Walter Schottky Institute
Center for Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials

Events & News at the Walter Schottky Institute

11 Oct 2018
Irish Setters in da House

Yes they are :D

27 Jun 2018
Closing the gap: On the road to Terahertz electronics

Asymmetric plasmonic antennas deliver femtosecond pulses for fast optoelectronics

A team headed by the TUM physicists Alexander Holleitner and Reinhard Kienberger has succeeded for the first time in generating ultrashort electric pulses on a chip using metal antennas only a few nanometers in size, then running the signals a few millimeters above the surface and reading them in again a controlled manner. The technology enables the development of new, powerful terahertz components.

Classical electronics allows frequencies up to around 100 gigahertz. Optoelectronics uses electromagnetic phenomena starting at 10 terahertz. This range in between is referred to as the terahertz gap, since components for signal generation, conversion and detection have been extremely difficult to implement.

The TUM physicists Alexander Holleitner and Reinhard Kienberger succeeded in generating electric pulses in the frequency range up to 10 terahertz using tiny, so-called plasmonic antennas and run them over a chip. Researchers call antennas plasmonic if, because of their shape, they amplify the light intensity at the metal surfaces.

Asymmetric antennas

The shape of the antennas is important. They are asymmetrical: One side of the nanometer-sized metal structures is more pointed than the other. When a lens-focused laser pulse excites the antennas, they emit more electrons on their pointed side than on the opposite flat ones. An electric current flows between the contacts – but only as long as the antennas are excited with the laser light.

"In photoemission, the light pulse causes electrons to be emitted from the metal into the vacuum," explains Christoph Karnetzky, lead author of the Nature work. "All the lighting effects are stronger on the sharp side, including the photoemission that we use to generate a small amount of current."

Ultrashort terahertz signals

The light pulses lasted only a few femtoseconds. Correspondingly short were the electrical pulses in the antennas. Technically, the structure is particularly interesting because the nano-antennas can be integrated into terahertz circuits a mere several millimeters across.

In this way, a femtosecond laser pulse with a frequency of 200 terahertz could generate an ultra-short terahertz signal with a frequency of up to 10 terahertz in the circuits on the chip, according to Karnetzky.

The researchers used sapphire as the chip material because it cannot be stimulated optically and, thus, causes no interference. With an eye on future applications, they used 1.5-micron wavelength lasers deployed in traditional internet fiber-optic cables.

Holleitner and his colleagues made yet another amazing discovery: Both the electrical and the terahertz pulses were non-linearly dependent on the excitation power of the laser used. This indicates that the photoemission in the antennas is triggered by the absorption of multiple photons per light pulse.

"Such fast, nonlinear on-chip pulses did not exist hitherto," says Alexander Holleitner. Utilizing this effect he hopes to discover even faster tunnel emission effects in the antennas and to use them for chip applications.

Pulses of femtosecond length from the pump laser (left) generate on-chip electric pulses in the terahertz frequency range. With the right laser, the information is read out again. (Image: Christoph Hohmann / NIM, Holleitner / TUM)

Towards femtosecond on-chip electronics based on plasmonic hot electron nano-emitters. C. Karnetzky, P. Zimmermann, C. Trummer, C. Duque-Sierra, M. Wörle, R. Kienberger, A. Holleitner; Nature Communications June 25, 9, 2471 (2018).

More information:
The experiments were funded by the European Research Council (ERC) as part of the "NanoREAL" project and the DFG Cluster of Excellence "Nanosystems Initiative Munich" (NIM).

