Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Physics of low-dimensional systems

Friday Light Talks




 Friday Light Talks is more than just a series of scientific presentations. It is a supportive community of early career researchers, brought together by a shared passion for knowledge and connection. Hosted by physicists working in quantum optics and nanophotonics at Humboldt University, these regular events provide a welcoming context for students and young researchers to meet, interact, and learn from one another over a drink. Whether discussing scientific topics or exploring issues of career development, mental health, and diversity in academia, the Friday Light Talks are a platform for empowering the next generation of scientific leaders.


Format: 20-30 min presentation followed by a get together with drinks

Where? At the Physik Institute - NewtonStr. 15, 12489.

The talks take place either at the Main Lecture Hall or at Room 1,202, depending on availability. The room is announced together with the speaker previous to each talk.

When? Every second Friday at 5pm


Sponsored by:






Coming up...


July 12

We invite you all to Light Connections, a one day conference organized by the Friday Light Talks team and sponsored by the Berlin University Alliance to connect early career researchers across Berlin. Participation is completely free of charge. You can register until June 7 using the following link: 


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Do you want to be a speaker? Do you have any suggestions about Friday Light Talks? You don't want to miss any upcoming event? Follow us on Twitter, Instagram or suscribe to our newsletter sending us an email to 


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24.05 Inna Kviatkovsky (AG Ramelow/GOP): Microscopy with undetected photons in the mid-infrared

25.04 Sofia Pazzagli (AG GOP, HU): Organic molecules for photonic quantum technologies

05.04 Lucas Pache (AG GOP, HU): A nanofiber-based atom trap with sub-λ/2 spacing

22.03 Simon Kanthak (AG IQS, HU): Optically guided BEC interferometry with a single wavelength

01.03 Ignacio Gonzalez Oliva (AG SOL, HU): Hybrid materials: still challenging for ab initio theory?

26.01 Sinan Gündogdu (AG IQP, HU): AlGaN diamond integrated photonics




01.12 Niclas Sven Mueller (FHI): Imaging Phonon Polaritons with Sum-Frequency Spectro-Microscopy

17.11 Tommaso Pregnolato (FBI): On integrated quantum photonics

12.10 Special Event: Introducing the WINS postdoc fellows

WINS Adlershof and the PostDoc Center Adlershof offer five fellowships to visiting female postdoctoral researchers sponsored by the Einstein Stiftung in cooperation with the Berlin University Alliance. These fellowships aim to provide opportunities for exchange and support the career development of female postdoctoral researchers in an international context.

Pitches from the 2022 WINS fellows:

Dr. Nina Stiesdal (University of Bonn) | Quantum Optics with Rydberg Superatoms

Dr. Guadalupe Souza Satiro (University of Brasilia) |Sustainable Development and Critical Agrarian Studies in Latin America

Dr. Ruth Nakata (Mbarar University)| Ethics in Computing and Cyber Security

Dr. Felicia O. Akinyemi (University of Bern) | Analyzing agricultural systems in Nigeria with satellite and machine learning

22.09 Richard Zeltner (Menlo, Optica): Insights into industrial research projects

07.07 Special Event: WissZeitVG the fixed-term contract reform

For the last Friday Light Talk before the summer break we had an open discussion on WissZeitVG - the fixed-term contract reform in Germany: changes & opportunities in academic career development with the participation of:

Prof. J. Plefka, Head of the "Commission for Research and Scientific Career" of Humboldt University

Dr. M. Zimmermann, Member of the "Executive Board for Young Members and Professional Matters" in the German Physical Society (DPG)

Dr. B. Leder, Member of Humboldt University Mittelbau

With this event, we wanted to give young researchers like us the opportunity to get a better understanding of the German research system and to participate in the debate about our career opportunities in academia. After the discussion, we joined for networking and further exchange over drinks and food at MoPs, generously sponsored by the PostDoc Center Adlershof and WISTA.

