MBI staff member
Personal info


E-mail address:



Dr. Günter Steinmeyer


+49 30 6392 1440

Department Head: C2 "Solid State Light Sources"

Project Coordinator: Ultrafast Nonlinear Optics and Ultrafast Laser Physics

Member of Project: 1.2


Research Topic

Short introduction:

In ultrafast optics, it often proves invaluable to exactly know the temporal structure of the few-cycle pulses in the experiments. Compared to transient events in electronics, our means of precisely measuring optical transients on the femtosecond scale appear much more limited. To this end, a number of techniques have emerged that enable simultaneous measurement of the amplitude and phase structures of ultrashort pulses. Among these techniques, interferometric frequency-resolved optical gating has evolved as a particularly powerful technique, which can also be used for spectroscopic experiments on the few-cycle temporal scale.

Experimental setup for filament generation in a controlled noble-gas atmosphere. The characteristic sign for the onset of plasma formation and filamentation is the color change from red (scattered light) to violet (fluorescence) appearing at the 7 cm position on the ruler. After the collapse of the filamention process at 70 cm, a white-light spectrum emerges. Spectral width and the number of filaments inside the cell can be controlled by pressure and gas fill.

A second important aspect is measurement and control of the carrier-envelope phase of an ultrashort optical pulse. This phase plays an important role in attosecond spectroscopy. We have developed the feed-forward technique for stabilization of the carrier-envelope phase. This patented method is now commercially available from a major laser manufacturer. Our research continues and tries to explore the absolute limits of carrier-envelope phase measurements, as they are, e.g., imposed by quantum noise mechanisms.

Further research is devoted to optical filamentation. Loosely focusing an intense laser beam in air, one observes a collapse of the beam profile, and a plasma channel forms that guides the light at nearly constant beam diameter for lengths in the centimeter or meter range. Further increasing the laser power, several such filaments coexist parallel to each other and show highly dynamic behavior. The resulting beam profiles exhibit short-lived extremely bright flashes, which appear in analogy to ocean rogue waves. We carefully studied the statistics of rogue waves in our multifilament scenario and compared them to other rogue-wave supporting systems. This comparison seems to enable some intriguing new insight into the ocean rogue wave mystery, which we are currently exploring in more depth.


Curriculum vitae

  • 01/2016 Fellow, Optical Society of America
  • 01/2015 – 12/2017 Member Editorial Board, Physical Review A
  • 01/2014 Outstanding Referee, American Physical Society
  • 04/2012 – 03/2018 Topical Editor, Ultrafast Phenomena, Optics Letters
  • 11/2008 – 10/2013 Finland Distinguished Professor Optoelectronics Research Centre, Tampere University of Technology, Finland
  • 07/2002 – present Senior Staff Scientist and Head of the Department C2, Solid-State Light Sources Max-Born-Institut, Berlin, Germany
  • 09/2002 Habilitation in Experimental Physics Dissertation: New approaches to the Generation and Characterization of Few- Cycle Laser Pulses , Prof. Dr. Ursula Keller
  • 02/1998 – 07/2002 Research Associate Institute of Quantum Electronics,Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland
  • 11/1995 – 12/1997 Postdoctoral Researcher Research Lab of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  • 04/1995 – 10/1995 Postdoctoral Researcher Institute of Applied Physics, University of Münster, Germany
  • 02/1995 Ph.D. in Physics (with distinction) Dissertation: Pulse Shaping Processes and Optical Turbulence in a Nonlinear Fiber Ring Resonator , Prof. Dr. Fedor Mitschke
  • 05/1992 – 03/1995 Graduate Student Institute of Quantum Optics, Hannover University, Germany
  • 05/1992 – 03/1995 Teaching Assistant (part time, several appointments) Hannover University and Hannover Medical School, Germany
  • 04/1992 Diploma in Physics Diploma thesis: Construction and Application of a Spectrometer for the VUV/XUV Spectral Range Employing a Laser-Induced Plasma Light Source Prof. Dr. Bernd Wellegehausen
  • 08/1987 – 04/1992 Teaching Assistant (part time, several appointments) Institute of Mathematics, Hannover University, Germany


Research Highlights


Publications at MBI

other sources: Google Scholar   Research Gate

List of own publications with no relation to MBI:

