Université Biophotonics Group


 Previous News

November 2014:

Upcoming Seminar

Thu 20th November at 17h00 CMU Room 7001 Building B

Centre Médical Universitaire
Université de Genève
Rue Michel-Servet 1
1206 Genève

«Challenges and opportunities in the use of antibodies
for diagnostic and therapeutic applications
– warnings for your biological interface!»

Prof. Colin Self

University of Newcastle, UK (link)

pdf gif Abstract link

Upcoming Seminar

Fry 7th November at 11h00 Auditoire Stuckelberg

Section de Physique
24, quai Ernest-Ansermet
1205 Genève

«Coherent Multidimensional Raman Spectroscopy
of Molecules»

Prof. S. Mukamel

University of California Irvine(link)

Upcoming Seminar

Fry 31th October at 14h30 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Generation and characterization of XUV beam
by laser-driven high-order harmonic generation»

Anne Lise VIOTTI

Paul Scherrer Institut(link)

pdf gif Abstract link

May 2014:

Upcoming Seminar

Wed 28th May at 14h00 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Time resolved Spesctroscopy of Metal Clusters»

Prof. Ludger Wöste

Fachbereich Physik (link)
Freie Universität Berlin (link)

pdf gif Abstract link

Upcoming Seminar

Wed 21th May at 17h00 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Rheological challenges in the food industry»

Dr. Jan Engmann

Nestlé Research Center Lausanne (link)

pdf gif Abstract link

Upcoming Seminar

Mon 5th May at 10h00 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

From Schroedinger to Dirac to Maxwell»

Prof. Andre D. Bandrauk

Computational Chemistry & Molecular Photonics chair link
Université de Sherbrooke (Canada) link

Upcoming Seminar

Thu 6th May at 14h30 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«From ultra-fast, ultra-broad pump-probe to ultra-fast,
ultra-broad electronic spectroscopy:
a study of biological molecule in the visible spectrum.»

Adrien Chauvet PhD

Laboratoire de spectroscopie ultrarapide (LSU)
EPFL, Lausanne link

pdf gif Abstract link

April 2014:

Upcoming Seminar

Thu 10th April at 14h00 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Supercontinuum pulse shaping in the few-cycle regime »

Torsten Siebert PhD

Institut für Experimentalphysik, Freie Universität, Berlin link
Max-Born-Institut für Nichtlineare Optik und Kurzzeitspektroskopie, Berlin link

pdf gif Abstract link

March 2014:


"UV Broadening and Compression"
on March 5, 2014

at GAP-University of Geneva, 22 chemin de Pinchat, 1227 Carouge

10:00 Eberhard Riedle's talk on this topic, including broadening in bulk media
11:00 Coffee Break
11:30 Comparison of Filamentation and Hollow Fibers in the NIR (U. Keller, L. Gallman, C. Phillips)
12:00 Comparison of Filamentation and Hollow Fibers in the UV (H.J. Woerner, J.P. Wolf)
12:30 Achromatic doubling (A. Cannizzo, M. Chergui, G. Aubock)
13:00 Catering Lunch
14:00 Compression method in the UV: Prisms, Grisms, Gratings, chirped mirrors (Thomas Feurer, T. Sudmeyer)
14:30 Adaptive compression methods, MEMS and dazzler shapers (A. Trisorio, L. Bonacina, J.P. Wolf)
15:00 Discussion and synthesis
17:00 End of the event

February 2014:

photoreaction process

New publication in Nanoscale

See our publication page: link

Upcoming Seminar

Wed 19th February at 14h30 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Exploiting Thermal Probe Nanolithography:
High-speed,high-resolution, 3D»

Dr. Stefan Weber

SwissLitho AG (ETH Zurich spinoff) link

pdf gif Abstract link

November 2013:

LWC 2013 logo

The entrepreneurship week of the Univeristy of Geneva will take place from 18 to 22 of november 2013. One of our PostDocs Dr. Denis KISELEV, co-fonder of the startup PLAIR (http://www.plair.ch), is one of the faces of this event.

