The Division of Optics is dedicated to multidisciplinary research in the field of functional optical structures, materials and technologies, the study of classical and quantum aspects of optical radiation propagation, and recently also the field of biophysics. Connecting theoretical, experimental and technological research enables us to develop, prepare and study a wide range of materials with unique useful properties. The developed materials are widely used by our industrial partners in the fields of foundry, engineering, additive, plasma, laser and live-science technologies.
Our research in classical optics focuses mainly on the statistical properties of light, scatterometry and the development of optical systems for specialized detection devices. In the field of quantum optics, we have proposed various types of sources of quantum correlated photon pairs, and research in the field of quantum information is concerned with the measurement, transmission and processing of information using the quantum states of photons. We also study detection of weak and ultra-weak radiation at a single photon level, its characterization, quantum teleportation and cloning.
Technologywise, the Division of Optics focuses mainly on research and development of advanced optical technologies, which are based mainly on pulsed laser deposition, dielectric barrier discharge, dual high-power pulsed magnetron sputtering system (HIPIMS), systems with linear hollow cathodes and on low-energy microwave hybrid plasma.
Considerable attention is devoted to research into the mechanical properties of surfaces and films. These technologies can be used both in the production of optical structures and elements necessary for demanding experiments in the field of particle physics and astrophysics, and in the implementation of advanced manufacturing technologies by our industrial partners. For the purpose of effectively connecting the academic and industrial spheres, the Division of Optics initiated the establishment of the MATCA National Centre of Competence (more information at www.matca.cz).
The integration of science and industry is also the aim of EDIH Brain4Industry. It was created as a support tool for strengthening the competitiveness of companies through the introduction of digitization, new technologies and artificial intelligence into business or production processes. B4I services are mainly aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises. It provides institutional, knowledge and infrastructure support to clients. All in one place. It was jointly founded by the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Thermomechanics, CARDAM Solution s.r.o., the STAR science and technology cluster and the Central Bohemian Innovation Centre.
Another relatively new research direction of our Division is the area of biophysics. Here we focus on the effects of physical and biophysical impacts on cellular function. This line of research brings new possibilities in the development of innovative, more accurate, more reliable and cheaper physical tools for in vitro / in vivo control of cell function. In development, we use both normal healthy cells and tumour cell lines, such as cancer cells causing liver cancer or leukaemia.
The Division of Optics includes four research facilities: Department of Optical and Biophysical Systems, Department of Low-Temperature Plasma, Department of Analysis of Functional Materials and the Joint Laboratory of Optics (SLO) of the Palacky University and the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The division has one technical department: Optical and Mechanical Workshops Na Slovance.
The division is also responsible for the operation of the Radius Development Centre, which focused on the development of talented young people through internships in scientific institutions and with our industrial partners. The centre aims to connect students and scientists, but also institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences, universities and the private sector – so that everyone can learn from each other and transfer the best examples of good practice from one sector to another. It was jointly founded by the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Biological Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Physical Chemistry of J. Heyrovsky, the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice and Palacky University in Olomouc.