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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Light and Matter

Periods
Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.02.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Physics   
2.09.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Electronic components and technologies   

Code Science Field
P260  Natural sciences and mathematics  Condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic and optical properties, supraconductors, magnetic resonance, relaxation, spectroscopy 

Code Science Field
1.03  Natural Sciences  Physical sciences 
Keywords
Liquid crystals, soft matter, optics, nonlinear optics, integrated optics, lasers, biomedical optics, laser medicine, optical tweezers
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (22)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  13497  PhD Dušan Babič  Physics  Researcher  2009 - 2014  131 
2.  34377  PhD Luka Cmok  Physics  Junior researcher  2011 - 2014  54 
3.  34376  PhD Lucija Čoga  Mechanical design  Junior researcher  2011 - 2014  63 
4.  03470  PhD Martin Čopič  Physics  Head  2009 - 2014  510 
5.  28475  PhD Miha Devetak  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2009 - 2011  65 
6.  10373  PhD Irena Drevenšek Olenik  Physics  Researcher  2009 - 2014  575 
7.  32153  PhD Gašper Kokot  Physics  Junior researcher  2009 - 2013  63 
8.  25626  PhD Klemen Kunstelj  Physics  Junior researcher  2009  25 
9.  09757  PhD Matjaž Lukač  Physics  Researcher  2009 - 2012  184 
10.  07317  PhD Boris Majaron  Physics  Researcher  2009 - 2014  320 
11.  31462  PhD Aleksej Majkić  Mechanical design  Researcher  2012 - 2014  36 
12.  11742  PhD Marko Marinček  Physics  Researcher  2009 - 2012  59 
13.  14079  PhD Alenka Mertelj  Physics  Researcher  2009 - 2014  292 
14.  22288  PhD Matija Milanič  Physics  Researcher  2009 - 2014  247 
15.  25669  PhD Natan Osterman  Physics  Researcher  2009 - 2014  173 
16.  29538  PhD Andrej Petelin  Physics  Researcher  2009 - 2014  58 
17.  08851  PhD Igor Poberaj  Physics  Researcher  2009 - 2014  195 
18.  33105  PhD Martin Rigler  Physics  Junior researcher  2010 - 2014  92 
19.  18691  PhD Lea Spindler  Physics  Researcher  2009 - 2014  151 
20.  34456  PhD Luka Vidovič  Interdisciplinary research  Junior researcher  2011 - 2014  42 
21.  18275  PhD Mojca Vilfan  Physics  Researcher  2009 - 2014  159 
22.  05472  PhD Marko Zgonik  Physics  Researcher  2009 - 2014  230 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  90,682 
2.  1554  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics  Ljubljana  1627007  34,086 
Abstract
The research program Light and Matter focuses on the investigations of optical phenomena in soft matter, and applications in optoelectronics, information technology and medicine. It consists of four parts. The first part involves surface interactions of liquid crystals and related partially ordered materials, on surface ordering of polymers, in particular photosensitive ones, and adsorbed large molecules studied by optical spectroscopy and nonlinear optical methods. Liquid crystal composites like holographic polymer dispersed liquid crystals will also be studied. The second part of research focuses on integrated optics and nonlinear optical elements and on holographic data storage. The third part involves studies of interaction of intense light with biological tissues and development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic applications for laser medicine. The fourth part includes research utiliying optical tweezers, including studies of stochastic resonance of brownian particles, exocytosis in cells and vesicles, and molecular motors.
Significance for science
Linear and nonlinear interactions of light with matter are a focal point of one of the currently most active research fields within physics. This is partly due to an extraordinary applicability of optical and spectroscopic methods not only in physics but also in chemistry, biology, material sciences, and medicine. The other significant reason is a vast variety of optical phenomena, which - even 50 years after the invention of laser - are not yet fully understood. In the last two decades, optical phenomena within matter have gained substantially in technological importance in various fields, such as optical transmission, processing and presentation of information, environmental measurements, and medicine. A rapid advance has also been seen in the soft matter research, which includes systems ranging from partially ordered liquids to living cells. This program was designed to combine observations and applications of optical phenomena with soft matter research and in most aspects contributed to the general knowledge in the form of publications in internationally recognized scientific journals. Research in the areas of liquid crystals, liquid-crystalline elastomers (LCEs) and nonlinear optics results in advances applicable to photonics – a technological field of the utmost importance for the advancement of information technology, e. g. data transmission, processing and presentation. We significantly contributed to this field with our discovery of a ferromagnetic phase in suspensions of magnetic nanoplatelets in liquid crystals, with the experimental confirmation of the semi-soft theory of LCEs, and with the demonstration of the suitability