More information at http://www.liberezvosidees.ch/

Upcoming Seminar

Wed 19th November at 14h30 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«A mechanical sensor to study movement at the nanoscale »

Giovanni Longo, PhD

Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Vivante
EPFL, BSP-Cubotron, Lausanne, Switzerland

pdf gif Abstract link

Upcoming Seminar

Wed 13th September at 11h00 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)


Prof. Victor Timoshenko

Moscow State M. V. Lomonosov University, Physics Department,
Moscow, Russia

pdf gif Abstract link

September 2013:

GAP-Biophotonics is organizing the

Conference on Lasers, Weather and Climate

LWC 2013

LWC 2013 logo

16-18 September 2013

As highlighted by the success of the first Conference on Laser-based Weather Control in 2011, ultra-short lasers launched into the atmosphere have emerged as a promising prospective tool for weather modulation and climate studies. Such prospects include lightning control and laser-assisted condensation, as well as the striking similarities between the non-linear optical propagation and natural phenomena like rogue waves or climate bifurcations.

Although these new perspectives triggered an increasing interest and activity in many groups worldwide, the highly interdisciplinary nature of the subject limited its development, due to the need for enhanced contacts between laser and atmospheric physicists, chemists, electrical engineers, meteorologists, and climatologists.

Further strengthening this link is precisely the aim of the second Conference on Laser, Weather and Climate (LWC2013) at the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in Geneva, gathering the most prominent specialists on both sides for tutorial talks, free discussions as well as networking.

More information at http://www.laserweatherandclimate.com/




pdf gif GAP Biophotonics contribution description link

Read more on our research page link

pdf gif Poster link

August 2013:

Upcoming Seminar

Tue 10th September at 14h30 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«High average power ultrafast oscillators»

Clara Saraceno, PhD

Ultrafast Laser Physics / Institute of Quantum Electronics
ETHZ Zürich, Switzerland

pdf gif Abstract link

Upcoming Seminar

Thu 12th September at 11h00 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Interplay of quadratic and cubic nonlinear optical responses in KDP single crystals with incorporated TiO2 nanoparticles»

Volodymyr Gayvoronsky, PhD

Institute of Physics NAS of Ukraine, Kiev

pdf gif Abstract link

July 2013:


Interview of Prof. Jean-Pierre Wolf


CQFD, 25 July 2013

download MP3 (10 Mb)

June 2013:

Teramobile in Pinchat
TERAMOBILE arrives at Pinchat

The TERAMOBILE (link) is now at Pinchat.

The Teramobile system is the first mobile laser yielding 5 terawatts (TW) and 100 fs (10-13 s) pulses, with 350 mJ pulse energy at 10 Hz repetition rate. It concentrates the state-of-the-art laser technology in a 20’ standard freight container, allowing field measurement campaigns.

The Weather Channel logo

TV-reports on our Laser Weather Modulation experiments on Weather Channel(USA)

link1 and link2

April 2013
RTS découvette logo

RTS-interviews on marine aerosol measurements during the Deepwater Campaign


April 2013
YAG laser in the Frascati heaven

Ultraintense-laser experiment at INFN- Frascati

March 2013 : For the first time, we realized a long-distance propagation experiment at intensities higher than 100 TW in the atmosphere. The aim of the experiment is to investigate the scaling up of the water condensation experiments already demonstrated at lower intensities (few TW). Visit our Lablife to see some pictures (Album n°17)

May 2013:

Upcoming Seminar

Mon. 27th May at 14h00 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Ultrarapid spectroscopy of metallic and hybrid nanoparticles»

Denis Mongin, Ph.D.

