The area of Experimental Physics is focused on the common research area "Optoelectronics and Photonics". Semiconductor materials such as the group III arsenides and antimonides, the cubic group III nitrides, ZnO, SiC, ZnSe and ferroelectrics such as LiNbO3 are fabricated and used to realize novel functional micro- and nanostructures. Examples of such components are microresonators, single photon sources, wavelength converters, quantum circuits, metamaterials or plasmonic antennas. The aforementioned devices are of great importance for applications in quantum information processing, optical communications, optical sensing, and medical and lighting technologies. In particular, concepts from nonlinear photonics and quantum optics are used and explored to achieve novel functionalities. The participating research groups have access to modern laboratory and clean room facilities for their work.
In Theoretical Physics, two main research areas are addressed. In the area of "Computational Materials Science", the focus is on the prediction and physical understanding of material properties. This is done with ab initio methods such as density functional theory or many-body perturbation theory, which allow a precise characterization of materials without the aid of empirical parameters. In the research area "Computational Optoelectronics and Photonics", the optical and electronic properties of solids and nanostructures are analyzed on the basis of microscopic quantum theory.
In the field of physics education, the impact of teacher training is investigated. To this end, instruments for recording central components of professional action competence of prospective physics teachers (subject knowledge, subject educational knowledge, diagnosis of learning difficulties, planning and reflection on lessons, convictions, personality traits) are being developed and validated. The investigations allow statements to be made about the extent to which the competencies required for the teaching profession are acquired within the framework of the physics teacher training program. In science teaching education, the empirically based development of multi-criteria successful teaching-learning and study programs as well as teacher training and continuing education concepts is the focus at the student and teacher level. The increasing heterogeneity of the student body in elementary school as well as the binding requirements for the realization of school inclusion are challenges that currently need to be overcome.