Quantum optics is a dynamic research field concerned with the properties of individual quanta of light, called photons, and their interactions with atomic-scale systems. It comprises the fundamental understanding of the basic processes encountered in spectroscopy, the working principle of lasers, as well as applications of quantum light for secure communication, or for interconnecting future quantum computers into quantum networks. RA II covers research on both fundamental quantum optics phenomena and their applications, as well as the development and application of advanced spectroscopic methods. One focus is the investigation of molecules and materials that can serve as quantum light sources and optically addressable quantum bits. Engineered photonic devices are developed to control light-matter interactions.
Devices range from optical microcavities to nanoplasmonic antennas and integrated optical circuits. Expanding theoretical understanding of novel molecules, materials and photonic devices is key to these developments. Advanced spectroscopic methods which can probe sample composition and properties play a crucial role in helping to uncover and characterize novel quantum and nonlinear phenomena in many fields, ranging from molecular photophysics to atmospheric chemistry. Methods developed and applied at KSOP include ultrafast-, remote sensing- and highly spatially resolved spectroscopy. Such advanced spectroscopic techniques are essential for expanding research horizons, e.g., in materials science and nanotechnology.
Future Aims & Goals
Grand goals of this RA are to push the development of quantum communication over large distances, and to realize optically addressable quantum bit registers for quantum computing and quantum information storage, which could serve as building blocks of a future quantum internet. Further, RA II will be devoted to develop spectroscopic and multi-spectroscopic tools for molecular sensing with significantly enhanced spatial- and temporal resolution. Well-defined applications for such high-resolution nanochronoscopic tools also require parallel improvements in sample quality. Here ion- and neutral particle traps offer interesting perspectives, e.g., for controlled gas adsorption, molecular orientation and ultralow temperatures.