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At the Nanophotonics research group at SDU NanoSYD, the emphasis is given to basic research as well as development of key nanophotonic technologies for hybrid high-performance and industry-ready opto-electronic devices. This includes state-of-the-art fabrication and characterization techniques such as Helium ion microscopy and laser scanning microscopy/spectroscopy.

Funded projects:

AdCON: Advancing Conservation

EU/Interreg 5A

Project duration: 06/2021 – 05/2022

Project partners: University of Kiel, Conservation Centre Vejle

PAANEE (Photons and AI for Aquifer monitoring NEEds): A cyber-physical system for

monitoring groundwater quality.

Innovation Fund Denmark

Project Duration: 02/2021 – 02/2024

Project partners: Copenhagen Nanosystems ApS, IIT Bombay.


NanoTrain: programmable colloidal nanomachine

Villum Foundation - Villum Experiment
Project duration: 03/2021 - 02/2023

CheckNano, EU/interreg 5A
Project duration: 08/2018 - 07/2021
Leadpartner: University of Southern Denmark
Other partners from SDU: NanoSYD and NanoOptics
Other partners: Fachhochschule Kiel, Institut für Werkstoff- und Oberflächentechnologie, Forschungs- und Entwicklungszentrum Fachhochschule Kiel GmbHHochschule Flensburg - Energie und Biotechnologie, Coherent LaserSystems GmbH & Co. KG, and CCM, Sønderborg

People in the Nanophotonics group:

Jacek Fiutowski, Associate Professor
Till Leissner, Associate Professor
Roana Melina de Oliveira Hansen, Associate Professor
Prince Gupta, Postdoc
Ayoub Laghrissi, Postdoc
Irina Iachina, PhD student 


Short description of selected projects

Active Nanoplasmonics (ANAP)

This project aims at developing the foundation for ultra-compact nanophotonic components via optical nanotechnology based on SPP modes supported by dielectric/metal nanostructures. The strategic goal of the project is to advance active plasmonics so as to realize SP amplification, generation, modulation and detection. The proposed project encompasses fundamental studies of SP amplification and generation utilizing quantum dots (QDs) and organic nanofibers (ONFs), SP modulation and detection using the thermo-optic effect as well as application developments of miniature plasmonic environmental sensors. The successful execution of a very ambitious programme will be ensured by coordinated efforts of three strong research groups world-recognized within nanooptics and nanotechnology: the group of S. I. Bozhevolnyi (ITI, SDU) leading in nano-plasmonics, the group of H.-G. Rubahn (MCI, SDU) leading in organic nanotechnology and active (organic) nanooptics, and the group of K. Pedersen (Department of Physics and Nanotechnology, AAU) leading in nonlinear optics at surfaces and interfaces. The parallel development of environmental sensors will be coordinated by Senmatic A/S, a company specializing in fabrication of sensors for a wide range of applications, from environment to food and ship industries. The project work will be integrated with extensive European research carried out within the framework of EU-funded projects and networks, benefiting from direct collaborations with leading European scientists.

Read more about the project on the ANAP project page at the Department of Technology and Innovation (ITI).


Laser scanning microscopy and surface enhanced optical properties of organic nanofibers

Recent developments in synthetic chemistry have made it possible to design molecules with specific optical properties, such as large two-photon absorption cross sections or large second harmonic response which is interesting especially in the photonic domain. Such tailor-made molecules can be implemented in nano-scaled optically active devices for instance by growth of fiber shaped nanoaggregates on specific growth substrates. Because these nanofibers can easily be transferred from the growth substrate to an arbitrary surface without any change of the optical properties they have the potential to revolutionize the field of sub-micrometer scaled integrated photonics.

Fig. (a) SEM image of CNHP4 fibers transferred on the gold nanostructure array (b) SHG-LSM intensity image of the same spot.

Leakage radiation spectroscopy of organic nanofibers on metal films

Excitation of SPPs at metal nanostructures provides opportunities for controlling light-matter interactions on the nanoscale. Hybrid structures which combine both plasmonic and photonic components suggest new challenges in the design and application of nanophotonic circuits. One of the routes in this direction is a plasmonic nanolaser in which a nanowire plays the role of the gain medium which amplifies SPPs supported by the metallic subsystem. To operate as a plasmonic laser the hybrid structure should provide an efficient coupling between the excitations of the nanowire and the plasmonic modes of the metal substrate.

