A01 – Optical control of phonons and their dissipation in nanostructures

Funding period: 2008 – 2019

Principal investigator: Thomas Dekorsy

Scientific staff: Yuning Guo, Changxiu Li, Fan Yang
Former members: Delia Brick, Dirk Heinecke, Martin Großmann, Mike Hettich, Martin Schubert

Pulse repetition rate doubling by line-by-line phase modulation of a frequency comb using temporal self-imaging. This techniques enables resonant excitation of coherent acoustic phonons using high-repetition rate pulse lasers.

The goal of this project is the generation and control of coherent acoustic phonons in confined geometries through the excitation with femtosecond laser pulses. Phonon dissipation (and the influence of roughness and temperature on it), mode conversion, tuning and coupling of phonon modes in systems containing semiconductors, metals and emerging classes of materials will be investigated. Lateral propagation of surface acoustic waves will be extended to nanostructured membranes and 3D systems. New pathways arise from these systems for the control of phonons with respect e.g. to the thermoelectric properties which will be investigated as function of temperature and coupling to different environments with high spatial resolution.

For further information please also refer to the DLR website: Institut für Technische Physik

List of publications


  • Yuning Guo, Thomas Dekorsy, and Mike Hettich, Topological guiding of elastic waves in phononic metamaterials based on 2D pentamode structures, Nature, Scientific Reports 7, 18043 (2017).
    DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-18394-8
  • Delia Brick, Erkan Emre, Martin Grossmann, Thomas Dekorsy, and Mike Hettich, Picosecond Photoacoustic Metrology of SiO2 and LiNbO3 Layer Systems Used for High Frequency Surface-Acoustic-Wave Filters, Applied Sciences  7(8), 822 (2017).
    DOI: 10.3390/app7080822
  • D. Brick, V. Engemaier, Y. Guo, M. Grossmann, G. Li, D. Grimm, O. Schmidt, M. Schmidt, V. Gusev, M. Hettich, and T. Dekorsy, Interface adhesion and structural characterization of rolled-up GaAs/In0.2Ga0.8As multilayer tubes by coherent phonon spectroscopy, Scientific Reports 7, 5385 (2017).
    DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-05739-6
  • Martin Grossmann, Martin Schubert, Chuan He, Delia Brick, Elke Scheer, Mike Hettich, Vitalyi Gusev and Thomas Dekorsy, Characterization of thin-film adhesion and phonon lifetimes in Al/Si membranes by picosecond ultrasonics, New Journal of Physics 19(5) (2017). 
    DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/aa6d0
  • Yuning Guo, Delia Brick, Martin Grossmann, Mike Hettich, and Thomas Dekorsy, Acoustic beam splitting at low GHz frequencies in a defect-free phononic crystal, Applied Physics Letters 110, 031904 (2017).
    DOI: 10.1063/1.4974491 
  • Yuning Guo, Mike Hettich, and Thomas Dekorsy, Guiding of elastic waves in a two-dimensional graded phononic crystal plate, New Journal of Physics 19, 013029 (2017).
    DOI : 10.1088/1367-2630/aa5703
  • Chuan He, Oliver Ristow, Martin Grossmann, Delia Brick, Yuning Guo, Martin Schubert, Mike Hettich, Vitalyi Gusev, and Thomas Dekorsy, Acoustic waves undetectable by transient reflectivity measurements, Phys. Rev. B 95, 184302 (2017)
    DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.95.184302
  • C. Li, N. Krauß, G. Schäfer, L. Ebner, O. Kliebisch, J. Schmidt, S. Winnerl, M. Hettich, and T. Dekorsy, High-speed asynchronous optical sampling based on GHz Yb:KYW oscillators, Opt. Express  25, 9204-9212 (2017)
    DOI: 10.1364/OE.25.009204


