B05 – Terahertz quantum optics with semiconductor nanostructures

Funding period: 2008 – 2015

Principal investigator: Alfred Leitenstorfer

Scientific staff: Johannes Bühler, Bernhard Mayer, Alexej Pashkin, Christian Schmidt, Christian Traum

Project B05 investigates the new limit of ultrastrong coupling where a quantum emitter exchanges photons with a radiation mode on time scales comparable to a cycle of light. Unconventional phenomena of cavity electrodynamics have been predicted to occur under such conditions, provided that the coupling strength is modulated with ultrafast speed. Emission of correlated photon pairs out of the quantum vacuum represents one example. Novel nanostructures are studied with multi-terahertz techniques in order to establish experimental access to this new physics.

  • Schematic of the femtosecond optical switch based on the quantum wells strongly coupled to the terahertz waveguide mode
  • Nonadiabatic conversion of bare terahertz photons into cavity polaritons

For further information please also refer to the group website: LS Leitenstorfer.

List of publications


  • B. Mayer, C. Schmidt, J. Bühler, D. V. Seletskiy, D. Brida, A. Pashkin, and Alfred Leitenstorfer, Sub-cycle slicing of phase-locked and intense midinfrared
    transients, New J. Phys. 16, 063033 (2014) - DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/16/6/063033


  • M. Porer, J.-M. Ménard, A. Leitenstorfer, and R. Huber, R. Degl'innocenti, S. Zanotto, G. Biasiol, L. Sorba, and A. Tredicucci: Nonadiabatic switching of a photonic band structure: Ultrastrong light-matter coupling and slow-down of light, Phys. Rev. B 85, 081302 (2012) - DOI:10.1103/PhysRevB.85.081302


  • O. Schubert, C. Riek, F. Junginger, A. Sell, A. Leitenstorfer, and R. Huber, Ultrashort pulse characterization with a terahertz streak camera, Optics Letters 36, Issue 22, pp. 4458-4460 (2011) - DOI: 10.1364/OL.36.004458
  • R. Huber, A. A. Anappara, G. Günter, A. Sell, S. De Liberato, C. Ciuti, G. Biasiol, L. Sorba, A. Tredicucci, A. Leitenstorfer, Switching ultrastrong light–matter coupling on a subcycle scale, J. Appl. Phys. 109, 102418 (2011) - DOI: 10.1063/1.3578341
  • G. Klatt, B. Surrer, D. Stephan, O. Schubert, M. Fischer, J. Faist, A. Leitenstorfer, R. Huber und T. Dekorsy, Photo-Dember terahertz emitter excited with an Er:fiber laser, Appl. Phys. Lett. 98, 021114 (2011)
  • T. Kampfrath, A. Sell, G. Klatt, A. Pashkin, S. Mährlein, T. Dekorsy, M. Wolf, M. Fiebig, A. Leitenstorfer, and R. Huber, Coherent terahertz control of antiferromagnetic spin waves, Nature Photon. 5, 31 (2011)


  • F. Junginger, A. Sell, O. Schubert, B. Mayer, D. Brida, M. Marangoni, G. Cerullo, A. Leitenstorfer, and R. Huber, Single-cycle multiterahertz transients with peak fields above 10 MV/cm, Opt. Lett. 35, 2645 (2010)
  • G. Krauss, S. Lohss, T. Hanke, A. Sell, S. Eggert, R. Huber, and A. Leitenstorfer, Synthesis of a single cycle of light with compact Erbium-doped fibre technology, Nature Photon. 4, 33 (2010)


  • G. Günter, A. A. Anappara, J. Hees, A. Sell, G. Biasiol, L. Sorba, S. De Liberato, C. Ciuti, A. Tredicucci, A. Leitenstorfer, and R. Huber, Sub-cycle switch-on of ultrastrong light-matter interaction, Nature 458, 178 (2009)
  • A. Sell, G. Krauss, R. Scheu, R. Huber, A. Leitenstorfer: 8-fs pulses from a compact Er:fiber system: quantitative modeling and experimental implementation, Opt. Express 17, 1070 (2009)


  • S. Leinß, T. Kampfrath, K. v. Volkmann, M. Wolf, J. T. Steiner, M. Kira, S. W. Koch, A. Leitenstorfer, and R. Huber, Terahertz coherent control of optically dark paraexcitons in Cu2O, Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 246401 (2008)
  • A. Sell, R. Scheu, A. Leitenstorfer, and R. Huber, Field-resolved detection of phase-locked infrared transients tunable from 55 to 107 THz from an Er:fiber laser system, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 251107 (2008)
  • A. Sell, A. Leitenstorfer, and R. Huber, Phase-locked generation and field-resolved detection of widely tunable terahertz pulses with amplitudes exceeding 100 MV/cm, Opt. Lett. 33, 2767 (2008)

G. Günter, A. A. Anappara, J. Hees, A. Sell, G. Biasiol, L. Sorba, S. De Liberato, C. Ciuti, 
A. Tredicucci, A. Leitenstorfer, R. Huber: Sub-cycle switch-on of ultrastrong light-matter interaction, Nature 458, 178 (2009