News archive


December 2012  

The europian research network 'Frontiers in Quantum Materials'Control (Q-MAC) wins one of the first 'Synergy Grants' of the European Research Council (ERC). Principal investigators of Q-Mac are Andrea Cavalleri (MPSD, Uni-Hamburg), Prof. Dieter Jaksch (University of Oxford), Prof. Jean Marc Triscone (University of Geneva) and Prof.  Antoine Georges (Ecole Polytechnique, Collège de France und University of Geneva).

Finally 11 projects have been selected (out of 710 applications) to receive funding for up to six years.

⇒ ERC press release
⇒ Univ. Hamburg Press release (german)


December 2012  

Lijian Zhang was awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship of the the Alexander-von-Humboldt foundation.

The fellowship will support Lijian's research plan on coherent control of cuprate high-temperature superconductors with quantum-optical methods. The work will not only have an impact on fundamental studies of high-Tc superconductors but also shed light on fabricating quantum devices with such materials.


Aug.2012, new publication in PRB:

Evolution of three-dimensional correlations during the photoinduced melting of antiferromagnetic order in La0.5Sr1.5MnO4


July 2012, lasers move into new lab.


June 2012:

During the annual meeting of the Max Planck Society Isabella Gierz was honoured with the 'Otto Hahn Award' for the 'discovery of a massive spin-orbit splitting on semiconductor surfaces', her PhD work performed at the MPI for Solid States Physics in Stuttgart.


Info: The Rashba-Bychkov effect describes how the spin-degeneracy in different two-dimensional systems such as quantum well states in semiconductor heterojunctions or surface states on noble metal surfaces can be lifted by the spin-orbit interaction in case of a broken space inversion symmetry. The resulting band structure consists of two nearly parabolic bands with opposite spin-polarization that cross at time-reversal invariant points of the Brillouin zone. Such a spin-polarized band structure bares great potential for applications as a spin field effect transistor. Furthermore, theoretical predictions for a superconducting state have been made, and these systems are prime candidates for the observation of the spin Hall effect. Different two-dimensional systems are best compared using the so-called Rashba-parameter, a measure for the size of the spin splitting. The biggest spin splitting measured so far has been detected in two-dimensional bismuth-silver surface alloys. There, the giant spin splitting can be traced back to (1) the presence of heavy atoms with a strong spin-orbit coupling and (2) the corrugation of the two-dimensional alloy that leads to a strong asymmetry of the electron cloud in the vicinity of the nucleus. However, the application of these surface alloys in a spin field effect transistor is prevented by the presence of spin-degenerate three-dimensional states from the silver substrate. In collaboration with scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart and the Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics in Halle, Isabella Gierz was able to transfer the concept of a giant spin splitting to a semiconducting silicon substrate [see Physical Review Letters 103, 046803 (2009)]. For the discovery of a giant spin splitting on the surface of a semiconductor Isabella Gierz has now received the Otto Hahn Award of the Max Planck Society.


April 2012: Ekaterina Moehr joins the group in Oxford.


Mar. 2012:
New publication in PRL: Ultrafast Strain Engineering in Complex Oxide Heterostructures


Jan. 2012:
Yannis Laplace Yannis Laplace and Andrea Cartella Andrea Cartella join the group in Hamburg



Dec. 2011:Lijian Zhang Lijian Zhang joins the group in hamburg.  


Dec. 2011:
New publication in PRB: Driving magnetic order in a manganite by ultrafast lattice excitation.


Nov. 2011:
Andrea Cavalleri has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society.


Nov. 2011
New publication in Optics Letters: Coherent single-cycle pulses with MV/cm field strengths from a relativistic transition radiation light source


Oct. 2011

New publication in PRL: Clocking the Melting Transition of Charge and Lattice Order in 1T-TaS2 with Ultrafast Extreme-Ultraviolet Angle-Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy

petersen et al 2011


Oct. 2011: Eliza Casandruc joins the group in Hamburg


Aug. 2011: Isabella Gierz andJyotsana Gupta join the group in Hamburg


Aug. 2011,
new publication in Nature Physics:
Nonlinear phononics as an ultrafast route to lattice control


July 2011:
Print version with additional Interview ("Controlling superconductivity"
Interview with A. Cavalleri, Nature Photonics, 5, 506
), News&Views and
Cover image of this issue

June 2011,
new publication in Nature Photonics online:
Bi-directional ultrafast electric-field gating of interlayer charge transport in a cuprate superconductor


May 2011,
new publication in PRL:
Photoinduced Melting of Antiferromagnetic Order in La0.5Sr1.5MnO4 Measured Using Ultrafast Resonant Soft X-Ray Diffraction


March 2011:
Jesse Petersen won a silver award in the SET for Britain event for early-career scientists, held March 14 in the Houses of Parliament. More infos at (click on 2011 winners).


