Prof. Dr. Thomas Elsaesser


Director at the Max-Born-Institut für Nichtlineare Optik

und Kurzzeitspektroskopie im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.


Professor for Experimental Physics at the

Humboldt Universität zu Berlin






Curriculum vitae


since 1994         C4/W3-S-Professor for Experimental Physics at the Humboldt University

since 1993         Director at the Max-Born-Institute

1991                 Habilitation in Physics at the Technical University of Munich

1990                 Postdoctoral research at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, NJ, USA

1986-1993         Research associate (Akademischer Rat and Oberrat) at the Physics Dept. E11

1982-1986         PhD work at the Physics Department E11 of the Technical University of

                Munich (Prof. W. Kaiser). Thesis on 'Picosecond infrared spectroscopy of

                molecules and semiconductors'

1982                 Diplom in Physics, Technical University of Munich

1979                 Vordiplom in Physics, University of Heidelberg

1957                 born in Tübingen, Germany





Major research interests


Ultrafast phenomena in condensed matter, in particular molecular liquids, polyatomic

molecules, organic and inorganic solids and nanostructures:


-         Generation and application of ultrashort pulses in a wide spectral range (THz to hard x-ray),

-         Combination of ultrafast techniques with optical near-field methods,

-         Nonequilibrium dynamics of elementary excitations in solids,

-         Ultrafast vibrational processes in hydrogen bonds and other molecular systems,

-         Ultrafast x-ray diffraction.





Honors and awards


2017         Professeur invité at Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris (Physics Dept.)

2017         Outstanding Referee American Physical Society

2016         Ellis R. Lippincott Award (Optical Society, Coblentz Society, Society for Applied Spectroscopy)

2015         TRVS Lifetime Achievement Award (Int. Conference on Time-Resolved Vibrational Spectroscopy)

2012         Professeur invité at Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris (Physics Dept.)

2012         Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics

2012         George Fisher Baker Lectureship Symposium on Water, Cornell University, USA

2011         Fellow of the American Physical Society

2010         Innovation Prize Berlin Brandenburg for femtosecond x-ray plasma source,

                Institute for Scientific Instruments GmbH, Berlin-Adlershof, and MBI

2010         Regular Member Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences

2009         ERC Advanced Grant

2009         Morino Lecturer for Chemical Physics (Morino Foundation, Japan)

2009         Fellow of the Optical Society of America

2006         Lecturer, Frontiers in Chemical Research, Texas A&M University

2006         Karl Friedrich Bonhoeffer Lecture, MPI f. Biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen

2004         Professeur invité at Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris (Chemistry Dept.)

2003         Lecturer, Swiss Graduate Schools in Chemistry, Convention intercantonale romande 

1995         Otto-Klung-Prize in Physics (Otto Klung Foundation)

1991         Rudolf-Kaiser-Prize (Stifterverband/Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft).

1986         Prize for the best PhD thesis in physics (Bund der Freunde TU Munich).




Professional Affiliations


Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft

American Physical Society

Optical Society of America
American Chemical Society

Gesellschaft Deutscher Naturforscher und Ärzte (GDNÄ)



Professional Service


Elected Board Member, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences
Associate Editor, Structural Dynamics (AIP)

Member, Editorial Board, The Journal of Chemical Physics (AIP)

Member, Editorial Board Chemical Physics Letters

Elected Member, Management Board GDNÄ

Divisional Associate Editor, Physical Review Letters (2009-2015)

Member, Editorial Board New Journal of Physics (2009-2014)

Member, Editorial Board Chemical Physics (2001-2014)

Conference Chair, International Conference on Ultrafast Structural Dynamics 2012, Berlin

Organizer, 6th International Conference on Coherent Multidimensional Spectroscopy (CMDS 2012), Berlin

Vertrauensdozent of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (2007-2013)

Member, Editorial Board Applied Physics A (1996-2011)

Member, Steering Committee, ESF Network DYNA: Ultrafast structural dynamics in physics,

chemistry, biology and materials science (2005-2010)

Member, Scientific Advisory Board PULSE, Stanford, USA (2008-2009)

Director at large, Optical Society of America (2007-2009)

Member, Scientific Advisory Board ELBE (free electron laser, FZ Rossendorf, 2004-2009)

Coordinator, DFG Topical Research Program 1134 'Ultrafast x-ray diffraction' (2002-2008)

Member, Scientific Advisory Board BESSY (2004-2008)

Member, Beamtime Committee BESSY (2005-2008)

Member, Facility Access Panel, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot, UK (2003-2008)

Member, Apparateausschuss Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, 2001-2006)

Member of numerous program and advisory committees of international conferences

General Chair, Ultrafast Phenomena XII, Charleston 2000

Program Chair, Ultrafast Phenomena XI, Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1998

Organizer, HCIS-10, Nonequilibrium Carrier Dynamics in Semiconductors, Berlin 1997

Member, Steering Committee, ESF Network ULTRA: Femtochemistry and Femtobiology (2000-2003)

Member, Committee Ellis R. Lippincott Award (Optical Society of America, 2002-2004)

Member, Committee Gustav-Hertz-Prize (Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, 1997-2002)

Topical Editor Ultrafast Phenomena, Journal of the Optical Society of America B, 1995-2000

Chairman of Sektion D, Leibniz-Gemeinschaft, 1998-1999

Member, Quantum Electronics Division, European Physical Society, 1995-1998


More than 450 publications in refereed journals and books, 6 patents, more than 330 invited talks at conferences, colloquia, and seminars.






Max-Born-Institut, Max-Born-Str. 2 A, 12489 Berlin, Germany

Phone:      +49 30 6392 1400

Fax:          +49 30 6392 1409