Prof. Dr. Alexander Holleitner
Walter Schottky Institute / Department of Physics
Center for Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials
Technical University of Munich
Am Coulombwall 4a, 85748 Garching, Germany
Tel: +49 89 289 11575

Prof. Dr. Reinhard Kienberger
Physik-Department E11
Technical University of Munich
James-Franck-Str. 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
Tel: +49 89 289 12840

13 Feb 2018
Understanding life cycles of charge carriers in functional photoelectrodes

The next generation of solar energy conversion systems requires the discovery of semiconductors with properties tailored to their desired function. In this pursuit of such new materials, detailed understanding of optoelectronic properties, driving forces for charge separation and extraction, and loss mechanisms that limit device performance is essential for achieving high efficiencies. However, few experimental methods are available for direct characterization of these fundamental processes in artificial photosystems that are designed to convert sunlight into fuels. To overcome this gap, researchers are developing new methods for operando characterization of photoelectrochemical systems comprising illuminated and electrified semiconductors in aqueous environments that are incompatible with many traditional spectroscopic tools.

Reporting in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, an international team of scientists working at the Walter Schottky Institute and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, led by Ian Sharp, have developed a new approach for identification and quantification of photocarrier transport and efficiency loss mechanisms in operating photoelectrodes with nanometer depth resolution. In their work, they applied this method to a newly identified and thus poorly understood semiconductor, copper vanadate, which possesses an ideal bandgap for photoelectrochemical energy conversion. In doing so, they provided key insights into charge transport and loss mechanisms that are ubiquitous in a broad range of recently identified transition metal oxide materials. Such details regarding photocurrent generation and recombination at operating semiconductor/electrolyte junctions not only provide guidance to future material discovery efforts, but also motivate strategies for nanostructuring photoelectrodes, engineering interfaces, and integrating catalysts. More broadly, this work represents a significant leap forward in the ability to understand the key aspects of functional photosystems by probing the nanoscale life cycles of charge carriers in advanced materials interacting with complex environments.

Quantification of the loss mechanisms in emerging water splitting photoanodes through empirical extraction of the spatial charge collection efficiency
G. Segev, C.-M- Jiang, J.K. Cooper, J. Eichhorn, F.M. Toma & I.D. Sharp, Energy Environ. Sci. (2018) doi: 10.1039/C7EE03486E.

17 Jan 2018
ERC Consolidator Grant for Gregor Koblmüller

A Consolidator Grant was awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) in its latest funding round to PD Dr. Gregor Koblmueller (WSI & Physics Department, TU Munich). Gregor Koblmueller received the award for his project QUANtIC which focuses on novel "Quantum Nanowire Integrated Photonic Circuits". Consolidator Grants are among the largest and most prestigious single-PI awards within the European research community and are given to outstanding researchers who have demonstrated independent and highly creative research. The award is worth nearly 2 Mio and allows the recipient to conduct cutting-edge research on the proposed topic over the next five years.

Gregor Koblmueller (picture) will use the Consolidator Grant to create and explore new links between semiconductor nanowires with precisely tailored quantum electronic properties and nanoscale integrated photonic circuits. The vision is to enable thereby highly deterministic and site-selectively integrated nanoscale coherent light sources, such as efficient nanolasers and single photon emitters, direcly on photonic and quantum photonic hardware. These integrated light sources are expected to provide novel grounds for future applications in the fields of on-chip light processing, quantum communication, as well as lab-on-chip sensing.

Gregor Koblmueller has been active at WSI for many years where he is leading the Semiconductor Quantum Nanomaterials group. More information on his research activities can be found at

16 Jan 2018
Light-steering of spin-polarized currents in topological insulators

Topological insulators are a fascinating group of materials. A spin-polarization occurs, as soon as an electric current flows in the material. WSI scientist Prof Dr Alexander Holleitner and his cooperation partners measured this now for the first time optically at room temperature. In particular, they succeeded to steer spin-polarized currents towards the edges by a circularly polarized light beam and to read-out the electron spin-polarization at the facets of the circuits.

Topological insulators

About ten years ago, scientists discovered a group of materials called "topological insulators" with unusual electronic properties. The interior acts as an insulator, but the surface conducts electricity better than average. The group of the NIM physicist Professor Alexander Holleitner (weblink: has succeeded to guide electrons with opposite magnetization, in short spin-polarization, towards the opposite edges of a topological insulator.

