The generally weak light-matter interaction in natural materials poses a problem for many modern optical methods and devices. In particular, the miniaturization of optical components for actively influencing the propagation of light requires a high interaction efficiency in the smallest possible space. Artificial material systems, such as optical metamaterials and metasurfaces offer an interesting alternative to the traditional materials that were used so far. Their optical properties can be specifically changed by appropriate nanostructuring, and the interaction with light can be significantly stronger.
Among other things, our group deals with the nonlinear optical properties of such artificial material systems. In particular, plasmonic and dielectric nanostructures show excellent properties in terms of size and interaction strength. In addition, tailored phase effects can be achieved by suitable structuring, which can influence the light propagation in nonlinear optical processes in a controlled manner.