MIT.nano December Seminar—Prof. Vahid Sandoghdar: On single photons and single molecules: From nano-quantum optics to nanobiophotonics—Dec. 7

Please join us for the December MIT.nano Seminar Series:

Sandoghdar headshotVahid Sandoghdar

Alexander von Humboldt Professor
Dept. of Physics, Friedrich Alexander University
Director, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light
Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin

Date: Monday, December 7, 2020
Time: 2pm - 3pm EST
Location: Zoom webinar

After registering, you will receive the link to join. This event is free and open to the public.

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Light-matter interaction at the nanometer scale lies at the heart of elementary optical processes such as absorption, emission, or scattering. Over the past two decades, Sandoghdar has realized a series of experiments to investigate the interaction of single photons, single molecules, and single nanoparticles.

In this presentation, Sandoghdar will report on recent studies where unity efficiency is reached in the coupling of single photons to single molecules and describe efforts to exploit this for the realization of polaritonic states involving a controlled number of molecules and photons. Furthermore, Sandoghdar will show how the underlying mechanisms that play a central role in quantum optics, help image and track single biological nanoparticles such as viruses and small proteins with high spatial and temporal resolutions.


Vahid Sandoghdar is one of the pioneers of the field of nano-optics, which merges various methods and research areas to investigate fundamental issues in the interaction between light and matter at the nanometer scale. His current research ranges from quantum optics, plasmonics and ultrahigh resolution microscopy to nanobiophysics.

Sandoghdar obtained his B.S. in physics from the University of California at Davis in 1987 and Ph.D. in physics from Yale University in 1993. After a postdoctoral stay at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, he moved to the University of Konstanz in Germany, where he started a new line of research to combine single molecule spectroscopy, scanning probe microscopy, and quantum optics. In 2001, he accepted a chair at the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry at ETH in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2011, he became director at the newly established Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen and Alexander von Humboldt Professor at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. Sandoghdar is also the founder of the new Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin, a joint research center that aims to address questions in fundamental medical research with physical and mathematical methods.