We study a hybrid nanostructure represented by organic (para-Hexaphenylene, p6P), mutually parallel nanofibers deposited onto a silver film.  Such a structure provides a coupling between nanofiber excitons and SPPs of the metal film. Although coupled exciton-SPP excitations are non-radiative at a metal-air interface, they can leak energy into a dielectric. This principle is exploited in leakage spectroscopy based on the Kretschmann geometry.

Robust plasmonic substrates

This project is a novel approach of developing plasmonic substrates by covering gold nanostructures with diamond-like carbon (DLC) thin films of three different thicknesses. Diamond-like carbon thin films have been grown by direct hydrocarbon ion beam deposition on top of gold plasmonic substrates fabricated by electron beam lithography (EBL). Using atomic force microscopy (AFM) the resulting triple-layered robust substrates (silicon substrate/gold/DLC) are tested mechanically by means of evaluation of threshold loads both for plastic deformation and cracking. This is important in order to study the conditions under which DLC-coated gold plasmonic substrates become locally destroyed under mechanical load and are no longer functional.

Fig. a) nanoindentation and b) wear mark on DLC-coated gold.


Nanophotonic-plasmonic hybrids

In the following, our special attention is focused on hybrid structures consisting of p-6p organic nanofibers deposited/transferred on a metal (typically gold) surface. Using interferometric time-resolved photoemission electron microscopy (ITR-PEEM) we have successfully demonstrated and quantitatively characterized plasmonic waveguiding at the interface between an individual p-6p nanofiber and a metal substrate. ­The recorded periodic PEEM beating patterns resulting from the phase-coupled superposition of the polarization field of the propagating SPP and excitation laser fields enable us to determine the dispersion relation of the SPP waveguiding modes. ­The overall results show that the structural control of the cross-sectional dimension of a p6p nanofiber provides a promising means for the customized design of plasmonic wave-guides.

Fig. P-6p nanofiber monitored via PEEM system.

Interaction of self-assembled colloidal nanoparticles with ordered plasmonic and photonic active substrates

The main challenge of the project is to implement a method for aligning colloidal nanoparticles on microstructured surfaces and to study the optical coupling to plasmon waves and collective excitations in nanoaggregates. The main effect of nanoparticles and order is to enhance coupling efficiency and fabricate more efficient nanophotonic devices.

The first part of the project is dedicated to fabrication and characterization of noble metal nanoparticles and hybrid bimetallic structures. The second will incorporate organic nanofibers where the main focus will be on investigations of collective effects regarding waveguiding, chirality and lasing.

Fig. a) spherical and b) cubic silver nanoparticles.

Spider silk as model superior biomaterials

Spider silk has extraordinary mechanical properties compared to most man-made materials. For example, the tensile strength of spider silk is comparable to that of steel alloy however it weighs far less and can be spun at room temperature. Due to this unique combination of strength and extensibility dragline silk has been extensively studied ]. It is however, near impossible to obtain spider silk in industrial amounts. Therefore, much research has gone into development of artificial spider silk, which can be spun from an aquamelt in an extremely efficient process. Artificial spider silk would be an environment friendly and strong substitute useful in many industrial purposes and environment friendly process. Large scale production of high-quality artificial silk has not been possible so far, and a full understanding of spider silk from molecule to macroscopic fiber is still lacking. The overall aim of this project is to design artificial silk with the same or better properties as natural spider silk. To do this we propose to develop new methods for the synthesis of artificial spider silk fibers using the acquired knowledge regarding the complex nanostructure of the natural silk and a novel microfluidic based biomimetic fiber spinning technique.


Latest publications

49: Kumar, Shailesh; Leißner, Till; Boroviks, Sergejs; Andersen, Sebastian; Fiutowski, Jacek; Rubahn, Horst-Günter; Mortensen, Niels; Bozhevolnyi, Sergey, 2020 “Efficient coupling of single organic molecules to channel plasmon polaritons supported by V-grooves in monocrystalline gold", ACS Photonics 7, 8, 2211 – 2218.

