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[2015-07-15] Giant cross polarization in a nanoimprinted metamaterial combining a fishnet with its Babinet complement
In our recent paper in Optics Express we show giant cross polarization in a nanoimprinted metamaterial combining a fishnet with its Babinet complement. The polarization converter is made out of a large area (1 cm2) nanoimprinted metamaterial comprising a fishnet structure and its Babinet complement. When illuminated with s-polarized light, the reflected beam can be p-polarized up to 96%, depending on the azimuthal orientation of the sample. Specifically, our work may trigger further research towards large area, ultrathin polarization converters for use in micron scale and highly integrated optical systems. Further, as the content of cross polarization depends critically on the azimuthal orientation of the sample, one could think of future applications in micro-opto-electro-mechanical systems (MOEMS) in the wider range.

[2015-06-01] Gold nanostars for random lasing enhancement
In the Optics Express paper „Gold nanostars for random lasing enhancement“, we We demonstrate random lasing with star-shaped gold nanoparticles (“nanostars”) as scattering centers embedded in a dye-doped gain medium. It is experimentally shown that star-shaped gold nanoparticles outperform those of conventional shapes, such as spherical or prolate nanoparticles. The distinguished random laser comprising nanostars is likely to take advantage of the high plasmonic field enhancements, localized at the spiky tips of the nanostars, which improves the feedback mechanism for lasing and increases the emission intensity of the random laser.

[2015-03-28] Streptavidin functionalized polymer nanodots fabricated by visible light lithography
In our latest publication in the Journal of Nanobiotechnology we report the creation of polymer-nanodots with high streptavidin (SA) affinity via two-photon polymerization (TPP). Controlling the size of the polymer dots via STED lithography allows for limiting the number of the SA molecules per dot. Most of the nano-dots are loaded by one to two streptavidins on average. Attached streptavidin molecules remain functional and are capable to bind 0.7 biotin molecules on average.

[2014-09-19] Sub-Abbe resolution: from STED microscopy to STED lithography
In the paper „Sub-Abbe resolution: from STED microscopy to STED lithography“ published in Physica Scripta (Vol. T162, 014049), on the one hand we review the development of Nobel-prize winning STED microscopy into STED lithography. On the other hand, we also included new data showing rungs of acrylate which measure only 53 nm in diameter, although written with 780 nm two photon excitation and 532 nm STED lasers.

[2014-09-22] Best Presentation Award at EMRS 2014 for Johanna Herr
Johanna Herr has been awarded the Best Presentation Award at the European Materials Research Society (EMRS) 2014 Fall Meeting from September 13 to 18, 2014 in Warsaw - Poland. She received the award in recognition of the Best Student Presentation in Symposium U "Bioinspired and biointegrated materials as frontier nanomaterials IV: healthcare nanomaterials and systems in biomedical nano -chips, -robots". Her presentation was entitled "Flexible large area plasmonic nanowire arrays as SERS active substrates". She reported on inexpensive and easy to fabricate large area plasmonic nanowire arrays for biological and chemical sensing based on surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Her results together with the possibility to trigger the alignment and activation of cells cultivated on such substrates, render these flexible large area plasmonic nanowires arrays as the ideal structure for optical and chemical studies of cell membranes. The work is part of her Master Thesis, which is performed at the Institute of Applied Physics at the JKU Linz under supervision of Dr. Calin Hrelescu.

[2013-11-28] Nano Letter.
In our latest Nano Letter (Vol.13, p. 5672), we show that acrylic nano-patches of 60 to 70 nm diameter, produced with STED-enhanced two-photon polymerization, are apt to be functionalized with antibodies on the single molecule level. The antibodies maintain their functionality and hence the acrylic patches can be used as nano-anchors to display antibodies at defined sites on a substrate. We find that 98% of all 65nm nanoanchores are quickly loaded with proteins during incubation and that 80% carry only a single fluorescently labeled protein. Arrays of protein-anchors can be used as a substrate for numerous biomedical assays (e.g. protein arrays, cell scaffolds) which require high flexibility in the geometry and in protein density.