of light-sensitive LCEs for fabrication of tunable optical diffractive structures. Our research of biomimetic systems resulted in creation of artificial cilia, accompanied with extensive studies of their pumping efficiency. The model system was used to gain insight into the pumping mechanism and hydrodynamic synchronisation of real biological cilia. G-quadruplexes together with the enzyme telomerase are responsible for maintaining the length of telomers and are as such involved in around 85% of all cancer diseases. Consequently they are becoming widely targeted for anticancer drug design. Our systematic studies addressed the key issue of developing effective strategies aimed at external regulation of G-quadruplex folding, assembly and interactions, which are important for further progress of potential applications. Research in the field of clinical use of lasers in medicine brings an original and globally important contribution to biomedical optics. New optical methods for non-invasive characterization of biological tissues (SFTR, VRS, LSI) provide an important tool in the overall assessment of the therapy process and are used in individualizing the therapy. Our unique system for non-contact measurements of laser-induced temperature profiles in biological tissues has a record braking accuracy and spatial resolution, and it offers a unique approach to studies of selected pathologies and laser-tissue interactions. Fabrication of micro and nanostructures plays an important role in different research and technology areas ranging from fundamental nanoscience to lab on a chip system design. We designed a new photolithographic system for non-contact microstructuring LDI (laser direct imaging), which enables precise and rapid production of a variety of microstructures. Terahertz radiation offers a broad range of applications in chemical sensing and non-destructive testing of materials impenetrable by infrared or visible light. To obtain reasonable power at a certain THz frequency, a narrower band pulsed output with high beam peak power is preferred. We developed a dual frequency pulsed laser, which combined with a THz generator composed of several OH1 crystals, which represents a significant step forward towards such THz source.
Significance for the country
The research programme Light and Matter is important as it ensures that Slovenia keeps in the forefront of a field that is very important in present science and technology. The programme can be considered as a basis, which allows the education of students at the highest level of competence. The accumulated knowledge and new graduated students allows the Slovenian companies to participate in new European and international projects, both on research and on applied level. The research activities present a tight connection between the basic and applied science and a very fast transfer of personnel is possible from the scientific to the technological know-how. The existing close collaboration with foreign research groups ensures that the programme is able to participate in international research. Optoelectronic industry in Slovenia is well-developed. Our close contacts with several companies have a long and successful history. We educate competent engineers and take care that the level of knowledge is on the leading edge. This is important for the companies in order to compete on the global market. The research of the scientists in our group has already contributed to development of lasers, produced in Fotona d.d., and their applications. In collaboration with LPKF, Laser & Elektronika, d. o. o., we are developing new direct laser photolithography and micro structuring techniques. In the field of liquid-crystal light switches, the company Balder is another example of successful collaboration in the past. Research in nonlinear optics, laser systems and medical applications of lasers supports industrial developments and is promisng for direct transfer into new products and technology. The research in biomimetics and molecular biophysics is among the first in our country and therefore presents an important opportunity to develop a new field of bionanotechnology. The research group Light and Matter is firmly interconnected with Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Ljubljana and Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maribor. Members of the group were mentors for diploma theses, master's theses and doctoral dissertations in the field of optics and applications of optical methods. Our contribution is very relevant for local development as more than half of our alumni found employment in the industry. The programme group trained specialists in optical methods, light scattering, optical spectroscopy and laser design. Along with training of Slovenian students and young researchers, we also hosted and trained several foreign PhD students. We wrote several textbooks and lecture notes for different levels of education. These publications are indispensable in dissemination of knowledge and establishment of Slovenian terminology in the field of optics. Members of the group cover all optical courses on the Faculty of mathematics and physics for first, second and third cycle degrees and thus play a crucial role in education of promising and employable physicists.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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