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08.02.2023 10:52

Field-resolved optical precision metrology strengthens research profile of Leibniz IPHT

Stefanie Miethbauer Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Leibniz-Institut für Photonische Technologien e. V.

    The Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena complements its research portfolio with a new working group in the field of field-resolved spectroscopic measurement methods, headed by PD Dr. Ioachim Pupeza. For the research project "Laser-Based Infrared Vibrational Electric-Field Fingerprinting" (LIVE), the physicist has been awarded a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC).

    Dr. Ioachim Pupeza is moving from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching to Leibniz IPHT, where he will establish the new research group "Field-Resolved Optical Precision Metrology" starting in February 2023. Pupeza is an expert in electric-field-resolving spectroscopic methods. At Leibniz IPHT, the scientist intends to further improve the technology and open up new applications, such as label-free cell detection and sorting at high speeds. Pupeza and his team are already firmly integrated into Jena's scientific community. Among other things, he is involved in the Cluster of Excellence Balance of the Microverse and the Leibniz Center for Photonics in Infection Research (LPI).
    Prof. Dr. Jürgen Popp, scientific director of Leibniz IPHT, is very pleased about the reinforcement in the area of optical health technologies: "We warmly welcome Dr. Pupeza. The establishment of his new working group is a strategic measure aimed at significantly expanding the range of optical methods in medicine." Especially in the field of infection research, field-resolved spectroscopy can make an important contribution in diagnostics and monitoring.
    In his ERC Consolidator Grant funded project "LIVE", Pupeza is working toward developing novel light sources and innovative approaches to recording optical electric fields. The goal is to use the control over light at the level of single optical field oscillations afforded by femtosecond lasers and nonlinear optics to overcome current technological limitations, and thereby tap the full potential of vibrational spectroscopic fingerprinting in terms of sensitivity, specificity, and throughput.
    Ioachim Pupeza is confident about the future: "My vision is to develop instruments for the analysis of biomedical samples such as cells, tissue or respiratory gas, with drastically increased throughput and, therefore, shorter analysis times. In turn, this promises to impact the speed of diagnostic decision-making and the capabilities of therapy monitoring."
    The project is funded by the ERC over five years with a sum of around two million euros. In addition, the close collaboration within the Cluster of Excellence Balance of the Microverse and the University Hospital Jena offers great opportunities in clinically relevant proof-of-concept experiments. Further collaborations are in preparation with Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, University of Vienna and Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    About ERC funding
    The European Research Council (ERC) was initiated by the European Union in 2007 and has established itself as a globally visible, European funding program for cutting-edge research. 321 researchers have received Consolidator Grants from the European Research Council in 2022. The grants, totaling 657 million euros, are part of the EU's Horizon Europe program. They are intended to support excellent scientists who have seven to twelve years of experience following their doctorate to pursue their most promising ideas.
    About the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology
    Light is at the center of research at Leibniz IPHT. Scientists are researching innovative photonic processes and tools for use in clinical diagnostics, such as infection and cancer diagnostics, pharmacy, and process control, as well as food and environmental safety. An essential aim is to accelerate translation: the translation of research results into practice – from Ideas to Instruments.
    About Balance of the Microverse
    The Cluster of Excellence Balance of the Microverse is dedicated to the study of microbial communities with the aim of creating a holistic understanding of microorganisms, their interaction and communication with each other and with their environment. Researchers investigate microbial consortia from the molecular level to complex ecosystems, using modern imaging techniques and other methods. Building on the findings, approaches can be developed for maintaining and restoring microbial equilibria, which are crucial for the health of a wide range of living systems. The Microverse Cluster has been funded since 2019 as part of the Excellence Strategy of the German federal and state governments. It builds thematically on the Excellence Graduate School Jena School for Microbial Communication and is strengthened by four Collaborative Research Centers. In addition to five faculties of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the University Hospital Jena, eight non-university research institutions at the site are involved in the Cluster of Excellence.

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