GroupsGroup HomePeoplePublicationsNews

Single fluorescent molecules probe the nanoscale optical field
Molecular Nanophotonics Prof. Dr. Niek van Hulst


Our central goal is to control light interaction at the nanometer scale. To this end we use individual molecules and quantum dots as nano-sources/detectors. These single quantum systems are ideal local field probes of the local mode density in photonic nanostructures, showing specific lifetime, spectrum, polarisation and even direction of photon emission. To generate strong nanoscale optical fields we fabricate optical nano-antennas, tuned in resonance with the photon emitters. Research topics: Emission control, nano-focusing and nanoscale imaging by nano-antenna probes, scanned in controlled proximity to single photon emitters. Coherent control of molecular dynamics and nanoscale antenna fields by phase controlled excitation with few-fs broad band pulses.

Research Topics:
Available Resources:
  • Single molecule detection: imaging, fluorescence lifetime, spectra
  • Heterodyne near-field optical microscope: phase mapping, pulse tracking
  • Aperture type near-field optical microscope
  • Confocal fluorescence - atomic force microscope
  • Lasers: fs-OPO-system, Ti:S-lasers, ps-diode-lasers, Ar/Kr+, HeNe, etc.
  • Pulse shapers: spectral shaper & acousto-optic programmable dispersive filter
  • ICFO-NPL: NanoPhotonics Laboratory, e-beam lithography, SEM, ALD, photolitho, etc.
Funding Previous Funding
  • Lukas Novotny, Inst. of optics, University of Rochester, USA
  • Romain Quidant, ICFO, Castelldefels, Spain
  • Maria Garcia-Parajo, ICFO, Castelldefels, Spain
  • Renaud Vallee, Research Centre Paul Pascal, Bordeaux, France
  • Javier Garcia de Abajo, CSIC, Institute of Optics, Madrid, Spain
  • Luis Martin-Moreno, CSIC, University of Zaragoza, Spain
  • Cefe Lopez, CSIC-ICMM, Institute of Material Science Madrid, Spain
  • Luis Liz-Marzan, University of Vigo, Spain
  • Marcos Dantus, Igor Pastirk, BioPhotonics Solutions, Inc,
  • Peter Fendel, Menlo systems GmbH, Martinsried, Germany
  • Pascal Tournois, Fastlite, Palaiseau, France
  • Fernando Stefani, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Jacob Hoogenboom, University of Delft, the Netherlands
  • Alain Dereux & Gerard Colas de Francs, Univ. Bourgogne, France
  • Markus Sauer, University of Tubbingen, Germany
  • Xavier Borrisé, CIN2, Barcelona, Spain
  • Jordi Hernando, Univ. Autònoma Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
  • Kobus Kuipers, AMOLF, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Klaus Müllen, Max Planck Inst. Polymer research, Mainz, Germany
  • Herman Gaub, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich, Germany
  • Herman Offerhaus, Jennifer Herek, MESA+, University of Twente, Netherlands
  • Klaus Boller, MESA+, University of Twente, Netherlands
  • Reuven Gordon, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.


Job Openings & Fellowships
ICFO People
ICFO life