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About me

The research of my group is concerned with the theory of nanostructures. These structures consist of several thousands to millions of atoms, and have sizes of a few nanometers in each spatial direction. For such small objects the physical properties can differ appreciably from those of larger pieces of matter.

  • In cooperation with the experimental nanooptics group in Graz, we study the optical properties of metallic nanoparticles. Due to the different length scales, namely nanometers for the metallic nanoparticles and micrometers for the light, the light-matter coupling is in the nearfield regime and becomes drastically enhanced. This allows to tailor the optical properties of light emitters (molecules, collodial quantum dots, etc.) placed in the vicinity of metallic nanoparticles, which might be beneficial for novel biosensor. applications. 
  • In semiconductor quantum dots, quantum effects are known to dominate the optical and transport properties. Our group is particularly interested in possible quantum computation and quantum communication applications. We investigate how in these structures quantum coherence can be created and manipulated, and how it decays through interactions with the solid-state environment. 
  • Another research activity has been concerned with atom chips. Here, current flowing through microstructured wires mounted on a solid-state chip produces magnetic fields that allow to trap and manipulate ultracold atoms or Bose Einstein condensates in the vicinity of the chip. Thermal current noise in the metallic wires causes magnetic field fluctuations at the positions of the atoms, and introduces decoherence. We have shown that superconducting atom chips would allow to almost completely suppress such decoherence. Other work has been devoted to optimal quantum control of Bose Einstein condensates in such atom chips.

See also feature on nanooptics in UNIZEIT (in german, 4 MB).

In 2020 my textbook "Nano and Quantum Optics" has been published with Springer. It is meant as a modern primer on the rapidly developing field of quantum nano optics which investigates the optical properties of nanosized materials.The essentials of both classical and quantum optics are presented before embarking through a stimulating selection of further topics, such as various plasmonic phenomena, thermal effects, open quantum systems, and photon noise. The additional software accompanying the book as well as an updated list of errata can be found here.



PhD degree, University of Graz


PhD student, University of Graz


Master of Science Degree in Physics, University of Graz


Study of Physics, University of Graz


Awards and Stipends


Karl-Heinz-Seeger Prize of the ÖPG

2017 Seraphine-Puchleitner Prize, Univ. of Graz
1988 Forschungspreis des Landes Steiermark


Academic Career

2018 Guest Professor, Univ. Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy


Guest Researcher, Humboldt Univ. Berlin, Germany


Associate Professor (ao. Univ. Prof.), University of Graz




Research Assistant, Univ. Modena, Italy


University Assistant, University of Graz


Ao.Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr.rer.nat.

Ulrich Hohenester

Institut für Physik
Telefon:+43 316 380 - 5227

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