48: Mahima Sharma, Mrinal Poddar, Yash Gupta, Subhasha Nigam, Devesh Kumar Avasthi, Rainer Adelung, Reza Abolhassani, Jacek Fiutowski, Monika Joshi, Yogendra Kumar Mishra, “Solar light assisted degradation of dyes and adsorption of heavy metal ions from water by CuO-ZnO tetrapodal hybrid nanocomposite”, Materials Today Chemistry, vol. 17, no. 100336.
47: Glover, Z, Francis, MJ, Fiutowski, J, Sun, Q, Yu, Q, Andersen, U, Brewer, JR, Simonsen, AC, Povey, MJ & Holmes, MJ 2020, 'Acoustic attenuation spectroscopy and helium ion microscopy study of rehydration of dairy powder', Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, vol. 600, 124795.
46: Cielecki, PP, Leissner, T, Ahmadpour, M, Madsen, M, Rubahn, H-G, Fiutowski, J & Kjelstrup-Hansen, J 2020, 'Photo-induced and electrical degradation of organic field-effect transistors', Organic Electronics, vol. 82, 105717.
45: Veziroglu, S, Obermann, A-L, Ullrich, M, Hussain, M, Kamp, M, Kienle, L, Leißner, T, Rubahn, H-G, Polonskyi, O, Strunskus, T, Fiutowski, J, Es-Souni, M, Adam, J, Faupel, F & Aktas, OC 2020, 'Photo-deposition of Au Nanoclusters for Enhanced Photocatalytic Dye Degradation over TiO2 Thin Film', A C S Applied Materials and Interfaces, vol. 12, no. 13, pp. 14983-14992.
44: Berger, N, Laghrissi , A, Yan Tay , Y, Sritharan , T, Fiutowski, J, Rubahn, H-G & Es-Souni, M 2019, 'Formation of Si nanorods and discrete nanophases by axial diffusion of Si from substrate into Au and AuPt nanoalloy nanorods', Nanomaterials, vol. 10, no. 1, 68.
43: Haidar, A, Ali, AA, Veziroglu, S, Fiutowski, J, Eichler, H, Müller, I, Kiefer, K, Faupel , F, Bischoff, M, Veith, M, Aktas, OC & Abdul-Khaliq, H 2019, 'PTFEP-Al2O3 hybrid nanowires reducing thrombosis and biofouling', Nanoscale Advances, vol. 1, no. 12, pp. 4659-4664.
42: Jurkevičiūtė, A, Klimaitė, G, Tamulevičius, T, Fiutowski, J, Rubahn, H-G & Tamulevičius, S 2019, 'Tailoring of Silver Nanoparticle Size Distributions in Hydrogenated Amorphous Diamond-like Carbon Nanocomposite Thin Films by Direct Femtosecond Laser Interference Patterning', Advanced Engineering Materials, vol. 22, no. 3, 1900951.
41: Costa, CAB, Grazhdan, D, Fiutowski, J, Nebling, E, Blohm, L, Lofink, F, Rubahn, HG & de Oliveira Hansen, R 2020, 'Meat and fish freshness evaluation by functionalized cantilever-based biosensors', Microsystem Technologies, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 867-871.
40: Sierant, A, Panas, R, Fiutowski, J, Rubahn, H-G & Kawalec, T 2019, 'Tailoring optical discs for Surface Plasmon Polaritons generation', Nanotechnology. Nanotechnology, vol. 31, no. 2, 025303.
39: Garcia-Ortiz, CE, Cortes, R, Gomez-Correa, JE, Pisano, E, Fiutowski, J, Garcia-Ortiz, DA, Ruiz-Cortes, V, Rubahn, H-G & V. Coello, V 2019, 'Plasmonic metasurface Luneburg lens', Photonics Research, vol. 7, no. 10, pp. 1112-1118.
38: Klick, A, Großmann, M, Beewen, M, Bittorf, P, Fiutowski, J, Leißner, T, Rubahn, H-G, Reinhardt, C, Elmers, H-J & Bauer, M 2019, 'Femtosecond time-resolved photoemission electron microscopy operated at sample illumination from the rear side', Review of Scientific Instruments, vol. 90, no. 5, pp. 053704.