Key feature is that no external magnetic field is needed to generate this phenomenon. The opposite spin-polarization rather derives from an effect called spin-orbit-coupling. The direct coupling between the electron’s spin and the direction of the electron motion allows its manipulation. The physicists found this effect to be reversible. By inducing a certain magnetization with polarized light, they can control the electric current at the sample’s edges. Their results are presented in the latest issue of Nature Communications (Weblink:
The best-known representatives of three-dimensional topological insulators are heavy metal alloys, such as bismuth selenide or bismuth telluride. Scientists assign the exceptional electronic properties to be a phenomenon of quantum physics: the so-called spin-Hall-effect. One observes that all electrons moving in the surface layers have a well-defined spin. In doing so, they differ "topologically" from electrons inside the materials. The direction of the surface currents is directly linked to the electron spin. In such spin-orbit materials, an electron with positive spin always flows in the opposite direction compared to an electron with negative spin.
Holleitner and colleagues now made the stunning discovery that this also holds for the material’s interior, if it is electrically conducting. When a current flows through the topological insulator, electrons with opposite spin move in opposite directions and accumulate at the topological edges of the material. The imbalance in the spin distribution results in a magnetization of the surface states.

Spin-polarized currents at the facets

In conventional conductors, electric currents are always carried by electrons with an arbitrary spin-orientation. In topological insulators, however, the direct coupling between the electron’s spin and the direction of movement allows a particular control of the electrons without the necessity of a sophisticated magnetic field or magnetic materials.
"Such control of the electronic spin is the basic requirement for the realization of so-called spin-based electronics.", explains first author Paul Seifert, who designed and carried out the experiments. The scientists hope that this technology will be applied in the development of more powerful computers or the secure encryption of data.

Measurements with polarized light
Very small electric currents and their magnetization can be directly detected with polarized light. In the actual experiment, they contact a topological insulator between two electrodes and excite the material with a circularly polarized laser. By choosing the correct polarization, they can induce a magnetization in the material, as electrons with different spin can be excited selectively.
Through a circuit, the scientists are able to track how a spin-polarized current at the edges of the topological insulator changes when they change the polarization of the light. In addition, the scientists observed the local magnetization of the topological insulator to change the polarization of the reflected light. Thus, they were able to directly detect the magnetization or spin polarization generated by the current flow.

The experiments are funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft within DFG Projects 3324/8-1 of the SPP 1666 “topological insulator“ and the excellence cluster “Nanosystems Initiative Munich“ (NIM). The co-authors Dr. K. Vaklinova, Prof. K. Kern and Dr. M. Burghard work at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart. Co-author Sergey Ganichev works at the Terahertz Center of the University of Regensburg.

Spin Hall photoconductance in a three-dimensional topological insulator at room temperature. Paul Seifert, Kristina Vaklinova, Sergey Ganichev, Klaus Kern, Marko Burghard und Alexander W. Holleitner. Nature Communications

Prof Dr Alexander Holleitner
Walter Schottky Institute and Physics-Department
Center for Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials
Technische Universität München
Am Coulombwall 4a
85748 Garching

Tel: 089/289-11575
Web: Holleitner Group

Helicity-dependent edge conductance.

18 Oct 2017
Quantum sensing of GHz frequency signals

Quantum sensors can detect signals at much higher frequencies than previously thought. This is a finding that our quantum sensing group reports in Nature Communications this week. A novel sensing scheme based on this insight could lead to a new generation of quantum devices, such as detectors for single microwave photons.
Nature Communications 8, 964 (2017)

27 Sept 2017
Research prize for Wi-Fi holography

Philipp Holl and Friedemann Reinhard (quantum sensing group) have been awarded the Research and Solutions award of the trade fair Research and SolutionsRFID and Wireless IoT Tomorrow for their work on holography of wireless radiation. Congratulations!
Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 183901 (2017)

01 Sept 2017
WSI Welcomes Prof. Ian Sharp

We extend a warm welcome to our new colleague, Prof. Ian Sharp, who joined the Walter Schottky Institute on September 1st, 2017. Prof. Sharp, who holds the Chair for Experimental Semiconductor Physics at the Technical University of Munich, pursues research into functional materials and interfaces for renewable energy conversion. His interests include development of artificial photosystems that convert sunlight into chemical fuels, synthesis and characterization of new semiconductors and nanosystems, and investigation of physical and chemical mechanisms of energy conversion.

