I. Physikalisches Institut

Research Group of Prof. Dr. Stefan Mathias

Ultrafast Dynamics in Condensed Matter

Our research focuses on ultrafast electronic, magnetic, and structural dynamics in condensed matter, and the development of new experimental methods to study these processes. In particular, we combine the advantages of ultrashort X-rays from high-harmonic generation with ultrafast solid-state research, and explore dynamics at fundamental time- and lengthscales, where all elementary processes can be captured, even at the level of electrons. Current topics involve the study of electronic properties and dynamics in correlated-electron materials, at surfaces and interfaces, in nanostructures, and metal-adsorbate hybrid systems.

Research topics

  • Ultrafast dynamics in correlated-electron materials
  • Ultrafast magnetization dynamics in nanostructures
  • Ultrafast electron dynamics at surfaces, interfaces, and in low-dimensional nanostructures
  • Ultrafast x-ray materials science


Bestowal of the Pohl medal for excellence in teaching
Prof. Mathias was awarded the Robert Wiechard Pohl medal for his lecture "Introduction to solid state physics" by the faculty of physics for excellence in teaching (Information about the price). We feel deeply honored by this prize and will strive to further excel in teaching.

CRC1073 continues - AG Mathias with two projects in second funding period
The CRC1073 "Atomic scale control of energy conversion" enters its second funding period in July 2017. Our group participates with projects studying elemental steps of energy conversion after strong optical excitation in correlated materials (together with AG Kehrein) and the active control of energy conversion in correlated oxides by spin currents (together with AG Ulrichs)
University press release (in german)...

Ultrafast spectroscopy uncovers single steps of phase transitions
Photoemission spectroscopy with ultrashort X-ray pulses reveals a so far unknown microscopic mechanism of an ultrafast insulator-metal phase transition. Through a self-amplified melting process - induced by photoexcited electrons - the insulating state disappears within a few femtoseconds. Further information...