March 2011:
"Schlagartig widerstandslos", Interview with Andrea Cavalleri in Deutschlandfunk ⇒ text


Feb. 2011:Roman Mankowsky joins the division in Hamburg  


Feb. 2011:
Congratulations to Henri P. Ehrke for becoming the 3rd phD from Cavalleri group - His thesis concerned the study of dynamics of electronic order in magnetoresistive manganites with time-resolved x-ray scattering


Jan. 2011,
new publication in Nature Materials:
Transient photoinduced ‘hidden’ phase in a manganite


Jan. 2011:
Congratulations to Nicky Dean for becoming the 2nd phD from Cavalleri group - His thesis concerned the study of Electronic and Structural Dynamics of Complex Materials


Jan. 2011,
new publication in Science:

Light induced superconductivity in a stripe-oredered cuprate
→ more


Jan. 2011,
new publication in PRL:
Polaronic conductivity in the photoinduced phase of 1T-TaS2
→ more


Jan 2011:

Andrea Caviglia and Alexander Joura join the group in Hamburg

Michele Cerriotti joins the group in Oxford


Dez. 2010:
new publication online in Nature Physics: Quantum interference between charge excitation paths in a solid state Mott insulator   → more



Nov. 2010:Cassi Hunt, and Matteo Mitrano, join the group in Hamburg


Sept. 2010:
Hubertus Bromberger joins the division in Hamburg


July 2010: Rashmi Singla, Wanzheng Hu and Haiyun Liu join the group in Hamburg


  June 2010:
Michaela Petrich joins the group in Hamburg


June 2010, new in research section: Generation of carrier-envelope phase-stabilized pulses in the mid-IR


May 2010: Frederik Habenicht and Paul Popovich join the group in Hamburg


April 2010: Daniele Nicoletti and Giovanni Cotugno join the group in Hamburg


January 2010, new publication (online) in Optics letters:
Single-Shot detection and direct control of carrier phase drift of mid-IR pulses. See a summary in the research section: Generation of carrier-envelope phase-stabilized pulses in the mid-IR


January 2010, new publication in Appl. Phys. Lett.:
Ultrafast insulator-to-metal phase transition as a switch to measure the spectrogram of a supercontinuum light pulse


Feb. 2010:
Congratulations to Simon Wall for becoming the 1st phD from Cavalleri group - His thesis concerned the study of Photo-induced dynamics in complex materials probed with femtosecond x-rays and few-cycle optical pulses



  December 2009:
Jesse Petersen has been elected a Research Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, for three years from January 2010. During the term of this fellowship he will continue his research with Professor Cavalleri in the Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford.


October 2009: Update in the Hamburg lab pages  


October 2009, new publication in Phys.Rev.B:
Transient electronic structure of the photoinduced phase of Pr0.7Ca0.3MnO3 probed with soft x-ray pulses
M. Rini et. al., Phys. Rev. B 80, 155113 (2009)
more ...


October 2009:
Vikaran Khanna joins the division in hamburg.


September 2009:
Sergej Brener joins the division in hamburg.


August 2009:
"Angeregte Kooperation" -- a press article section about us in "Physik Journal" 
more ...


August 2009, new publication in Phys. Rev. Lett. :

Ultrafast Coupling between Light, Coherent Lattice Vibrations, and the Magnetic Structure of Semicovalent LaMnO3

S. Wall et. al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 097402 (2009)


August 2009:
Joerg Harms joins the division in hamburg.


On July 3rd, 2009, the Excellence Cluster “Frontiers in Quantum Photon Science” has been founded as new and highly profiled research activity within the framework of the excellence initiative of the federal state of Hamburg.

The Cluster combines the expertise from laser-physics, quantum optics, short-time- and X-ray-physics as well as condensed matter physics. It thus brings together the photon science activities from the University, DESY and the Max-Planck research groups at Hamburg University in terms of research and education.

For more details please visit the Cluster website:


July 2009: Matthias C. Hoffmann
join the division in hamburg.


June 2009: Progress in the hamburg lab  


11.March 2009:The first laser has been set up in hamburg.  


March 2009:
Stefan Kaiser joins the division in hamburg.


5.March 2009:
Melting in a Flash. Nature News & Views by Andrea Cavalleri


Feb. 2009:
Michael Först joins the division in hamburg.


Nov. 2008:
Daniele Fausti joins the group in Hamburg.

Dr. Anne Julia Stähler and Dr. h.c. Klaus Tschira. Photo: KTS / P. Dorn
October 2008:
Julia Staehler wins the Klaus Tschira Prize for Understandable Science

From the jurors' statement:

"In order to fullfill the future needs of smaller and increasingly powerful computers, further downsizing of transistors is necessary. In her article "Unsterbliche Elektronen" Julia Stähler introduces the field of molecular transistors to the general public. The reader easily follows the physicist to an area that is usually less clearly described. Using accurate images and a pleasingly systematic structure, Julia Stähler puts the idea of her sophisticated research across to the general reader."

The article:
  More about the prize at


October 2008:
Thomas Garl joins the group in Hamburg.


  Sept. 2008:
Experimental tables for the hamburg lab arived.


Nov. 2008:
Jesse Petersen joins the group in Oxford.


April 2008:
Julia Staehler joins the group in Oxford.

March 2008:
Henri is awarded an Oriel graduate scholarship