23.06 Marlon Placke (AG NQO, HU): Bright quantum light sources from AlGaAs-on-insulator waveguides

09.06 Giulia Peveri (AG Plefka, HU):Non-Standard Models: An outreach Project

26.05 Special Event: Mental Health in Academia

Katharina Bögl (Scholar Minds, Charité) and Luisa Esguerra (PhD student) introduced us to the often-overlooked topic of mental health challenges among PhD and postdoc. With this event we aimed to provide a safe and supportive space to initiate a dialogue and encourage open discussions to work together towards creating a healthier academic community.

12.05 Special Event: Day of Light

In occasion of the UNESCO International Day of Light, we hosted Danilo Flores, co-founder of Mimotype, a Berlin based startup developing bio-inspired materials for ambient light sources. He told us about their scienceprenuer journey and drove us into the dark side of light bulb industry.

28.04 Marco De Pas (Fritz-Haber-Institut): The extreme conditions of a scientific Antartic campaign: a photographic journey

14.04 Julien Kluge (AG IQS, HU), Small Clock, Big Imact: A Spaceborn Atomic Clock the Size of a Shoebox with an Instability of 0.000000000000001

31.03 Ananga-Mohan Datta (AG TOP, HU), Generating Schrödinger-cat-like states by means of photon subtraction on a waveguide-trimer 

17.03 Christian Liedl (AG GOP, HU), From flashing fireflies to quantum choirs: spontaneous synchronization in superradiance

03.03 Jan Kirchhoff (AG Bolotin, FU), Tunable Graphene Phononic Crystals

10.02 Laura Orphal-Kobin (AG IQP, HU), Optically coherent nitrogen-vacancy defect centers in diamond nanostructures

27.01 Julian Bopp (AG IQP, HU), Near-unity cavity-to-fiber coupling mediated by ‘Sawfish’ photonic crystal cavities – or: which animal confines light best?

13.01 Simon Kanthak (AG IQS, HU), Engineering of matter-wave lenses for quantum sensing and information




16.12 Luisa Esguerra Rodríguez (AG Wolters, DLR), Laser Luisa and the quest for the lost photons

02.12 Kathinka Gerlinger (AG Eisebitt, MBI), Of Hedgehogs and Lightsaber/s - Manipulating Magnetism with Light

18.11 Lucas Rickert (AG Heindl, HU), Semiconductor Quantum Dots for Quantum Information Technologies: 101 ways of how to not get a perfect quantum light source

21.10 Special Event: Friday Light Show

 To celebrate the Day of Photonics we set up a special Friday Light Talk with hands-on experiments and light games: "Friday Light Show - a journey through the spectrum" with Daniel Lechner (AG GOP, HU) and Luisa Esguerra (AG Wolters, DLR)

07.10 Francesco Arzani (AG Eisert, FU), Can crystals and pendulums heal quantum computers? An introduction to Gottesman-Kitaev-Preskill codes

23.09 Special Event: PostDoc Appreciation Week 2022

To celebrate the PostDoc Appreciation Week 2022 we were thrilled to welcome Dr Petya Jordan, the coordinator of the newly established PostDoc Center Adlershof that talked about "PostDoc Center: what is it and why we need it". Afterwards, Giulia Carini presented her PhD project in the group of Pr Paarmann at the Fritz Haber Institute. To best conclude the day, we had a get-together with pizza kindly offered by the PostDoc Center Adlershof.

29.07 Gabriela Luna Amador (AG Reich, FU), Light-matter coupling in plasmonic platforms

01.07 Philip Albrodt (Trumpf), From academia to R&D in the laser industry

17.06 Pablo Hernández López (AG PLD, HU), Strain engineering and hybridization of excitons in 2D semiconductors

03.06 Felix Tebbenjohanns (AG GOP, ETH Zurich), Quantum optomechanics with optically levitated particles

20.05 Gregor Pieplow (AG IQP, HU), Coherent Optical control of group IV vacancies in diamond

06.05 Esteban Gómez López (AG Nanoptik, HU), Storing light in warm vapors at single photon level

22.04 Luke Masters (AG GOP, HU), A photon-pair source from a single atom