  • Oliver Kliebisch, Dirk C. Heinecke, and Thomas Dekorsy, Ultrafast time-domain spectroscopy system using 10 GHz asynchronous optical sampling with 100 kHz scan rate,  Optics Express 26, 29930 (2016)
    DOI: 10.1364/OE.24.029930
  • M. Hettich, K. Jacob, O. Ristow, M. Schubert, A. Bruchhausen, V. Gusev, and T. Dekorsy, Viscoelastic properties and efficient acoustic damping in confined polymer nano-layers at GHz frequencies, Scientific Reports, 6, 33471
    DOI: 10.1038/srep33471
  • D. Issenmann, S. Eon, H. Bracht, M. Hettich, T.Dekorsy, G.Buth, R. Steininger, T. Baumbach, J. L. Hansen, A. N. Larsen, J. W. Ager III, E. E. Haller, and A. Plech, Ultrafast study of phonon transport in isotopically controlled semiconductor nanostructures, Phys. Status Solidi A 213, Vol. 3, 541 (2016)
    DOI: 10.1002/pssa.201532462
  • Yuning Guo, Martin Schubert, and Thomas Dekorsy, Finite element analysis of surface modes in phononic crystal waveguides, J. Appl. Phys. 119, 124302 (2016)
    DOI: 10.1063/1.4944804
  • S. Volz, J. Ordonez-Miranda, A. Shchepetov, M. Prunnila, J. Ahopelto, T. Pezeril, G. Vaudel, V. Gusev, P. Ruello, E.M. Weig, M. Schubert, M. Hettich, M. Grossmann, T. Dekorsy, F. Alzina, B. Graczykowski, E. Chavez-Angel, J.S. Reparaz, M. R. Wagner, C.M. Sotomayor-Torres, S. Xiong, S. Neogi, Nanophononics: state of the art and perspectives, Eur. Phys. J.B 89, 15 (2016)
    DOI: 10.1140/epjb/e2015-60727-7


  • C. He, M. Grossmann, D. Brick, M. Schubert, S. V. Novikov, C. T. Foxon, V. Gusev, A. J. Kent and T. Dekorsy, Study of confined coherent acoustic phonon modes in a free-standing cubic GaN membrane by femtosecond spectroscopy, Appl. Phys. Lett. 107, 112105 (2015) - DOI: 10.1063/1.49131495
  • M. Schubert, H. Schaefer, J. Mayer, A. Laptev, M. Hettich, M. Merklein, C. He, C. Rummel, O. Ristow, M. Großmann, Y. Luo, V. Gusev, K. Samwer, M. Fonin, T. Dekorsy, and J. Demsar, Collective Modes and Structural Modulation in Ni-Mn-Ga(Co) Martensite Thin Films Probed by Femtosecond Spectroscopy and Scanning Tunneling Microscopy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 076402 (2015) - DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.076402
    Universität Konstanz, Pressemitteilung
  • M. Grossmann, Oliver Ristow, Mike Hettich, Chuan He, Reimar Waitz, Elke Scheer, Vitalyi Gusev, Thomas Dekorsy and Martin Schubert, Time-resolved detection of propagating Lamb waves in thin silicon membranes with frequencies up to 197 GHz, Appl. Phys. Lett. 106, 171904 (2015) - DOI: 10.1063/1.4919132
  • M. Schubert, M. Grossmann, C. He, D. Brick, P. Scheel, O. Ristow, V. Gusev, and T. Dekorsy, Generation and detection of gigahertz acoustic oscillations in thin membranes (review), Ultrasonics 56, 109 (2015) - DOI: 10.1016/j.ultras.2014.06.018


  • C. He, M. Daniel, M. Grossmann, O. Ristow, D. Brick, M. Schubert, M. Albrecht, and Th. Dekorsy, Dynamics of coherent acoustic phonons in thin films of CoSb3 and partially filled YbxCo4Sb12 skutterudites, Physical Review B. 89 174303 (2014) - DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.89.174303


