The research of this Division focuses on the three-dimensional vector patterns of optical modes and on their quantized excitation. In the year 2000, when Gerd Leuchs suggested the establishment of a Research Group to the Max Planck Society he also proposed the possibility of focussing light tighter by polarization pattern engineering. The first experimental verification of this effect in 2003 was also the first paper published by the newly established Max Planck Research Group at Erlangen. The following years have seen an unprecedented worldwide increase of research into radially polarized and related light modes. The topic was of course also continued in this division, leading to projects on the transverse angular momentum of light, on localisation of particles and on non-factorable mode patterns resembling entanglement and including applications e.g. in plasmonics. The other line of research on quantized excitations goes back to Gerd Leuchs' observation of photon anti bunching in 1979 and of squeezed light in second harmonic generation in 1990 and has led to numerous on-going projects on quantum communication, including the generation of temporally tailored single photon wave packets using a whispering gallery mode resonator, the generation of bright squeezed vacuum states and the distribution of quantum keys via satellites. In one project both research lines are combined to study the efficiency of the coupling of quantum light to a single atom. The goal is two-fold: to experimentally demonstrate the reversibility of spontaneous emission and to provide photon-photon interaction at the highest bandwidth allowed by nature.
The research of this Division focuses on the three-dimensional vector patterns of optical modes and on their quantized excitation. There are six groups working on different research-topics within the field of oprics and information.