  • 4.6 fs pulses by mirror dispersion control of a hollow fiber supercontinuum
    G. Sansone, G. Steinmeyer, S. Stagira, M. Nisoli, S. De Silvestri, C. Vozzi, K. Starke, D. Ristau, B. Schenkel, J. Biegert, A. Gosteva, and U. Keller
    Appl. Phys. B 78, 551-555 (2004)
  • Carrier-envelope control of femtosecond lasers with attosecond timing jitter
    F.W. Helbing, G. Steinmeyer, and U. Keller
    Laser Physics 13, 644-651 (2003)
  • Carrier-envelope offset phaselocking with attosecond timing jitter
    F.W. Helbing, G. Steinmeyer, and U. Keller
    IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quant. Electron. 9, 1030-1040 (2003)
  • Carrier envelope offset dynamics of mode-locked lasers
    F.W. Helbing, G. Steinmeyer, U. Keller, J. Stenger, and H. R. Telle
    Opt. Lett. 27, 194-196 (2002)
  • Sub-6-fs pulses generated by quasi phase-matching second-harmonic generation pulse compression
    L.Gallmann, G. Steinmeyer, G. Imeshev, J.-P. Meyn, M. M. Fejer, and U. Keller
    Appl. Phys. B 74, S237-S243 (2002)
  • Carrier envelope offset dynamics in femtosecond pulse generation
    F.W. Helbing, G. Steinmeyer, J. Stenger, H. R. Telle, and U. Keller
    Appl. Phys. B 74, S235-S42 (2002)
  • Optimal and Flexible Compression of Tunable Visible Pulses
    P. Baum, S. Lochbrunner, E. Riedle, L. Gallmann, G. Steinmeyer, and U. Keller
    Appl. Phys. B 74, S219-S224 (2002)
  • Few-optical-cycle laser pulses by OPA: broadband chirped mirror compression and SPIDER characterization
    M. Zavelani-Rossi, D. Polli, G. Cerullo, S. De Silvestri, L. Gallmann, G. Steinmeyer, and U. Keller
    Appl. Phys. B 74, S245-S251 (2002)
  • Spatially resolved amplitude and phase characterization of femtosecond optical pulses
    L. Gallmann, G. Steinmeyer, D.H. Sutter, T. Rupp, C. Iaconis, I.A. Walmsley, and U. Keller
    Opt. Lett. 26 (2), 96-98 (2001)
  • Generation of sub-6-fs blue pulses by frequency doubling with quasi-phase-matching gratings
    L. Gallmann, G. Steinmeyer, U. Keller, G. Imeshev, M.M. Fejer, and J.-P. Meyn
    Opt. Lett. 26 (9), 614-616 (2001)
  • Pulse compression in the visible over 200-THz bandwidth using only chirpedmirrors
    M. Zavelani-Rossi, G. Cerullo, S. De Silvestri, L. Gallmann, N. Matuschek, G. Steinmeyer, U. Keller, G. Angelow, V. Scheuer, and T. Tschudi
    Opt. Lett. 26 (15), 1155-1157 (2001)
  • New directions in sub-10-fs optical pulse generation
    G.Steinmeyer, L. Gallmann, F.W. Helbing, and U. Keller
    C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris, t.2, Série IV, 1391-1408 (2001)
  • Collinear type II second-harmonic-generation frequency-resolved optical gating for the characterization of sub-10-fs optical pulses
    L. Gallmann, G. Steinmeyer, D.H. Sutter, N. Mastuschek, and U. Keller
    Opt. Lett. 25 (4) 269-271 (2000)
  • Relation between coupled-mode theory and equivalent layers for multilayer interference coatings
    N. Matuschek, G. Steinmeyer, and U. Keller
    Appl. Opt. 39 (10), 1626-1632 (2000)
  • Sub-6-fs pulses from a SESAM-assisted Kerr-lens modelocked Ti : sapphire laser: at the frontiers of ultrashort pulse generation
    D.H. Sutter, L. Gallmann, N. Matuschek, F. Morier-Genoud, V. Scheuer, G. Angelow, T. Tschudi, G. Steinmeyer, and U. Keller
    Appl. Phys. B 70, S5-S12 (2000)
  • Techniques for the characterization of sub-10-fs optical pulses: a comparison
    L. Gallmann, D.H. Sutter, N. Matuschek, G. Steinmeyer, and U. Keller
    Appl. Phys. B 70, S67-S75 (2000)
  • Back-side-coated chirped mirrors with ultra-smooth broadband dispersion characteristics
    N. Matuschek, L. Gallmann, D.H. Sutter, G. Steinmeyer, and U. Keller
    Appl. Phys. B 71 (4), 509-522 (2000)
  • Semiconductor saturableabsorber mirror-assisted Kerr-lens mode-locked Ti:sapphire laser producing pulses in the two-cycle regime
