Logo Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL)

The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL) was founded in January 2009, based on the long tradition of optics research in Erlangen. The scientists at MPL conduct basic research in the field of modern optics and optical materials. The research areas include light-matter interaction, nano optics, quantum information processing, optical sensors, nonlinear optics as well as biological optomechanics. In general, the main goal of the research at MPL is to control light and its interaction with matter in all dimensions: in time and space, polarisation and in its quantum properties.

Currently MPL consists of four divisions, several independent research groups and four Technical Development and Service Units. Additionally, MPL, the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and the University Hospital Erlangen have founded the Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin which aims to apply advanced methods from physics and mathematics to biomedical basic research.

Main activities
• optics and information
• nano optics
• photonic crystal fibres
• quantum optics
• bio photonics
• theory

scientific cooperations with research institutions and industry partners

Main areas of research and development
• light matter interaction
• optical sensors
• nonlinear optics (in gases)
• plasmonics
• quantum optics, quantum information and quantum communication
• optomechanical nonlinearities
• high resolution optical nanoscopy and metrology
• nano optics & bio photonics
• optomechanics

Special facilities
• state-of-the-art optical laboratories
• high-quality clean rooms
• high-level micro and nano structuring equipment
• optical and electron beam microscopes
• fibre drawing tower
• glass studio


Managing director
Prof. Dr. Florian Marquardt

Max-Planck-Institut für die Physik des Lichts
Staudtstr. 2
91058 Erlangen

Tel.: +49 9131 7133 0
Fax: +49 9131 7133 990