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Junior Research Group "Physical Optics"

Head of group: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Weiss


The junior research group "Physical Optics" has been established at the University of Stuttgart in order to bridge the gaps between physicists and engineers as well as experimental and theoretical physics. It is part of the Research Center SCoPE, where several institutes of the physics and engineering departments collaborate in highly active research areas of optics and quantum technologies. The research activites include nanooptics, plasmonics, photonic crystal fibers, display technologies, solar cells, quantum optics, and a lot more.

Research Interests

The focus of the junior research group "Physical Optics" is on the theoretical and numerical calculations for investigating the optical properties of micro and nanostructures. This includes design optimization, development of advanced numerical methods as well as gaining a deeper insight by semi-analytical approaches. For the latter, we are using coupled-oscillator models as well as the resonant state expansion, where the resonant states of a given system are used as the basis for describing its optical response. A strong emphasis lies on chiral and non-reciprocal plasmonics as well as hybrid systems combining photonic and quantum technologies, particularly plasmonic systems and quantum emitters such as strongly interacting atoms, molecules, and quantum dots.


Our numerical expertise is based on in-house numerical tools such as Fourier modal method with adaptive coordinates, split-step Fourier method, resonant state expansion, and beam propagation method, as well as on commercial finite element and finite difference time domain software.


We strongly collaborate with experimental physicists and engineers, making this group very attractive for young researches, as new ideas and designs developed in this group can be directly applied in the experiment. For our large variety of topics, we are always looking for strong candidates who are interested in theoretical physics and numerical methods.

Selected publications