How do the building blocks of matter move after irradiation with very short and intense laser pulses and can this movement be controlled and made use of?

To do this, we illuminate the matter with extremely short laser pulses in the quadrillionth part of a second and watch the ultrafast dynamics with stroboscopic methods in slow motion (femtosecond spectroscopy). Using optical synthesizer, we shape the laser light in time and can thus control the ultrafast dynamics (ultra-fast laser control) by customizing the energy transfer.

The span of our investigation ranges from free electrons, atoms and molecules in the gas phase to dye molecules and colloidal quantum dots in solution, as well as excitation and removal (ablation) mechanisms in solids and organic tissue. 

The Light of 2020 (written by A. Senftleben)

We say ‘Light is our profession’,
Many pulses in succession,
Ultrafast and very strong,
Sometimes working all night long.
Our group is ExP III,
We loved to have a Christmas tree.
Cooking and eating lunch together,
Even outside, at every weather.
We made it shine so plenty
The light of 2020.


Oscillator, amplifier
That’s how we light our fire.
In the cellar the microscope is scanning,
Our UV light is not for tanning.
It ionizes and excites
And opens new insights.
Electrons diffracting
And Molecules reacting.
Masses, wavelengths, velocities,
We measure all the properties.
Our tools helped us to make it plenty,
The light of 2020.

We study many aspects
Of very different objects.
To control matter we shape the light,
Deep holes in silica to our delight.
Ripples on the surface grow,
Many chiral molecules we know.
Fenchone, camphor, MTSO,
It’s an ELCH and not a doe.
Heavy atoms shift the spectra,
We discover many extra.
Blasting cells, finding cancer,
Always looking for an answer.
In graphite atoms oscillate,
We kick them, stop them, great!
Heterostructure, superstructure,
Complexity is in our culture.
Our research used it plenty
The light of 2020.


Came spring this year,
A new virus was here.
Laptop, Teams and Zoom
Replaced our meeting room.
Sometimes, our work felt quite constrained,
But the team spirit remained.
No-one was left behind,
Everyone was being kind.
Yes, in the future, I hope to see it plenty,
The light of 2020!



Our group therefore offers a wide range of possibilities to help shape our exciting research in the framework of a Bachelor or Master Theses teamed with our PhD students (see also our list of finished theses). Future doctoral students are welcome to introduce their own projects.

Visit us and you will get more information without any obligation. We take our time for you and advise you personally.

As of now, we are offering Bachelor and Master Thesis in the following areas:

* Chirality
* Materialprocessing
* Ultrafast electron diffraction

Furthermore we offer open PhD positions  in a friendly team of young scientists with state-of-the-art labs.