Before coming to the Technical University of Munich, Prof. Sharp was a Staff Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. While there, he served as Thrust Lead at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis and, in 2016, was recipient of the prestigious U.S. Department of Energy Early Career Award. From 2007 to 2011, Dr. Sharp was a post-doctoral fellow in the group of Prof. Stutzmann, initially as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow and later as a Carl von Linde Junior Fellow of the TUM Institute for Advanced Study.

It is a pleasure to welcome Ian Sharp back to the Walter Schottky Institute!

10 Aug 2017
Best Poster Awards for Ganpath Veerabathran and Alexander Andrejew at iNOW 2017

Ganpath Veerabathran and Alexander Andrejew, both doctoral candidates from Prof. Amann's group (E26) at the WSI, received Best Poster Awards at the International Nano-Optoelectronics Workshop (iNOW) in Tianjin, Qian’an & Chengde, China (2017). Ganpath Veerabathran's poster titled "GaSb-based vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers at 4 μm using type-II quantum wells" was awarded the 1st place out of 42 posters. The prize consists of a certificate and carries a value of 400 USD. Alexander Andrejew's poster titled “Electrically pumped mid-infrared vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers emitting at 3 μm” was selected for the ‘Honorary mention’ award.


27 Jun 2017
Best Poster Award at Nanowire Week for Jochen Bissinger

Jochen Bissinger, PhD student at the Walter Schottky Institut was awarded with the Best Poster Award at Nanowire Week 2017 in Lund Sweden (29th May - 2nd June, 2017). The Nanowire Week (combined 10th Nanowire Growth Workshop and 9th Nanowires Workshop) is nowadays one of the most significant international conferences for semiconductor nanowire-related research with over 300 participants annually. Selected from 180 poster presentations Jochen Bissinger received the Best Poster prize for his contribution entitled "Simulation of monolithically integrated Ga(Al)As-InGaAs core-multishell nanowire lasers on silicon waveguides". Jochen Bissinger is a member of the WSI Nanowire Group and is co-supervised by Dr. Gregor Koblmüller, Dr. Michael Kaniber, and Prof. Jonathan Finley. His PhD thesis work is performed in collaboration with the Electrical Engineering Department at TUM and is funded by the International Graduate School of Science and Engineering (TUM-IGSSE).

15 Mar 2017
Dr. Kai Müller admitted to the “Junges Kolleg” of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences

Recently, Dr. Kai Müller a subgroup leader at the chair E24 (Prof. Finley) was admitted to the “Junges Kolleg” of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities. The “Junges Kolleg” was found in 2010 in order to support promising junior scientist and foster interdisciplinary research. It consists of 20 young scientists, carrying our research across all disciplines and all universities / research institutions in Bavaria. This year, 5 researchers out of 60 highly qualified applicants were admitted. More information can be found here:

Press release from BAdW

Homepage of the “Junges Kolleg”

27 Feb 2017
Two-photon pulses from a single two-level system

Sources of non-classical states of light are key components needed for future quantum photonic technologies such as intrinsically secure communication, distributed quantum information processing and precision metrology. By far the most commonly non-classical light sources investigated to date can generate individual quanta of light - single photons. A well-established technique to generate single photons on-demand involves using short laser pulses to resonantly excite an individual two-level quantum system, such as an atom or semiconductor quantum dot. A team of scientists lead by Dr. Kai Müller (E24 / Prof. J. Finley) have now discovered that resonantly driven two-level systems can also act as sources of two-photon pulses when excited by laser pulses having specially tailored properties. The work has been performed in the framework of a collaboration between the WSI and the group of TUM-IAS Hans Fischer senior fellow Prof. J. Vuckovic at Stanford University and is also supported financially by the BMBF and the DFG via the Nanosystems Initiative Munich. The paper is published in Nature Physics and can be viewed at:

