Photonics is the technology of light. It comprises the generation, emission, transmission, modulation, signal processing, switching, amplification, detection and sensing of light. It covers all applications of light over the whole spectrum from ultraviolet over the visible to the mid- and far-infrared.
The Photonics Institute focuses its research on the generation of ultrashort high intensity laser pulses, generation of THz pulses and realization of nano-photonic devices as well as their applications. The Photonics Institute is also teaching the full spectrum of photonics in the TU Wien Bachelor and Master programs.
Ultrashort light pulses are an indispensible tool for the observation of very fast processes such as electron dynamics in semiconductors or the formation of chemical bonds. Laser pulses can be made as short a single cycle of the optical electromagnetic field, or about 1 femtosecond. The TU Photonics Institute is among the leading labs to produce such pulses that allow studying matter under extremely high electric fields, resulting in novel plasma effects including coherent X ray generation, MeV particle acceleration, as well as non-thermal materials processing and other plasma applications.
Modern optics and electronics provide efficient sources of radiation over the entire electromagnetic spectrum up to ultraviolet frequencies. However, there is a ,gap' between electronic microwave sources (up to 10 GigaHertz) and optical laser sources (above 100 Terahertz). Probing matter with Terahertz radiation provides extremely characteristic absorption spectra, allowing to remotely identify substances such as explosives. The Photonics Institute is among the leading institutions to develop novel electro-optic sources in this important spectral regime.
Head of the Institute: Univ.Prof. Dr. Karl Unterrainer
Secretary: M. Kaill