Nonlinear phenomena in optics may unlock the secrets
of exotic states of light & even optical computing.
I offer you the key.

Short bio

Dr. Mario CHEMNITZ is currently head of the Smart Photonics department at the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology Jena. His current research interests include complex photon sources, photonic automization, and optical neuromorphic computing. He finished his undergraduate studies with a profound specialization in photonics at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena (Germany) in 2011, his postgraduate studies at University of Cambridge (UK) in 2013, and his PhD in physics with distinction at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena in early 2019. From 2019 to 2022, he joined INRS-EMT, Montreal (Canada), as postdoctoral researcher where he studies nonlinear optical light-matter interactions for both quantum and neuromorphic optical processing. From 2019 to 2021, his interdisciplinary approach to science has been recognized with two dissertation prices and Canada’s top postdoctoral Banting fellowship. He is an up-and-coming expert in the field of nonlinear fiber optics, nonlinear optical materials (esp. liquids), and waveguide design with about 10 years of experience. His work and contributions are published in ca. 30 peer-reviewed international journals (incl. Nature Commun. and Optica), >30 conference proceedings, and 3 patents.

05/2022, Jena, GER
Dr. Mario Chemnitz granted by the Carl Zeiss Foundation to start new research group

From August 1, 2022, the Leibniz Institute for Photonic Technologies (Leibniz-IPHT) will complement its research portfolio with its new "Smart Photonics" research group. The physicist, Dr. Mario Chemnitz, is establishing his own group at the Jena-based institute over the next five years with CZS Nexus funding from the Carl Zeiss Foundation to research smart processors for modern diagnostics.The CZS Nexus funding program of the Carl Zeiss Foundation supports postdocs on their scientific career path. The funding enables young scientists who want to implement interdisciplinary research ideas between the disciplines of mathematics, computer science, natural science and technology to set up their own research group over five to six years.In 2022, five scientists received funding from the Carl Zeiss Foundation.

08/2021, Montreal, CA
Newest paper on a smart on-chip pulse shaper to be published in Optica

Our lattest work on "Autonomous On-chip Interferometry for Reconfigurable Optical Waveform Generation" has been accepted for publication in the upcoming issue of OSA's highest impact journal Optica. In the work by Dr. Chemnitz and his students, the authors report on an all-optical, adaptive, on-chip system for shaping optical waveforms to a user-defined target by uniquely utilizing an uncommon evolutionary optimization algorithm. The paper will be available soon here.

Selected work – Smart photonics & novel nonlinear phenomena

Autonomous on-chip pulse shaping for telecom applications

Interfacing evolutionary algorithms with adaptive photonic waveguide systems paves the way towards novel smart applications in optics. Yet, both algorithms and blueprints for all-optical integration are just starting to emerge into the field of optical sciences. In our recent work from 2021, we have presented a functional toolbox for autonomous shaping of telecom-relevant 10-100ps pulses. Through the unique use of a particle swarm optimization algorithm, the system could reutilize an alienated, computer-programmable on-chip interferometer for temporally coherent synthesis of various envelope shapes at system output. A all-optical sampling technique delivered the feedback to the algorithm, which smartly optimized the multi-path interferometer towards the best match between an optical output to a given target waveform. The entire patented scheme is potentially chip-integrable and might serve as great template for future applications in all-optical switching and modulation control.

Liquid-core fibers as dynamic platform for nonlinear photonics

Thermodynamic tuning of the optical properties has been the long-praised feature for introducing liquids as optical media. Yet, quantitative models and proof-of-concept experiments were lacking. In our work from 2018, my students and I could unambiguously show that the resonant emission of optical solitary states can accurately be detuned by temperature or pressure applied to the liquid-core optical fiber. For that, we also extended the refractive index model for carbon disulfide based on earlier experiments, which we hope will serve as good template for future advances in material sciences. This work, together with work by other other groups, indicates the great potential that liquid-core optical fibers host as platform for future dynamically wavelength-tunable light sources or for studying soliton dynamics.

Hybrid dynamics in soliton fission

Liquids as optical media are unique in their extraordinarily strong, non-local nonlinearities. How such nonlinearities affect the common dynamics in nonlinear systems in not entirely known. In a key contribution from 2017, we reported on the first experimental indications and numerical verification of a modified fission dynamics of self-maintaining optical pulses (i.e., solitons) occurring in liquid-core fibers. This uncommon behaviour, which occurs as comet-like feature in the spectrogram of the supercontinuum output (see figure), is caused by the inimitable long-lasting molecular (Raman-like) nonlinearities of liquids. Through this work, I extended the early theory about non-instantaneous solitons by Conti et al., with more insights soon to come.