37: Veziroglu, S, Röder, K, Gronenberg, O, Vahl, A, Polonsky, O, Strunskus, T, Rubahn, H-G, Kienle, L, Adam, J, Fiutowski, J, Faupel , F & Aktas, OC 2019, 'Cauliflower-like CeO2-TiO2 Hybrid Nanostructures with Extreme Photocatalytic and Self-Cleaning Properties', Nanoscale, vol. 11, pp. 9840-9844.
36: Novikov, SM, Popok, VN, Evlyukhin, AB, Hanif, M, Morgen, P, Fiutowski, J, Beermann, J, Rubahn, HG & Bozhevolnyi, SI 2018, 'Highly stable silver nanoparticles for SERS applications', Journal of Physics: Conference Series, vol. 1092, 012098, pp. 1-6.
35: Telecka, A, Mandsberg, NK, Li, T, Ndoni, S, Di Mundo, R, Palumbo, F, Fiutowski, J, Chiriaev, S & Taboryski, R 2018, 'Mapping the transition to superwetting state for nanotextured surfaces templated from block-copolymer self-assembly', Nanoscale, vol. 10, no. 44, pp. 20652-20663.
34: Cielecki, PP, Adam, J, Leissner, T, Patil, BR, Madsen, M, Rubahn, H-G, Kjelstrup-Hansen, J & Fiutowski, J 2018, 'Photo-induced Degradation Mechanisms in 4P-NPD Thin Films', Organic Electronics, vol. 63, pp. 114-119.
33: Veziroglu, S, Ghori, MZ, Kamp, M, Kienle, L, Rubahn, H-G, Strunskus, T, Fiutowski, J, Adam, J, Faupel , F & Aktas, OC 2018, 'Photocatalytic growth of hierarchical au needle clusters on highly active TiO2 thin film', Advanced Materials Interfaces, vol. 5, no. 15, 1800465.
32: Großmann, M, Thomaschewski, M, Klick, A, Goszczak, AJ, Sobolewska, EK, Leißner, T, Adam, J, Fiutowski, J, Rubahn, H-G & Bauer, M 2018, 'Single-mode to multi-mode crossover in thin-load polymethyl methacrylate plasmonic waveguides', Plasmonics, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 1441-1448.
31: Patil, BR, Mirsafaei, M, Cielecki, PP, Fernandes Cauduro, AL, Fiutowski, J, Rubahn, H-G & Madsen, M 2017, 'ITO with embedded silver grids as transparent conductive electrodes for large area organic solar cells', Nanotechnology, vol. 28, no. 40, 405303.
30: Novikov, SM, Popok, VN, Evlyukhin, AB, Hanif, M, Morgen, P, Fiutowski, J, Beermann, J, Rubahn, HG & Bozhevolnyi, SI 2017, 'Highly Stable Monocrystalline Silver Clusters for Plasmonic Applications', Langmuir, vol. 33, no. 24, pp. 6062-6070.
29: Cielecki, PP, Sobolewska, EK, Kostiučenko, O, Leißner, T, Tamulevicius, T, Tamulevicius, S, Rubahn, H-G, Adam, J & Fiutowski, J 2017, 'Plasmon-Organic Fiber Interactions in Diamond-Like Carbon Coated Nanostructured Gold Films', Optics Communications, vol. 402, pp. 635-640.
28: Leißner, T, Jensen, PBW, Liu, Y, Brewer, JR, Fiutowski, J, Rubahn, H-G & Kjelstrup-Hansen, J 2017, 'Mapping Charge Carrier Density in Organic Thin-Film Transistors by Time-Resolved Photoluminescence Lifetime Studies', Organic Electronics, vol. 49, pp. 69-75.
27: Sobolewska, EK, Jozefowski, L, Kawalec, T, Leißner, T, Rubahn, H-G, Adam, J & Fiutowski, J 2017, 'Excitation of Surface Plasmon Polaritons by Fluorescent Light from Organic Nanofibers', Optics Communications, vol. 402, pp. 630-634.
26: Kawalec, T, Sierant, A, Panas, R, Fiutowski, J, Bartoszek-Bober, D, Jozefowski, L & Rubahn, H-G 2018, 'Surface Plasmon Polaritons Probed with Cold Atoms', Plasmonics, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 639–644.
