We are interested in theoretical modelling of light-matter interactions pushed to the limit where light is concentrated down to the scale of a few atoms. This is possible by exploiting plasmonic properties of atomically sharp tips in scanning tunneling microscopy that can effectively form optical cavities where optical electric fields are concentrated to volumes ~1nm3 - orders of magnitude smaller than in standard optical microscopy. We investigate how in this extreme situation the rules governing light-matter interaction must be fundamentally redefined and how this new interaction regime can be used to study and control optical excitations and their dynamics in molecules, molecular aggregates, graphene-based structures, but also the family of 2D semiconductors including the transition metal dichalcogenides and defects therein. Particularly these promising emergent materials and nanostructures formed by their combination into heterostructures open the possibility to taylor material’s optical properties on the nanoscale and design e.g. efficient non-classical photon sources or optical sensors.

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