Ultrafast nano-optics: accessing correlation of structure, function, and dynamics of matter on its natural length and time scales
Prof. Markus Raschke, University of Colorado Boulder
Structure, function, and dynamics of matter are the result of an intricate interplay of its elementary excitations defined on femtosecond time and mesoscopic nanometer length scales. This gives rise to often complex structural phase behavior in soft matter as well as quantum phases in correlated electron materials with competing atomic scale short-range as well as mesoscopic nano-scale interactions. I will discuss our developments and applications of new nano-optical spectroscopies to probe those interactions providing microscopic insight into otherwise difficult to probe microscopic processes underlying the function of soft- and correlated matter. Our approach is based on the combination of plasmonic and optical antenna concepts with ultrafast and shaped laser pulses to achieve precise control of an optical excitation on the nanometer-femtosecond scale. I will introduce the enabling principles based on new regimes of light-matter interaction in terms of impedance matching and near-field optical control of a quantum system.