Emission of two-photon pulses from a quantum two-level system
Kevin A. Fischer, Lukas Hanschke, Jakob Wierzbowski, Tobias Simmet, Constantin Dory, Jonathan J. Finley, Jelena Vuckovic and Kai Müller
Nature Physics (2017) doi:10.1038/nphys4052

05 Aug 2016
Best Poster Award at iNow 2016 for Hannes Schmeiduch

The contribution "Selective Area Epitaxy and Growth on Patterned Surfaces of Indium Phosphide using LP-MOVPE for MIR-QCL" presented by Hannes Schmeiduch at  International Nano-Optoelectronics Workshop 2016 (iNow) in München and Würzburg, has been award the 3rd "Best Poster Award" out of 38 posters. The research team consists of researchers from Chair E26 at the Walter Schottky Insitut/TU München (H. Schmeiduch, F. Demmerle, S. Saller, S. Sprengel, W. Oberhausen, R. Meyer, and M.-C. Amann). We especially thank Mr. Demmerle for his encouragement.

27 Jul 2016
Best Poster Award for "Few-QD nanolaser" at PECS-XII

The contribution "A few-emitter solid-state multi-exciton laser" presented by Michael Kaniber at "The 12th International Symposium on Photonic and Electromagnetic Crystal Structures (PECS-XII)" in York, UK, has been selected out of 40 posters for a runner-up poster award. The research team consists of researchers from Chair E24 at the Walter Schottky Insitut/TU München (S. Lichtmannecker, T. Reichert, M. Blauth, Dr. M. Kaniber, and Prof. J. J. Finley) and from the Solid-state Theory-group at Universität Bremen (Dr. M. Florian, Dr. C. Gies, and Prof. F. Jahnke). We thank the whole team for their efforts and great work! Congratulations!

13 Jul 2016
Best Poster Award at HeFIB for Julian Klein

Julian Klein, Ph.D student at the Walter Schottky Institut, has very recently been awarded with the 1st price for his Poster contribution at the HeFib, "1st International Conference on Helium Ion Microscopy and Emerging Focused Ion Beam Technologies", in Luxembourg (June 8-10). His poster entitled "Optical properties of 2D materials exposed to helium ions" combines novel methods of nanostructuring performed by a helium ion microscope applied to semiconducting atomically thin 2D materials. Julian Klein is supervised by Dr. Michael Kaniber, Dr. Ursula Wurstbauer, Prof. Jonathan Finley and Prof. Alexander Holleitner in the Integrated Quantum Photonics Group at the Walter Schottky Institut. He investigates optical properties of atomically thin 2D materials in combination with plasmonic nanostructures.

04 Jul 2016
CSW 2016 Best Paper Award for Bernhard Loitsch

Bernhard Loitsch, PhD student at the Walter Schottky Institut won the Best Student Paper Award at the international Compound Semiconductor Week 2016 (CSW2016) held in Toyama (Japan). CSW2016 is a joint venue for the 43rd International Symposium on Compound Semiconductors (ISCS) and the 28th International Conference on Indium Phosphide and Related Materials (IPRM) and a premier forum for science, technology and applications in all areas of compound semiconductors.

He gave an oral presentation entitled “Quantum Confinement Phenomena in Ultrathin GaAs Nanowires”. Based on an evaluation of the quality of abstracts and oral presentations by a panel of international experts, only three papers were selected from a large number of eligible contributions.

Bernhard Loitsch is a student in the Nanowire Group led by Dr. Gregor Koblmüller at the Semiconductor Quantum Nanosystems Chair (Prof. Finley) and investigates growth, structure-property correlations, and advanced optical properties in III-V semiconductor nanowire systems in his Ph.D. thesis work.

