International Research Training Group (GRK 2101)

Guided light, tightly packed: novel concepts, components and applications

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German-Canadian International Research Training Group,
funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)


The International Research Training Group "Guided light, tightly packed: novel concepts, components and applications" provides excellent academic training for talented young scientists in a high impact research program driven by a transatlantic network of one German and three Canadian partners, each of them renowned for its complementary research profile. Reflecting the extremely fast rate of innovation in optical science and its impact on modern societies as well as global economy, the GRK 2101 is ultimately research oriented. It targets science cases, which were selected for their superior academic challenge as well as for high impact, address major challenges of our society in the sectors of health, communication, energy, and security. The research program of the GRK 2101 focuses on optical waveguides and related technologies to confine and control light in ultra-compact devices, which will allow generating, manipulating, and sensing light with unmatched precision and efficiency. Forefront basic research is focused on novel fiber structures, precision laser structuring, and photonic materials with tailored properties. Based on the developed fundamental concepts and technologies for the dense integration of photonic elements with comprehensive functionality, GRK 2101 investigates their exploitation for the realization of novel telecommunication devices, biomedical sensors, integrated quantum systems, and laser sources, as well as production technologies, and green technologies.

The heart of the GRK 2101 is the training of the most talented young researchers. The training program emphasizes their independent research spirit by giving them a large degree of freedom to reach their individual scientific goals. They are equiped with a comprehensive course program to fully establish their scientific, personal, and cultural basis. Intellectual responsibility is strengthened in favor of strict rules. Individual mentoring and quality assessment is given priority against formalism.

The foundation of the GRK 2101 is formed by four excellent academic partner institutions having established a vital collaboration. Each of them offers unique research infrastructures and profile. The engaged principal investigators have been selected to highest academic standards to form a research team of trust which takes responsibility of the most precious part of our science community, the talented early stage researchers who will be responsible for science in the future.

The GRK 2101 is coordinated by the Abbe School of Photonics (ASP).

In September 2016, the first Summer School of the GRK 2101 took place in Jena.