    D.H. Sutter, G. Steinmeyer, L. Gallmann, N. Matuschek, F. Morier-Genoud, U. Keller, V. Scheuer, G. Angelow, and T. Tschudi
    Opt. Lett. 24 (9), 631-633 (1999)
  • Characterization of sub-6-fs optical pulses with spectral phase interferometry for direct electric-field reconstruction
    L. Gallmann, D.H. Sutter, N. Matuschek, G. Steinmeyer, U. Keller, C. Iaconis, and I.A. Walmsley
    Opt. Lett. 24 (18), 1314 -1316 (1999)
  • Carrier-envelope offset phase control: A novel concept for absolute optical frequency measurement and ultrashort pulse generation
    H.R. Telle, G. Steinmeyer, A.E. Dunlop, J. Stenger, D.H. Sutter, and U. Keller
    Appl. Phys. B 69 (4), 327-332 (1999)
  • Frontiers in ultrashort pulse generation: Pushing the limits in linear and nonlinear optics
    G. Steinmeyer, D.H. Sutter, L. Gallmann, N. Matuschek, and U. Keller
    Science 286 (5444), 1507-1512 (1999)
  • Potential of femtosecond chirp control of ultrabroadband semiconductor continuum nonlinearities
    J. Kunde, U. Siegner, S. Arlt, G. Steinmeyer, F. Morier-Genoud, and U. Keller
    J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 16 (12), 2285-2294 (1999)
  • Ultra-compact Si-SiO2 microring resonator optical channel dropping filters
    B.E. Little, J.S. Foresi, G. Steinmeyer, E.R. Thoen, S.T. Chu, H.A. Haus, E.P. Ippen, L.C. Kimerling, and W. Greene
    IEEE Phot. Technol. Lett. 10 (4), 549-51 (1998)
  • Coherent Acoustic Phonons in PbTe Quantum Dots
    E.R. Thoen, G. Steinmeyer, P. Langlois, E.P. Ippen, G.E. Tudury, C.H.Brito-Cruz, L.C. Barbosa, C.L. Cesar
    Appl. Phys. Lett. 73 (15), 2149 (1998)
  • Variational approach to pulse propagation in parametrically amplified optical systems
    S. Longhi, G. Steinmeyer, and W. Wong
    J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 14 (8), 2167-2173 (1997)
  • Systematic Evaluation and Prediction of the Pulse Width of Synchronously Pumped Lasers
    U. Morgner, G. Steinmeyer, and F. Mitschke
    Appl. Phys. B 66 (2), 145-152 (1997)
  • Photonic bandgap microcavities in optical waveguides
    J.S. Foresi, P.R. Villeneuve, J. Ferrera, E.R. Thoen, G. Steinmeyer, S. Fan, J.D. Joannopoulos, L.C. Kimerling, H.I. Smith, and E.P. Ippen
    Nature 390 (6656), 143-145 (1997)
  • On the pulse width in synchronously pumped lasers
    F. Mitschke, U. Morgner, and G. Steinmeyer
    Appl. Phys. B 62, 375 (1996)
  • Longitudinal structure formation in a nonlinear resonator
    G. Steinmeyer and F. Mitschke
    Appl. Phys. B 62, 367 (1996).
  • Generation of one-dimensional turbulence
    F. Mitschke, G. Steinmeyer, and A. Schwache
    Physica D 96, 251-258 (1996)
  • Quantitative Characterization of Turbulence in an Optical Experiment
    G. Steinmeyer, A. Schwache, and F. Mitschke
    Phys. Rev. E 53, 5399 (1996)
  • Dynamical pulse shaping in a nonlinear resonator
    G. Steinmeyer, A.Buchholz, M. Hänsel, A. Schwache, and F. Mitschke
    Phys. Rev. A 52, 830 (1995)
  • Experimental observation of a period-doubling sequence in a nonlinear optical fiber ring cavity near zero dispersion
    G. Steinmeyer, D. Jaspert, and F. Mitschke
    Opt. Commun. 104, 379 (1994)
  • Subpicosecond Pulse Generation around 1.9µm by Synchronous Pumping of a KCl:Na+:O2- Color Center Laser
    G. Steinmeyer, U. Morgner, M. Ostermeyer and F. Mitschke
    Lietuvos Fizikos Zurnalas 33, 260 (1993)
  • Additive Pulse Mode Locked Nd:YAG Laser: An Experimental Account
    F. Mitschke, G. Steinmeyer, M. Ostermeyer, C. Fallnich, and H. Welling
    Appl. Phys. B 56, 335 (1993).
  • Subpicosecond pulses around 1.9 µm from a synchronously pumped color center laser
    G. Steinmeyer, U. Morgner, M. Ostermeyer, F. Mitschke, and H. Welling
    Opt. Lett. 18, 1544 (1993).