Nano Photonics-Based Micro Robotics (PHOTBOTS)

erc logoThe general goal is to bring together different fields of research in order to create a new research area of photonic micro robotics. That is to create, study, and implement truly microscopic structures with nano scale accuracy that can perform robotic tasks and that are entirely powered and controlled by light. This idea brings immense challenges both from the point of view of the physics involved as well as the chemistry needed to create the appropriate materials, but if successful can also have a huge impact. Read more

Light in biological systems

The colours shown by several insects often arise from light scattering by very complex photonic structures rather than selective absorption by pigments. Such structures are the result of optical strategies developed during millions of years of evolution. The bright and iridescent colours shown by certain butterflies and beetles, for example, arise from coherent effects which requires ultrathin periodic layers of material. In contrast, a bright white colouration is more complicated to achieve, since all colours has to be scattered with the same high efficiency. Read more

Photonic crystals

Periodic modulation of the refractive index on scales comparable to the wavelength produces crystal-like structures where the propagation of light is strongly influenced by interference effects. As a result the dispersion relation can be modified and gaps can be opened in the band diagram. Read more


Deterministic but non-periodic structures have many features similar to crystal-like (periodic) systems. Nevertheless there are some striking  differences like the fractal nature of the spectrum of most quasi-crystals. Read more

Random lasing

In disordered systems light performs multiple scattering and may take a long time before it exit the structure. In the presence of gain light can experience more amplification than losses creating a cavity-less laser action. Read more

Anderson localization

For sufficiently strong disorder the independent scattering approximation fails and the interference effects become important. In this regime the diffusion process comes to a halt and the eigenstates of the system become exponentially localized. Read more

Lévy flights

levy flightWhen the step lenght distribution in the multiple scattering regime doesn't have a finite variance the transport is dominated by extremely large jumps and the system becomes superdiffusive. Read more