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  • Max Planck Physicist Honored for Attosecond Imaging
Jul 2011
GIESSEN, Germany, July 27, 2011 — Matthias Kling, head of the attosecond imaging research group at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany, is to receive this year’s Röntgen Prize from the Justus-Liebig-University in recognition of his contributions to the development of attosecond nanomicroscopy. The award is devoted primarily to young scientists who have excelled in fundamental radiation physics or biology.

Kling’s team is performing research on the control and observation of collective electron motion on nanostructured surfaces and in isolated nanoparticles. For this purpose, they use ultrashort, intense near-infrared light flashes, consisting of only a few cycles, and attosecond light flashes in the extreme ultraviolet. Using these ultrashort light flashes, the researchers can observe processes such as the emission and acceleration of electrons on the natural attosecond timescale of their motion. Nanometer spatial resolution is provided in the “attosecond nanomicroscope” by employing a photoelectron emission microscope.

Using this instrument offers researchers the ability to study the control of electrons in nanostructures by lightwaves with unprecedented detail. Such studies are an important step toward the realization of lightwave nanoelectronics, which has the potential to increase the speed of electronics by up to five orders of magnitude into the petahertz regime.

Kling earned his physics diploma at Georg-August University in Göttingen in 1998. Successively, he studied laser physics at the Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena and performed research on the femtosecond spectroscopy of peroxide molecules in Michael Buback’s group in Göttingen. Following his dissertation and a postdoctoral stay in Göttingen, he joined Charles Harris in 2003 at the University of California, Berkeley.

Toward the end of 2004, he joined the group of Marc Vrakking at AMOLF (the Institute of the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where he investigated physical processes in atoms and small molecules on an attosecond timescale. Since 2007, Kling has led the attosecond imaging group at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, where his team is part of the laboratory of Ferenc Krausz.

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