“Infrared Nanophotonics based on Metal Antennas and Transmission Lines” NanoGUNE's first PhD Thesis defended by Martin Schnell
Martin Schnell, Pre-doctoral researcher at the Nanooptics Group, got his Doctor Degree at the University of The Basque Country (UPV/EHU) after the defense of his thesis project on last Monday 19 March. His research work achieved the maximum qualification (cum laude) after the defense and assessment of his work by an international tribunal that included leading researchers in the field of nanooptics. Dr. Schnell thesis project, done under the supervision of Rainer Hillenbrand leader of the Nanooptics Group, has been the first thesis defended at nanoGUNE after the opening of the center in January 2009.
Last Monday 3 March Martin Schnell defended his thesis project “Infrared Nanophotonics based on Metal Antennas and Transmission Lines” at the University of the Basque Country. This work has been developed during a bit more than three years inside the Nanooptics Groups of nanoGUNE, under the supervision of its Group Leader Rainer Hillenbrand.
The thesis presents a near-field microscope that allows to verify the merging of radiofrequency and plasmonic concepts at infrared frequencies. This near-field microscope is applied to study infrared antennas and transmission lines for the nanofocusing of light and the control of near fields on the nanoscale. Thus, the thesis provides both a valuable tool and new design ideas for the development of novel near-field probes and spectroscopy lab-on-a-chip applications for (bio)medical and chemical sensing.
An international tribunal including leading researchers in the field was selected by the UPV/EHU to assess the research project:
- Niek van Hulst (ICFO, Spain)
- Paolo Vavassori (nanoGUNE, Spain)
- P. Scott Carney (U. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)
- Fritz Keilmann (Max Planck Institute für Quantenoptik, Germany)
- Javier Aizpurua (DIPC, Spain)
The defense consisted of a presentation by the candidate of the main aspects of the research project followed by a long discussion about the questions that each one of the members of the tribunal raised around the research works that have been carried out during the whole PhD period. After its final deliberation, the tribunal decided to award the candidate the Doctor Degree with the highest mention existing in the Spanish University cum laude and congratulated both the new doctor and his supervisor for the high quality of the work done.
Martin Schnell joined the Nanooptics Group in 2008 and was involved from the very beginning in the set-up of the nanooptics laboratories of the center, even before the official opening of the facilities in January 2009. Martin Schnell will continue linked to nanoGUNE as a post-doctoral researcher in the Nanooptics Group.