser molecular fingerprinting to detect breast cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer from blood samples. Joint clinical studies in collaboration with three clinics at the LMU (Breast Cancer Center, Comprehensive Pneumology Center / Asklepios Clinic and Urology Clinics) have started in July 2017.

  • June 7, 2017
    Meet us at CLEO Europe 2017 in Munich!

    short report — Meet us at CLEO Europe 2017 in Munich!  We have 5 oral contributions. Among those are one invited talk and two post-deadline contributions. The full list of contributions:
    1. J. Zhang, et al., »Kerr-lens mode-locked Ho:YAG thin-disk oscillator at 2.1 µm«, upgraded to invited talk CA-5.5 on Monday.
    2. J. Zhang et al., »7-W, 2-cycle self-compressed pulses at 2.1 micron from a Ho:YAG thin disk laser oscillator,«CLEO Europe, post-deadline talk PD-1.5 on Wednesday.
    3. K. Fritsch, J. Brons, M. Poetzlberger, V. Pervak, F. Krausz, and O. Pronin »Fiber free all solid multipass spectral broadening down to 10 fs Fourier Limit,« CLEO Europe, post-deadline talk PD-1.7 on Wednesday.
    4. J. Brons et al., »Efficient, high-power, all-bulk spectral broadening in a quasi-waveguide«, talk CF-9.4 on Wednesday.
    5. M. Poetzlberger et al., »Towards Active Multipass Kerr-lens Mode-locked Yb:YAG thin-disk Oscillators«, talk CA-7.2 on Monday.

  • May 4, 2017
    SNSF fellowship for Liudmila Voronina!

    short report — We congratulate Liudmila (Lucy) Voronina on having her Early Postdoc. Mobilityfellowship funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) so she can tackle her research on »Field-Resolved Infrared Spectroscopy And Liquid Chromatography Brought Together For Cancer Diagnostics«. Lucy recently joined the Laser Fingerprinting team analysing living systems in Prof. Krausz's department at LMU. She is eager to employ her background in structural analysis of biomolecules and merge it with laser fingerprinting to address real-world biomedical problems relevant to cancer detection.

  • May 3, 2017
    We introduce Sigrid Auweter!

    short report — Dr. Sigrid Auweter (Siggi) is heading a small team located at the LMU Clinic, coordinating and controlling the clinical studies with internal and external clinical partners. She is managing and coordinating collaborative efforts with specialized medical doctors and study nurses involved in the project and helping in the design as well as organization of medical sample collection.