ILM, Institut Lumière Matière,
Université Claude Bernard, Lyon France

pdf gif Abstract link

Upcoming Seminar

Tue. 14th May at 14h00 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Charge Carrier Dynamics in Solar Cell Materials Probed by Time Resolved Terahertz Spectroscopy»

Carlito S. Ponseca Jr., Ph.D.

Department of Chemical Physics
Lund University, Sweden

April 2013:

Upcoming Seminar

Thu. 25th April at 14h15 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Science and Industry –
Is there a Path and a Future?»

Frans Nauwelaers, PhD

Director, scientific affairs at Becton Dickinson

pdf gif Abstract link

March 2013:

Upcoming Seminar

Wed. 28th at 11h00 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Aerosol formation, transformation, elimination,
and impact: Elucidation of relevant processes»

Dr. Urs Baltensperger

Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry
Paul Scherrer Institut, Villigen

pdf gif Abstract link

Upcoming Seminar

Wed. 26th at 15h00 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Exploiting Polarization in Time-Resolved IR Spectroscopy – Dynamic Information, Signal Enhancement and Chirality»

Dr. Jan Helbing

Physikalisch-chemisches Institut
Universität Zürich

pdf gif Abstract link

February 2013:

Dr. Mary Matthews

awarded a

Marie Heim Vögtlin Grant

Marie Heim Vögtlin, (1845-1916), was the first female doctor in Switzerland, and the MHV grant is for female scientists who have had a career break for family reasons. It is available to all science disciplines and the SNSF awards ~35 fellowships a year based on the research proposals of eligible candidates. Dr Matthews successfully submitted a proposal, working at the GAP Bio-photonics Laboratory, to investigate the use of laser filamentation to probe atmospheric processes. Dr Matthews returns to physics research after a career break to look after her two young children, having begun her research career at Imperial College London. She is delighted to accept the grant, which will start in February 2013.

Marie Heim-Vögtlin (MHV) grants link

January 2013:

New project involving
the Swiss solar-powered vessel
that completed
the first round-the-world trip in 2012


This project is designed to use Planet Solar, the Swiss solar-powered boat that completed a round-the-world trip in 2012, to undertake high-tech measurements of water mass transistions along the Gulf Stream and in the vicinity of regions of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) formation, a crucial element of the oceanic thermohaline circulation - and a major regulator of global climate

Project link

pdf gif Poster link

December 2012:

Upcoming Seminar

Wed. 19th at 11h00 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Nonlinear Optics in Semiconductor and Oxide Nanoparticles for Far-Field Imaging Applications»

Dr. Rachel Grange

Institute of Applied Physics
Friedrich Schiller University, Jena Germany

pdf gif Abstract link

November 2012:

Upcoming Seminar

Fri. 30th at 14h00 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Quantitative studies of filament interaction with matter for spectroscopic applications»

Dr. Matthieu Baudelet

Townes Laser Institute
University of Central Florida (USA)

pdf gif Abstract link

Upcoming Seminar

Wed. 14th at 14h30 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Tumour mouse models for probe evaluation in NAMDIATREAM»

Dr. Julia Eva Mathejczyk

Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine
Göttingen, Germany

pdf gif Abstract link

October 2012:

Upcoming Seminar

Tue. October 23th at 16h30 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)


Prof. Andrea Cannizzo

Institut für Angewandte Physik (IAP)
Universität Bern

pdf gif Abstract link

Inside front cover of small vol 8 issue 17

small inside cover

«High-Speed Tracking of Murine Cardiac Stem Cells by Harmonic Nanodoublers»


Potassium niobate nonlinear nanoparticles are used for the fi rst time to monitor the evolution of embryonic stem cells (ESC) by second harmonic microscopy. These particles feature the complete absence of photo-bleaching and unlimited excitation wavelength fl exibility. The potential of this approach is made evident for tissueregeneration studies and applications, by capturing a high-speed movie of ESCderived cardiomyocytes autonomously beating within a cluster. Time-resolved data are analyzed to retrieve 3D information of the contraction pattern at the cellular level.