Foto: CSW2016

14 Jun 2016
Poster Award at 10th IGSSE Forum in Raitenhaslach

The “Nanowire lasers”-team (IGSSE Project 9.08) working at WSI-TUM (Chair Prof. J. J. Finley) and TUM-EE (Chair Prof. P. Lugli) were recently awarded the Best Poster Award at the 10th IGSSE Forum held in Raitenhaslach (June 1-4). The PhD students Thomas Stettner, Jochen Bissinger, Armin Regler and the Project Team Leader Dr. Michael Kaniber won the 3rd prize with their contribution entitled “Nanowire lasers for information technologies and sensing”. This collaborative IGSSE Project brings together students from the Physics Department/Walter Schottky Institut as well as from the Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering and explores the potential of III-V semiconductor nanowires as coherent light sources for applications in future optical on-chip and interconnects communication.

21 Mar 2016
IBM Ph.D. Fellowship for Bernhard Loitsch

Bernhard Loitsch, Ph.D. student at the Walter Schottky Institut, has received the prestigious IBM Ph.D Fellowship award. This is the second successful nomination after an initial award in 2014, which was followed by an ongoing scientific collaboration and mentorship with Dr. Heike Riel, IBM Fellow and Manager of the Nanoscale Electronics group at IBM Research – Zurich. The IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Awards Program is an intensely competitive worldwide program, which honors exceptional Ph.D. students with a $20.000 stipend for one academic year. Bernhard Loitsch is a Ph.D. student supervised by Dr. Gregor Koblmüller and Prof. Jonathan Finley in the Quantum Nanomaterials Group at the Walter Schottky Institut. He investigates the epitaxial growth of GaAs-based nanowire heterostructures as well as their optical and electrical properties.

07 Jan 2016
Arnold Sommerfeld Prize 2015 for Gregor Koblmueller!

Our congratulations to Gregor Koblmueller on being awarded the Arnold Sommerfeld Prize 2015 by the Bavarian Academy of Sciences for his leading work on the realization of Semiconductor nanowire heterostructures and their use for next generation electronic and photonic devices !  Gregor Koblmueller is one of the leading material scientists worldwide and has been active in WSI for many years working on the growth of such nanomaterials and the investigation of their fundamental properties.  More information on the research topics for which he has received his prize can be found on the research pages of the nanowire subgroup of E24.  The prize was presented by the President of the Bavarian Academy, Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Hoffmann as part of the annual general meeting of the academy in December 2015 (see photo).  Join us in congratulating Gregor on this great recognition of the leading work performed by his group, his students and colleagues and wishing all a great start into 2016 ! 


c/o BAdW, Foto: A. Heddergott

09 Nov 2015
Two Student Awards at Nanowire Growth/Nanowires-2015 Workshop

Two PhD students from WSI-TUM, Martin Hetzl and Julian Treu, were recently awarded with Best Poster Paper Awards at the international Nanowire Growth Workshop (NWG) and Nanowires-2015 Workshop in Barcelona, Spain (October 26-30). Martin Hetzl received a 1st prize Best Poster Award for his contribution entitled “Growth and electrical transport properties of GaN nanowire/diamond heterojunctions". Julian Treu was awarded 2nd prize Best Poster Award for his presentation on “Widely tunable InGaAs nanowire heterostructures and devices”.

Martin Hetzl and Julian Treu are both Ph.D. students supervised by Prof. Martin Stutzmann and Dr. Gregor Koblmüller (Prof. Finley group) and are investigating growth, structure-property correlations, and advanced optical and electrical properties in III-V and nitride-based semiconductor nanowire systems in their Ph.D. thesis work.

18 May 2015
EMRS Graduate Student Award for Julian Treu

Julian Treu, PhD student at the Walter Schottky Institut and TUM Physics Department was awarded with the EMRS Graduate Student Award at the 32nd European Materials Research Symposium in Lille, France. The EMRS Meeting is one of the largest conferences in materials science worldwide with over 2000 participants annually.