25: Wang, Y, Bravo Costa, CA, Sobolewska, EK, Fiutowski, J, Brehm, R, Albers, J, Nebling, E, Lofink, F, Wagner, B, Benecke, W, Rubahn, H-G & Oliveira Hansen, RMD 2018, 'Micro‑cantilevers for optical sensing of biogenic amines', Microsystem Technologies: Micro- and Nanosystems Information Storage and Processing Systems, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 363–369.
24: Klick, A, de la Cruz, S, Lemke, C, Großmann, M, Beyer, H, Fiutowski, J, Rubahn, H-G, Mendez, ER & Bauer, M 2016, 'Amplitude and phase of surface plasmon polaritons excited at a step edge', Applied Physics B, vol. 122, no. 79.
23: Goszczak, AJ, Adam, J, Cielecki, PP, Fiutowski, J, Rubahn, H-G & Madsen, M 2016, 'Nanoscale aluminum concaves for light-trapping in organic thin-films', Optics Communications, vol. 370, pp. 135-139.
22: Leißner, T, Kostiučenko, O, Brewer, JR, Rubahn, H-G & Fiutowski, J 2015, 'Nanostructure induced changes in lifetime and enhanced second-harmonic response of organic-plasmonic hybrids', Applied Physics Letters, vol. 107, no. 25, pp. 251102-(1-4).
21: Großmann, M, Klick, A, Lemke, C, Falke, J, Black, M, Fiutowski, J, Goszczak, AJ, Sobolewska, E, Zillohu, AU, Hedayati, MK, Rubahn, H-G, Faupel , F, Elbahri, M & Bauer, M 2015, 'Light-Triggered Control of Plasmonic Refraction and Group Delay by Photochromic Molecular Switches', ACS Photonics, vol. 2, no. 9, pp. 1327-1332.
20: Simesen, P, Søndergaard, T, Skovsen, E, Fiutowski, J, Rubahn, H-G, Bozhevolnyi, SI & Pedersen, K 2015, 'Surface plasmon polariton excitation by second harmonic generation in single organic nanofibers', Optics Express, vol. 23, no. 12, pp. 16356-16363.
19: Biagi, G, Fiutowski, J, Radko, I, Rubahn, H-G, Pedersen, K & Bozhevolnyi, SI 2015, 'Compact wavelength add–drop multiplexers using Bragg gratings in coupled dielectric-loaded plasmonic waveguides', Optics Letters, vol. 40, no. 10, pp. 2429-2432.
18: Lemke, C, Leißner, T, Klick, A, Fiutowski, J, Radke, JW, Thomaschewski, M, Kjelstrup-Hansen, J, Rubahn, H-G & Bauer, M 2014, 'The complex dispersion relation of surface plasmon polaritons at gold/para-hexaphenylene interfaces', Applied physics. B, Lasers and optics (Print), vol. 116, no. 3, pp. 585-591.
17: Kostiučenko, O, Fiutowski, J, Tamulevicius, T, Tamulevicius, S, Silbernagl, D, Sturm, H & Rubahn, H-G 2014, 'Robust plasmonic substrates', Applied Physics A: Materials Science & Processing, vol. 116, no. 1, pp. 151-159.
16: Kostiučenko, O, Fiutowski, J, Kawalec, T, Bordo, V, Rubahn, H-G & Jozefowski, L 2014, 'Surface plasmon polariton dispersion relation at organic/dielectric/metal interfaces', Optics Communications, vol. 331, pp. 77-81.
15: Lemke, C, Leißner, T, Evlyukhin, A, Radke, JW, Klick, A, Fiutowski, J, Kjelstrup-Hansen, J, Rubahn, H-G, Chichkov, BN, Reinhardt, C & Bauer, M 2014, 'The Interplay between Localized and Propagating Plasmonic Excitations Tracked in Space and Time', Nano Letters, vol. 14, no. 5, pp. 2431-2435.
14: Kawalec, T, Bartoszek-Bober, D, Panas, R, Fiutowski, J, Plawecka, A & Rubahn, H-G 2014, 'Optical dipole mirror for cold atoms based on a metallic diffraction grating', Optics Letters, vol. 39, no. 10, pp. 2932-2935.
13: Lemke, C, Leißner, T, Klick, A, Radke, JW, Fiutowski, J, Kjelstrup-Hansen, J, Rubahn, H-G & Bauer, M 2013, 'Measurement of surface plasmon autocorrelation functions', Optics Express, vol. 21, no. 22, pp. 27392-27401.
