Photonics is a strongly growing sector of the economy and a major research area in Europe. In Thuringia and in particular in Jena, the scientific and industrial location is shaped by universities, research institutes and companies in the field of optics and photonics. While the number of young, well-trained female graduates is high, women who hold a leading position in academia and high-tech industry are still underrepresented.
The department focuses on the development and application of label-free, spectroscopic methods for the analysis of chemical and biological relevant structures on a nanometre scale. The strategic aim is to reach the ultimate spatial resolution limit for molecular spectroscopy and to understand the associated fundamental physical relations. This way, the resulting insight into the technology allows for receiving answers on established scientific questions even for complex samples under almost native conditions.
A high spatial resolution using molecular spectroscopic methods is essential in different fields. A matter of particular interest at the IPHT is the analysis of samples for biological or medical questions. However, there are physical limits for standard microscopes. The nanoscopy department circumvents those boundaries by using so-called near field-optical methods enabling a label-free molecule spectroscopy down to the nanometre scale and below.
The department is divided into two closely cooperating groups, who approach the aim in different ways.