Based on an evaluation by international experts, his oral presentation entitled “Surface passivation and confinement in lattice-matched InGaAs-InAlAs core-shell nanowires was selected as the award winning contribution in the Symposium I “Semiconductor Nanostructures towards Electronic & Optoelectronic Device Applications”. Julian Treu is a Ph.D. student supervised by Dr. Gregor Koblmüller in the group of E24 and is investigating III-V semiconductor nanowires for photonic and light harvesting applications. His excellent contribution was recently also published in J. Treu, et al., Nano Letters 15, 3533 (2015). 

27 Mar 2015
Best Paper Student Awards in Nanowire Research

Two PhD students from WSI-TUM, Julian Treu and Benedikt Mayer, were recently awarded with Best Paper Student Awards. Julian Treu received the best student award at the 18th European Molecular Beam Epitaxy Workshop (Euro-MBE) in Canazei, Italy (March 15-18) for his oral presentation entitled “Growth and optical properties of composition-tuned InGaAs-based core-shell nanowire arrays”. In addition, Benedikt Mayer was awarded at the 582. WE Heraeus Seminar on “III-V Nanowire Photonics” in Bad Honnef, Germany (March 22-25) for his presentation on “Monolithically integrated GaAs-AlGaAs core-shell nanowire lasers on Silicon”.

Julian Treu and Benedikt Mayer are both students in the Nanowire Group led by Dr. Gregor Koblmüller at the Semiconductor Quantum Nanosystems Chair (Prof. Finley) and are investigating growth, structure-property correlations, and advanced optical properties in III-V semiconductor nanowire systems in their Ph.D. thesis work.

26 Mar 2015
Optoelectronic quantum transport on a topological surface

Topological insulators are an exceptional group of materials. Their interior acts as an insulator, but the surface conducts electricity extraordinarily well. The group of Alexander Holleitner could measure this now for the first time directly, with extremely high temporal resolution. In addition, they succeeded to influence the direction of the surface currents with a polarized laser beam.


Artistic sketch of a polarized laser exciting surface currents in the topological insulator Bi2Se3, which is contacted by two gold electrodes. (c) and Cristoph Hohmann (NIM).

Original publication: C. Kastl, C. Karnetzky, H. Karl, A.W. Holleitner "Ultrafast helicity control of surface currents in topological insulators with near-unity fidelity" Nature Comm. 6, 6617 (2015).

02 Dec 2014
Graphene layer reads optical information from nanodiamonds electronically

In a recent publication in Nature Nanotechnology, we demonstrate that the spin of nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond can be electronically read-out using a graphene layer on a picosecond time-scale. Nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamonds could be used to construct vital components for quantum computers. But hitherto it has been impossible to read optically written information from such systems electronically. The work was led by the group of Alexander Holleitner in collaboration with Frank Koppens (ICFO, Barcelona).


Image: Christoph Hohmann / NIM

Link to press release

Original publication: A. Brenneis, L. Gaudreau, M. Seifert, H. Karl, M.S. Brandt, H. Huebl, J.A. Garrido, F.H.L. Koppens, and A.W. Holleitner "Ultrafast electronic read-out of diamond NV centres coupled to graphene" Nature Nanotechnology 10, 135 (2015).

22 Nov 2014
Nanoday at the Deutsches Museum !

„Nano – what does that mean exactly? How is it able to work on that tiny scale? What is the use of the research results?"  You will get answers to these and many other questions at first hand by our scientists.

At the information booths you can do a lot of nano-experiments yourself and in the stage program professors will explain their cutting edge research projects. The program is completed by the comedian Georg Eggers who presents science with a twinkle in his eye.

This year on Saturday 22nd November 10:00-17:00 you will have the chance to experience the world of nanoscience by visiting the NanoDay 2014 at the Deutsches Museum in Munich - Entrance to the exhibit is entirely free !

click here for more information!