[2013-09-24] Poster Award at EMSLIBS 2013 for Philipp Kolmhofer
Philipp Kolmhofer has been awarded the 3rd Prize Poster Award at the 7th Euro-Mediterranean Symposium on Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy from September 16 to 20, 2013 in Bari - Italy. The Poster was entitled "Automated Calibration- Free analysis of major components in steel slag by Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy". Slag samples from industrial steel production (secondary metallurgy) were analyzed by calibration-free laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (CF-LIBS) using a transportable LIBS measurement system. No certified reference materials or calibration procedures were required. The work is part of his PhD Thesis, which is performed in the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Laser-Assisted Diagnostics at the Institute of Applied Physics in Linz in co-operation with voestalpine Stahl GmbH, Linz.


[2013-08-28] ÖPG Student’s Award for Excellent Diploma Thesis
The Austrian Physical Society awards the student-price for outstanding diploma- or master theses in experimental physics to Richard Wollhofen for his diploma thesis “STED-Lithography at the 55 nm Node”. In his thesis, Richard Wollhofen could show that nanoscale structures of 55 nm width can be written with optical wavelengths of light. This is remarkable because such structures are a factor 4 below the diffraction limit set out by Abbe at the end of the 19th century. The trick to circumvent this limit is to use two colors of light, one of which switches on the chemical process of polymerization and the other one inhibits the start of this process in the outer rim of the focus of the writing beam. Details of the work have recently been published in Optics Express, Vol.21, pp. 10831 (2013). The award was handed over on September 4th, 2013 within the frame of the Joint Annual Meeting of the Austrian Physical Society (ÖPG) and the Swiss Physical Society (SPS), held at the Johannes Kepler University Linz.


[2013-05-06] 120 nm resolution and 55 nm structure size in STED-lithography

Our actual publication “120 nm resolution and 55 nm structure size in STED-lithography” in Optics Express sets a new limit regarding structure size and resolution in two-dimensional STED-lithography. Using visible light for two-photon DLW (780 nm) and STED (532 nm), we obtain lateral structure sizes of 55 nm, a Sparrow limit of around 100 nm and we present two clearly separated lines spaced only 120 nm apart. The samples were fabricated out of a mixture of two tri- and tetra-acrylate polymers with a coumarin photo-initiator, which can be depleted via STED.

[2013-01-15] Spectral and Directional Reshaping of Fluorescence in Large Area Self-Assembled Plasmonic-Photonic Crystals

We recently published a paper “Spectral and Directional Reshaping of Fluorescence in Large Area Self-Assembled Plasmonic-Photonic Crystals” in Nano Letters (
In this letter, we discuss low-cost, large-area samples that can efficiently manipulate fluorescence emission. The samples are self-assembled from dye-doped polystyrene spheres on glass substrates, and are subsequently capped with plasmonic silver shells. In this complex array of metal-dielectric nanostructures, the fluorescence emission from dyes is reshaped spectrally and directionally due to the coupling to photonic crystal Bloch modes and localised void plasmons. The experimental results agree well with extensive numerical simulations.

Our architecture can be used as a new platform for applications in the fields of light emitting devices, and by reversal of the light path also for efficient light harvesting, with the potential of low cost, large area device production.

[2012-05-03] JKU CD Lab Presented with the Houska Award of Recognition

For the seventh year at a ceremony in Vienna on April 26, 2012, the B & C Private Foundation presented the Dr. Wolfgang Houska Awards. The awards are presented in recognition of outstanding business oriented and company related Austrian research projects. The CD Lab for Laser-Assisted Diagnostics (Institute for Applied Physics, JKU Linz) was presented with an award of recognition acknowledging a joint project with voestalpine Stahl.

The award-winning project focuses on the rapid chemical element analyses of complex materials during steel manufacturing processes (heads of the CD Lab: Prof. Johannes D. Pedarnig and Prof. Johannes Heitz).
During the awards ceremony, President and CEO of the B & C Private Foundation Dr. Erich Hampel remarked: "The Houska Award, presented now for the seventh year, recognizes how applied research contributes significantly to the advancement and success of Austrian businesses as well as to their ability to compete effectively; this is indispensable, especially for Austria as a business and industrial location. Research projects that are both economically and business-relevant not only provide valuable impulse to Austria’s free-enterprise system, but also serve to lay the groundwork that drives innovation."
In all, 22 Austrian universities submitted 40 high quality research projects to the B&C Private Foundation in the hopes of winning a 2011 Houska Award. The awards are accompanied with prize money totaling €300,000. The three main awards were presented to universities in Innsbruck and Graz. At the ceremony in Vienna, Prof. Joseph E. Stiglitz (recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences) gave the keynote address titled “The Fall: A Chronicle of the Financial Crisis”.

