Nanoscience has opened manifold opportunities for the development of future opto-electronic devices with properties tailored for a wide range of applications.









In this special research program (SFB) "Infrared Optical Nanostructures" we will utilize the rapid progress in nanoscience to overcome the present shortage of reliable optoelectronic semiconductor devices for the 2-20 µm infrared wavelength range by developing new concepts and technologies.


Drawing on the expertise and infrastructure available at the participating institutions, this SFB is focused on five main interdisciplinary research areas:

(1) Nanofabrication of novel infrared materials by successful combination of self-organization processes with nanolithography. This will allow the realization of engineered nanostructures as basis for the overall goal of this SFB.

(2) New types of analysis methods with high spatial resolution will be employed to get structural as well as optical and electronic information of the nanostructures. This is not only an important feedback for the growth and fabrication processes but also a crucial input for the theoretical efforts as well for design of the novel device structures.

(3) Infrared and THz spectroscopy will reveal the electronic structure as well as time-resolved dynamic optical processes in the nanostructures which is important for the design and prediction of the device performance.

(4) Development and implementation of theoretical models for ab initio description of nanostructure growth dynamics, as well as for prediction of electronic levels and optical effects down to level of device simulations.

(5) Finally, novel efficient infrared nanostructure devices based will be realized, including cw-infrared lasers, single photon sources and detectors as well as novel photonic band gap structures.


This special research program is expected to have significant impact on basic science and technological development.

The combined efforts in nanofabrication will yield novel types of nanostructures with high structural perfection and new functionalities. New optical experiments will be devised and carried out based on high performance infrared devices, and developed novel analysis techniques will give new insights into single nanostructures.
The superior infrared nanodevices realized in this SFB will clearly push and widen the field of infrared application inclduing medical diagnostics, industrial monitoring and home electronics. The IR-ON research program will involve a close interdisciplinary partnership of several leading research groups in Linz, Vienna, Munich, Regensburg and Jena. Together, these groups aggregate a wide range of scientific expertise in nanofabrication, analysis, spectroscopy and theory of nanostructures for infrared optical materials, as well as in design and fabrication of actual devices.
This combined mulit-disciplinary research effort in the SFB framework forms the ground basis for achieving the challenging IR-ON goals. This applies in particular to the close collaborations between the experimental and theoretical groups.

As a whole, the IR-ON research program has a strong common momentum in growth, analysis and spectroscopy. An added value is the collective leading scientific expertise and highly complementary existing infrastructure at the individual research institutions. Thus, all analysis and spectroscopy tasks required to reveal the detailed electronic and structural properties of the nanostructures can be carried out among the IR-ON SFB partners.

Clearly, IR-ON will strengthen the significance of Austrian science in the emerging field of nanoscience and technology and will impact the educational program at the partcipating institutions through introduction of its topics into the teaching program and by developing young ambitious scientists and engineers who will boost the Austrian activities in innovative research and technology.