• Ultrafast Dynamics in Condensed Matter

Welcome to the UDKM group website

We investigate coherent and incoherent non-equilibrium phenomena at the nanoscale initiated by various external stimuli, e.g. light and electromagnetic pulses. While incoherent processes transport heat and charges and may drive phase transitions and chemical reactions, coherent dynamics range from strain- and spin waves to strong coupling in exciton-plasmon systems.

Our focus is on a time-domain description of transporting and transforming energy among various excitations of matter. Transient strain and lattice dynamics in general are central observables in solids that are often connected and thus sensitive to other excitations such as hot electrons, lattice vibrations (phonons) and spin waves, electron-and phonon excitations, as well as  the latent heat of phase transitions. We aim at controlling strain waves in order to advance the field of nonlinear phononics and identify means of strain-assisted manipulation of magnetic and ferroelectric order. Polaritons, in particular plasmons, couple macroscopic light fields into the nanoworld, acting as an antenna for the chemical, electronic, magnetic or phononic excitations.

Typical research questions of the group involve ultrafast excitations, electron-phonon interaction, strain and heat as a driver of or sensor for ultrafast magnetism, ferroelectric switching and chemical reactions.

We attempt to create a special perspective on these phenomena by combining our experimental workhorses, which are ultrafast versions of x-ray diffraction, magneto-optics, transient absorption and reflection as well as time-resolved Raman scattering. We synthesize plasmonic nanostructures such as nanorods or nanostars embedded in soft condensed matter, e.g. nanolayered polyelectrolytes, whereas solid nanostructures are provided by our collaboration partners.

Recent publications


Stressful magnets!

Max' paper on the role of spin stress in laser-excited magnetic oxide SrRuO3 is available fresh from the press!


Novel active x-ray optics!

A new concept for efficient gating of x-ray pulses at synchrotrons and FELs using laser-excited surface acoustic waves has been published!


Reciprocal space rocks! :)

Check out our brand new publication on time efficient x-ray diffraction methods!


Congratulations Jasmin & Jan!!!

We are honoured to announce that the courageous efforts of our Bachelor student Jasmin Jarecki and PhD student Jan-Etienne Pudell were appreciated with the Leopold-von Buch award and the Michelson award for the most outstanding Bachelor and PhD thesis of the Natural Science Faculty of the University of Potsdam, respectively!
Please take a look at the ceremeony and more detailed information.

Welcome Konstantin

Our new Bachelor student Konstantin will investigate the dynamics across the photoinduced insulator-metal transition in NbO2 by means of all-optical pump-probe spectroscopy.

Welcome Jan!

Our new master student Jan will work on plasmonic chemistry using Raman scattering and microscopy with a pulsed white laser.