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Research topics

Our main research interest is the theoretical description of photonic and optoelectronic systems like optical nanoantennas, photonic crystals, metamaterials, plasmonic systems, but recently also biological photonic structures. Our speciality are microscopic -and often nonlinear- material models, e.g. for semiconductor quantum dots, metals in the nonlinear regime.

Optical Antennas

We design antennas on the nano- and micro-scale that allow steering the light either to desired directions or to drastically enhance fields locally. ..more..

Numerical Methods

We use and extend the Time Domain Discontinuous Galerkin method to perform the challenging multi-scale simulations  in many of our projects.

Plasmonic & nonlinear waveguides

We use the field enhancement in plasmonic waveguides to create nonlinear soliton-like pulse propagation.

Plasmonic particles

We calculate and compare EEL (electron energy loss) spectroscopy and CL (cathodoluminescence) spectra of plasmonic nanoparticles.

Semiconductor quantum dots

We describe the nonlinear optical dynamics in tailored quantum dots.

Programming of HPC hardware

We co-operate with the group of Prof. Dr. Christian Plessl and the PC2 to develop tools for efficient use of parallel hardware as FPGAs and GP-GPUs for scientific computing .


Arrays of metallic nanoparticles are used to enhance the nonlinear and chiral properties of the material. This leads to second harmonic light emission or dichroism.

Dielectric waveguides

Based on the coupled mode theory and on other analytical and semi-analytical methods we model the propagation of electromagnetic waves in dielectric integrated optical circuits.


In nature one finds photonic structures in many places. In this cooperation with Dr. Xia Wu we investigate the optical properties of D-surface photonic structures as found in some insects.

Dust and ice particles

We simulate the scattering of electromagnetic fields at dust and ice particles as found in industrial environments but even more in interplanetary space.

Photonic crystals

Based on multiple constructive/destructive interference photonic crystals allow shaping of the flow of light and to capture light in cavitities. We use several methods to simulate this.


Prof. Dr. Jens Förstner

Theoretische Elektrotechnik (TET)

Jens Förstner
+49 5251 60-3013
+49 5251 60-3524

Office hours:

Tuesdays 11:00 - 12:00

Funding, co-operations

The University for the Information Society