  • M. Grossmann, M. Klingele, P. Scheel, O. Ristow, M. Hettich, C. He, R. Waitz, M. Schubert, A. Bruchhausen, V. Gusev, E. Scheer, and T. Dekorsy, Femtosecond spectroscopy of acoustic frequency combs in the 100-GHz frequency range in Al/Si membranes, Phys. Rev. B 88, 205202 (2013) - DOI: 10.1103/PhyRevB.88.205202
  • J. Cuffe, O. Ristow, E. Chávez, A. Shchepetov, P-O. Chapuis, F. Alzina, M. Hettich, M. Prunnila, J. Ahopelto, T. Dekorsy, and C. M. Sotomayor Torres, Lifetimes of confined acoustic phonons in ultrathin silicon membranes, Physical Review Letters 110, 095503 (2013) - DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.0995503
  • D. C. Heinecke, O. Kliebisch, J. Flock, A. Bruchhausen, K. Köhler, and T. Dekorsy Selective excitation of zone-folded phonon modes within one triplet in a semiconductor superlattice, Physical Review B 87, 075307 (2013) - DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.87.075307


  • M. Hettich, K. Jacob, O. Ristow, C. He, J. Mayer, M. Schubert, V. Gusev, A. Bruchhausen, and T. Dekorsy, Imaging of a patterned and buried molecular layer by coherent acoustic phonon spectroscopy, Appl. Phys. Lett. 101, 191606 (2012) - DOI: 10.1063/1.4767141
  • V. Kotaidis, T. Dekorsy, S. Ibrahimkutty, D. Issenmann, D. Khakhulin, and A. Plech, Vibrational symmetry breaking of supported nanospheres, Physical Review B 86, 100101 (R) (2012) - DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.86.100101
  • A. Bruchhausen, J. Lloyd-Hughes, M. Hettich, R. Gebs, M. Grossmann, O. Ristow, A. Bartels, M. Fischer, M. Beck, G. Scalari, J. Faist, A. Rudra, P. Gallo, E. Kapon, and T. Dekorsy, Investigation of coherent acoustic phonons in terahertz quantum cascade laser structures using femtosecond pump-probe spectroscopy, J. Appl. Phys. 112, 033517 (2012) - DOI: 10.1063/1.4745044
  • M. Schubert, M. Grossmann, O. Ristow, M. Hettich, A. Bruchhausen, E.C.S. Barretto, E. Scheer, V. Gusev, and T. Dekorsy, Spatial-temporally resolved high-frequency surface acoustic waves on silicon investigated by femtosecond spectroscopy, Appl. Phys. Lett. 101, 013108 (2012) - DOI: 10.1063/1.4729891


  • M. Hettich, A. Bruchhausen, S. Riedel, T. Geldhauser, S. Verleger, D. Issenmann, O. Ristow, R. Chauhan, J. Dual, A. Erbe, E. Scheer, P. Leiderer, and T. Dekorsy, Modification of vibrational damping times in thin gold films by self-assembled molecular layers, Appl. Phys. Lett. 98, 261908 (2011) – DOI: 10.1063/1.3604790
  • A. Bruchhausen M. Hettich, J. Lloyd-Hughes, M. Fischer, M. Beck, G. Scalari, J. Faist, T. Dekorsy, Observation of Zone-Folded Acoustic Phonons in THz Quantum Cascade Lasers using Pico-Second Ultrasonics, Chin. J. Phys. 49, 41 (2011)
  • A. Bruchhausen, R. Gebs, F. Hudert, D. Issenmann, G. Klatt, A. Bartels, O. Schecker, R. Waitz, A. Erbe, E. Scheer, J.-R. Huntzinger, A. Mlayah, and T. Dekorsy, Subharmonic resonant optical excitation of confined acoustic modes in a free-standing semiconductor membrane at GHz frequencies with a high-repetition-rate femtosecond laser, Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 077401 (2011)


  • F. Hudert, A. Bruchhausen, D. Issenmann, O. Schecker, R. Waitz, A. Erbe, E. Scheer, T. Dekorsy, A. Mlayah, and J.-R. Huntzinger, Confined longitudinal acoustic phonon modes in free-standing Si membranes coherently excited by femtosecond laser pulses, Phys. Rev. B 79, 201307(R) (2009)