12: Leißner, T, Lemke, C, Fiutowski, J, Willers Radke, J, Klick, A, Tavares, L, Kjelstrup-Hansen, J, Rubahn, H-G & Bauer, M 2013, 'Morphological Tuning of the Plasmon Dispersion Relation in Dielectric-Loaded Nanofiber Waveguides', Physical Review Letters, vol. 111, no. 4, 046802.
11: Fiutowski, J, Bartoszek-Bober, D, Dohnalik, T & Kawalec, T 2013, 'Evanescent wave mirror for cold atoms—A quasi-resonant case', Optics Communications, vol. 297, no. June, pp. 59-64.
10: Leißner, T, Lemke, C, Jauernik, S, Müller, M, Fiutowski, J, Tavares, L, Thilsing-Hansen, K, Kjelstrup-Hansen, J, Magnussen, O, Rubahn, H-G & Bauer, M 2013, 'Surface plasmon polariton propagation in organic nanofiber based plasmonic waveguides', Optics Express, vol. 21, no. 7, pp. 8251-8260.
9: Skovsen, E, Søndergaard, T, Fiutowski, J, Simesen, P, Osadnik, A, Lützen, A, Rubahn, H-G, Bozhevolnyi, SI & Pedersen, K 2012, 'Local excitation of surface plasmon polaritons by second-harmonic generation in crystalline organic nanofibers', Optics Express, vol. 20, no. 15, pp. 16715-16725.
8: Fiutowski, J, Maibohm, C, Kostiučenko, O, Kjelstrup-Hansen, J & Rubahn, H-G 2012, 'Mapping of gold nanostructure-enhanced near fields via laser scanning second-harmonic generation and ablation', Journal of Nanophotonics, vol. 6, pp. 063515-1-11.
7: Lemke, C, Leißner, T, Jauernik, S, Klick, A, Fiutowski, J, Kjelstrup-Hansen, J, Rubahn, H-G & Bauer, M 2012, 'Mapping surface plasmon polariton propagation via counter-propagating light pulses', Optics Express, vol. 20, no. 12, pp. 12877-12884.
6: Skovsen, E, Søndergaard, T, Fiutowski, J, Rubahn, H-G & Pedersen, K 2012, 'Surface plasmon polariton generation by light scattering off aligned organic nanofibers', Journal of the Optical Society of America B: Optical Physics, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 249-256.
5: Radko, I, Fiutowski, J, Tavares, L, Rubahn, H-G & Bozhevolnyi, SI 2011, 'Organic nanofiber-loaded surface plasmon-polariton waveguides', Optics Express, vol. 19, no. 16, pp. 15155-15161.
4: Fiutowski, J, Maibohm, C, Kjelstrup-Hansen, J & Rubahn, H-G 2011, 'Laser ablation of polymer coatings allows for electromagnetic field enhancement mapping around nanostructures', Applied Physics Letters, vol. 98, no. 19, pp. 193117

3:  Christoph Lemke, Till Leißner, Alwin Klick, Jörn W. Radke, Jacek Fiutowski, Jakob Kjelstrup-Hansen, Horst-Günter Rubahn, and Michael Bauer. "Measurement of surface plasmon autocorelation functions", Optics Express, 21  (2013) 27392.

2: Till Leißner, Christoph Lemke, Stephan Jauernik, Mathias Müller, Jacek Fiutowski, Luciana Tavares, Kasper Thilsing-Hansen, Jakob Kjelstrup-Hansen, Olaf Magnussen, Horst-Günter Rubahn, and Michael Bauer. "Surface plasmon polariton propagation in organic nanofiber based plasmonic waveguides", Optics Express 21 (2013) 8251

1: Esben Skovsen, Thomas Søndergaard, Jacek Fiutowski, Paw Simesen, Andreas Osadnik, Arne Lützen, Horst-Günter Rubahn, Sergey I. Bozhevolnyi, and Kjeld Pedersen. "Local excitation of surface plasmon polaritons by second-harmonic generation in crystalline organic nanofibers", Optics Express, Vol. 20 (2012) 16715