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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   

Code Science Field
P002  Natural sciences and mathematics  Physics 

Code Science Field
1.03  Natural Sciences  Physical sciences 
Keywords
optics, nonlinear optics, biomedical optics, spectroscopy, soft matter, laser lithography
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (24)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  13497  PhD Dušan Babič  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2016  131 
2.  34377  PhD Luka Cmok  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  54 
3.  34376  PhD Lucija Čoga  Mechanical design  Junior researcher  2015  63 
4.  03470  PhD Martin Čopič  Physics  Retired researcher  2015 - 2021  510 
5.  10373  PhD Irena Drevenšek Olenik  Physics  Head  2015 - 2021  575 
6.  54690  Neža Golmajer Zima  Physics  Junior researcher  2020 - 2021  15 
7.  52045  PhD Žiga Gregorin  Physics  Junior researcher  2018 - 2021  32 
8.  50589  PhD Patricija Hribar Boštjančič  Physics  Junior researcher  2017 - 2021  62 
9.  38210  PhD Matjaž Ličen  Physics  Junior researcher  2015 - 2020  25 
10.  55789  Matija Lovšin  Physics  Junior researcher  2021  13 
11.  07317  PhD Boris Majaron  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  320 
12.  31462  PhD Aleksej Majkić  Mechanical design  Researcher  2015 - 2016  36 
13.  55006  Peter Medle Rupnik    Technical associate  2020 - 2021  25 
14.  14079  PhD Alenka Mertelj  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  292 
15.  22288  PhD Matija Milanič  Physics  Researcher  2015  247 
16.  25669  PhD Natan Osterman  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  173 
17.  29538  PhD Andrej Petelin  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  58 
18.  08851  PhD Igor Poberaj  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2016  195 
19.  39399  PhD Nerea Sebastian Ugarteche  Physics  Researcher  2018 - 2021  120 
20.  18691  PhD Lea Spindler  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  151 
21.  39158  PhD Nina Verdel  Sport  Researcher  2019 - 2020  70 
22.  34456  PhD Luka Vidovič  Interdisciplinary research  Technical associate  2015 - 2017  42 
23.  18275  PhD Mojca Vilfan  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  159 
24.  05472  PhD Marko Zgonik  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2019  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 interaction of light with matter is one of the most important fields of physics. Many of the phenomena are in the forefront of basic research interest, while the technologies using optical phenomena are becoming indispensable in a large part of modern industry. At the same time optical and spectroscopic methods are among the most fundamental in a large part of physics and material science. The proposed research programme comprises fundamental research and possible applications in photonics, information technology, and medicine. The programme is composed of four parts: 1. optical investigations of phenomena and properties of soft matter; 2. optical micro structuring and micro manipulation; 3. biomedical optics; 4. nonlinear and integrated optics. In soft matter research we will focus on properties of the magnetic liquid crystal suspensions that we recently discovered and extend the work to other liquid crystal phases besides nematic. Particularly interesting is magnetic composite with LC elastomers. We will continue the work on supramolecular assembly of guanosine derivatives in view of their biological importance. In cooperation with our industrial partners we will continue development of direct laser photolitography and microstructuring techniques. Our goal is to reduce the size of the microstructures produced by a rapid prototyping direct laser structuring system by an order of magnitude into the sub 100 nm range while maintaining the high processing speed. Visco-elastic properties of inhomogeneous polymeric solutions play an important role in biofilm formation and also influence its biological function. We will investigate visco-elastic properties of levan-DNA mixtures, which are a model system for extracellular matrix, by using active laser tweezers microrheology. In biomedical optics diversity of interaction processes between light and various biological tissues offer numerous possibilities for development of noninvasive diagnostic methods, imaging techniques, and therapeutic procedures. Such a development depends on research of physical and physiological processes involved in a specific laser-tissue interaction, numerical modelling of the procedures, testing in dedicated in vitro models or ex vivo samples, and studies involving test animals or human volunteers. Integrated optics combined with nonlinear effects has a great potential to allow new applications in the UV and THz spectral range, especially with the use of wide band-gap semiconductors and newly developed organic crystals. Our goal is to maximize nonlinear effects by structuring new optical materials to fulfil the vital requirements: the phases of light beams that are involved in the interaction must match and the optical power must be concentrated over longer distances.
Significance for science
Linear and nonlinear interactions of light with matter are currently one of the most active research fields within physics. Partly this is a consequence of an extraordinary usefulness 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 after 50 years from the discovery of lasers – are not entirely understood. Last two decades have witnessed a large increase of technological importance of optical phenomena within matter in various fields e. g. transmission, processing and presentation of information, environmental measurements and medicine. Fast advance have also been seen in the soft matter research which includes systems ranging from partially ordered liquids to living cells. The proposed program is designed to cover topics from all mentioned fields and will in most aspects contribute to basic knowledge in the form of publications in internationally recognized scientific journals. Research in the area of liquid crystals, liquid-crystalline elastomers and nonlinear optics will result in advances applicable to photonics – a technological field of utmost importance to the advancement of information technology e. g. data transmission, processing and presentation. Liquid crystal elastomers are promising as a new kind of mechanical actuators. 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. G-quadruplex structures also show very promising properties in nanoelectronics. Development of effective strategies aimed at external regulation of G-quadruplex folding, assembling and interactions is one of the key issues for further progress in these fields. Rapid prototyping machines for production of microstructures play an important role in different research and technology areas ranging from fundamental nanoscience to lab on a chip system design. A common tradeoff encountered in such systems is either fast production speed or high resolution of microstructures. We will continue the successful development of LDI system in the direction of achieving sub 100nm resolution while maintaining high speed. The result of this development will be a fast high resolution microstructuring machine that will be as affordable and ease to use as LDI system while offering a resolution rivaling e-beam systems. The proposed research in the field of microrheology of complex polymeric biological solutions will advance the method of active laser tweezers microrheology to make it a powerful tool for microrheological studies of demanding biological samples. The research results will provide not only additional information on biofilm formation mechanisms but will also reveal the role of structural inhomogenity on biofilm’s mechanical and biologically relevant functional properties. Biofilm studies are very important from a fundamental as well as applied science point of view. The results of proposed research will contribute new and valuable information to this field. The outlined research in the field of biomedical optics and laser medicine will result in original scientific contributions of global importance. The development and testing of novel diagnostic and treatment protocols will lead to improved understanding of selected medical conditions and laser-tissue interactions. The three-dimensional imaging based on PPTR will represent a global novelty and offer a unique approach to studies of selected pathologies and laser-tissue interactions.
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 will allow the Slovenian companies to participate in new European and international projects, both on research and on applied level. The proposed 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 will be 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 scientist in this 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, Balder is another example of successful collaboration in the past, but new research of polymer surfaces and liquid-crystal-systems will contribute to improve their technologies even further. Research in nonlinear optics, laser systems and medical applications of lasers will continue to support industrial developments and will hopefully find 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 will continue training of specialists in optical methods, light scattering, optical spectroscopy and laser design. Along with training of Slovenian students and young researchers, we will also host and train 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 on 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. As the programme is a joint effort of researchers from universities and research institutes, it promotes successful connection of research and educational sectors.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2015, interim report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2015, interim report
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