11 Oct 2014
Tag der offenen Tür am Walter Schottky Institut (WSI) und Zentrum für Nanotechnologie und Nanomaterialien (ZNN)

Programm des Walter Schottky Instituts: Programm

Das komplette Programm gibt es hier:

05 Sep 2014
New research group on diamond quantum sensors

A newly established Emmy-Noether research group has joined the WSI on the 1st of September 2014. Its research will focus on quantum sensors based on color centers in diamond and their application in life science, in particular nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of single biomolecules.The new group is led by Friedemann Reinhard, formerly a senior scientist in the lab of Prof. Dr. Jörg Wrachtrup at the University of Stuttgart. He has been at the forefront of research on diamond quantum sensors for several years, demonstrating among other results the first detection of NMR signals from a 5nm small sample volume.
Friedemann and his group will join department E24 (Prof. Jonathan Finley). Funding for the group is provided by the Emmy-Noether program of the Deutsche Forschungsgesellgeschaft (DFG), a support program providing outstanding young scientists with an independent research group.  All of us at the Walter Schottky Institut wish the new group a highly successful start and look forward to fruitful collaborations over the coming years !

17 Jul 2014
The art of photon "bundling"...

In a recent publication in Nature Photonics led by WSI alumnus Fabrice Laussy in collaboration with Jonathan Finley's group, we published a paper in which a quantum optical light source can emit optical energy strictly via "bundles" of curious N-photon quanta, where N can be any integer. Remarkably, what appears to be the simplest possible configuration in cavity quantum electrodynamics - a single-mode optical cavity containing a two-level system like a quantum dot - is capable of exhibiting a broad range of interesting, and even counter-intuitive behaviours when pumped with an external laser.  Fabrice has written an excellent article on the art of photon buldling on his blog.

02 Jul 2014
Hocheffiziente nichtlineare Metamaterialien für die Laser-Technik

Trotz aller Fortschritte gibt es noch immer nicht für alle gewünschten Frequenzen geeignete Laser-Systeme. Manche dieser Frequenzen kann man mit Frequenzverdopplern erzeugen, die nichtlineare optische Eigenschaften nutzen. Wissenschaftler der Technischen Universität München (TUM) und der University of Texas (Austin, USA) haben nun einen optischen Baustein entwickelt, dessen nur 400 Nanometer dicke Schicht, 100-mal dünner als ein menschliches Haar, verschiedenste Frequenzen verdoppeln kann und eine Million mal effizienter ist als traditionelle Materialien mit nichtlinearen optischen Eigenschaften.Weiter zur TUM Pressemeldung...

11 Mar 2014
IBM Ph.D. Fellowship for Bernhard Loitsch

Bernhard Loitsch, Ph.D student at the Walter Schottky Institut, has received the prestigious IBM Ph.D Fellowship award. This award is an intensely competitive worldwide program, which recognizes the great potential of individual Ph.D. students in their very early career as well as the quality of the research institution in focus areas of interest to IBM. Dr. Heike Riel, IBM Fellow and Manager of the Nanoscale Electronics group at IBM Research – Zurich, will act as his mentor throughout this fellowship. The award aims to strengthen collaborations between IBM and the core research group of the awardee at WSI-TUM. It covers a $20.000 stipend for one academic year and can be renewed yearly. Bernhard Loitsch is a Ph.D. student supervised by Dr. Gregor Koblmüller and Prof. Jonathan Finley in the Quantum Nanomaterials Group of E24. He investigates the epitaxial growth of GaAs-based nanowire heterostructures as well as their optical and electrical properties.

22 Jan 2014
Official opening of E24 optics laboratories in the Walter Schottky Institut after renovation works!

Recently, it was our great pleasure to welcome Dr. U. Kirste from the Bayerische Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst (Bavarian Science Ministry) during a visit to the group E24 of the Walter Schottky Institut.   It was a great opportunity for Prof. Finley and colleagues to discuss current and future research activities.  Moreover, after many months in which the first group of laboratories were renovated and prepared for new experiments, we could officially declare the optical laboratories "open" and drink a toast to our future successes !  The hard work building up the laser spectroscopy experiments has now begun, students and staff working tirelessly over the Christmas vacations - check back later in spring 2014 to see how we are getting along!

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