25. March 2019

Ferenc Krausz & Mihaela Žigman

From Basic Research to Cancer Detection

Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics / Garching, Germany

Born around the turn of the new millennium, attosecond metrology has provided real-time insight into atomic-scale electron motions and light field oscillation, previously inaccessible to human observation. Until recently, this capability has relied on attosecond extreme ultraviolet pulses, generated and measured in complex vacuum systems. Next-generation attosecond metrology is now about to change this state of matters profoundly. Sub-femtosecond current injection into wide-gap materials can directly probe ultrafast electron phenomena in condensed matter systems and also be used for sampling the electric field of light up to ultraviolet frequencies. Petahertz field sampling draws on a robust solid-state circuitry and routine few-cycle laser technology, opening the door for complete characterization of electromagnetic fields all the way from the far infrared to the vacuum ultraviolet. These fields, with accurately measured temporal evolution, serve as a unique probe for the polarization response of matter. Field-resolved spectroscopy will access valence electronic as well as nuclear motions in all forms of matter and constitutes a generalization of pump-probe approaches. Its implementation with a solid-state instrumentation opens the door for real-world applications, such as early cancer detection by measuring miniscule changes of the molecular composition of blood (liquid biopsy) via field-resolved vibrational molecular fingerprinting.

Short Bio Ferenc Krausz
Born on May 17, 1962 in Mor, Hungary. Diploma with distinction in electrical engineering, Budapest University of Technology (1981-1985), theoretical physics, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Faculty of Physics (1981-1985). Doctorate with distinction in laser physics at Vienna University of Technology (1987-1991), Habilitation in laser physics (1991-1993), Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering (1996-1998), Professor of Electrical Engineering (1999-2004). Director at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (since 2003), Professor of Experimental Physics at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (since 2004).

(Source: https://www.mpg.de/348075/quantenoptik_wissM13)