[2012-04-23] Successful Apprentices at the JKU

Three JKU apprentices completed their final apprenticeship examination with distinction and merit. On April 18, 2012, Rector Richard Hagelauer personally congratulated Johanna Malzner, Matthias Kaltenberger and Jürgen Berger on the excellent results of their respective final apprenticeship examinations.

Johanna Malzner completed her apprenticeship as a physics lab technician at the Institute of Applied Physics. Her mentor, Ing. Heide Maria Piglmayer-Brezina, congratulated Ms. Malzner on her excellent success and praised her strong commitment. She pointed out: “Ms. Malzner completed her job duties with determination and particular attention to detail. Her pleasant and friendly manner was greatly appreciated by everyone at the institute.”

[2012-01-30] Awards for Diploma Degree Theses

Academic excellence at the Johannes Kepler University is proven time and again. Two Diploma degree theses at the Institute for Applied Physics were recently presented with prestigious awards.

Both academic papers received a grade of “1”. DI Bettina Reisinger won the "Wilhelm Macke Award in support of Outstanding Master’s Degree Theses" (supervisor: Prof. J. Heitz). DI Philipp Kolmhofer was presented with the "Wilhelm Macke Recognition Award" (supervisor: Prof. J.D. Pedarnig). Both award recipients are currently pursuing a doctorate degree at the Institute of Applied Physics.

[2011-11-18] „JKU goes Gender“ grant for DIin Bettina Reisinger

DIin Bettina Reisinger’s PhD project „Laserprocessing of functional cell culture substrates“ was assessed by the Jury as excellent, and was awarded the “JKU goes Gender” grant. The price giving will be on November 23, 2011 at 18:00.

[2011-11-03] “Laser Processing and Chemistry”

The fourth edition of Prof. Dieter Bäuerle´s book “Laser Processing and Chemistry” has been published by Springer, Heidelberg. This fourth edition has been enlarged to cover the rapid advances in the understanding of the dynamics of materials under the action of ultrashort laser pulses, and to include a number of new topics, in particular the increasing importance of lasers in various different fields of surface functionalizations and nanotechnology. In two additional chapters, recent developments in biotechnology, medicine, art conservation and restoration are summarized.

[2011-10-20] Successful Evaluation of CD Lab for Laser-Assististed Diagnostics

For the second time, the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Laser-Assisted Diagnostics (LAD, Institute for Applied Physics, JKU) has been positively evaluated. Conducted after five years by international experts and the Christian Doppler Society, the most recent evaluation of both the lab and its directors, a.Prof. Dr. Johannes Heitz and a.Prof. Dr. Johannes Pedarnig, was outstanding.

The CD lab LAD focuses on application oriented base-knowledge research in the field of laser assisted procedures for material diagnostics as well as the development and application of new methods for the quantitative analysis of composite materials ( Partners include the voestalpine Stahl Ltd. and the AVE Österreich Ltd. The CD lab implements laser plasma supported procedures that enable a rapid and precise material analysis, even directly during industrial production. The lab’s additional value lies in the development of a sensitive analysis procedure, education in human resources, developing scientific expertise, and effective knowledge transfer between industry and research institutes.

[2010-10-01] Prof. Dr. Thomas A. Klar was appointed Full Professor and head of the Institute of Applied Physics on September 1st, 2010. He is the successor of Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. Dieter Bäuerle, who headed the institute for more than 30 years.
Previously, Prof. Klar held an Associate Professorship at Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany. His research interest focuses on nanophotonics, in particular on high resolution optical microscopy as well as on optical spectroscopy of solid state nanostructures, such as noble metal nanoparticles or semiconductor clusters. Recently, Prof. Klar received an “ERC Starting Grant” endowed with 1,5 million euros.