small, 8 (17), 2752-2756 (2012)

[DOI: 10.1002/smll.201200366]

September 2012:

Upcoming Seminar

Tue. September 25th at 16h00 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«High-order harmonic generation for molecular imaging»

Dr. Caterina Vozzi

Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies
CNR - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
Milano (Italy)

pdf gif Abstract link

Upcoming Seminar

Tue. September 18th at 15h00 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Femtosecond UV multidimensional spectroscopy: Applications, Techniques and Challenges»

Dr. Gerald Auböck

Laboratory of Ultrafast Spectroscopy LSU
EPFL (Switzerland)

August 2012:

Front Cover of Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics vol 45

J. of Phys. D front cover

«Laser-assisted water condensation in the atmosphere: a step towards modulating precipitation?»


We review the recent results about laser-induced condensation based on self-guided filaments generated by ultrashort laser pulses. After recalling the physico-chemistry of cloud particle formation in the atmosphere and the physics of laser filamentation, we discuss experimental results on laser-induced condensation and its relevance for modulating precipitation.

J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys., 45 (29) (2012)

[DOI: 10.1088/0022-3727/45/29/293001]

July 2012:

rts.ch logo

Interview of Prof. Jean-Pierre Wolf


Le Journal du matin

July 30, 2012

La vie dans 100 ans 1/10: contrôler le temps qu’il fait

download MP3 (4.7 Mb)

Nuit de la Science 2012

Le 7 juillet 2012, tout semblait normal autour du Musée d’Histoire des Sciences de Genève … …enfin, tout semblait normal jusqu’à ce qu’une horde d’irréductibles scientifiques en tout genre débarque au parc de la Perle-du-Lac afin de mettre en contact le grand public et la science lors des “Nuits de la Science”. Le groupe GAP Biophotonics de l’Université de Genève était bien entendu de la partie pour ce curieux week-end ayant lieu tous les deux ans! Dans la joie et la bonne humeur les membres du groupe sont venus présenter quelques expériences sur le thème “cherchez l’erreur” et expliquer les centres d'intérêt actuels des chercheurs. Au menu du week-end, chambre à nuage pour illustrer la condensation par filamentation, laser à air, pollens et une toute nouvelle expérience sur le contrôle cohérent des molécules! Les “Nuits de la Science” ont attiré plus de 30 000 visiteurs qui ont ainsi pu débattre et partager avec environ 400 scientifiques, prouvant l’intérêt du public pour la science.

Gallerie photo link


Science Night 2012

On Saturday 7th July 2012, everything seemed normal around the Geneva’s Museum of History of Science… …until a indomitable horde of scientists of all kinds turned up to host hands-on science activities at the Perle-du-Lac Park during the “Science Nights”. Of course, the GAP Biophotonics group of the University of Geneva was there for this bi-annual popular event during the week end. With joy and good mood, the group members showed some experiments on the theme “what’s wrong with this picture?” and explained the researchers’ present interests. The week end’s menu consisted of a cloud chamber to illustrate water condensation by filamentation, an “air-laser”, pollens, and a brand new experiment on coherent control of molecules! The “Science Nights” attracted more than 30 000 visitors to discuss with roughly 400 scientists, showing the great interest of people in science.

Picture gallery link


Upcoming Seminar

Thu. July 17th at 14h00 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Using shaped ultrafast laser pulses to detect enzyme binding»

Dr. Brett J. Pearson

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Dickinson College (USA)

pdf gif Abstract link

Upcoming Seminar

Thu. July 12th at 14h30 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Surprising findings in the physics of filament formation»

Dr. Günter Steinmeyer

Max-Born Institute, Berlin

June 2012:

Front Cover in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics vol 14

PCCP front cover

«Ultrafast laser spectroscopy and control of atmospheric aerosols»


We review applications of ultrafast laser pulses for aerosol analysis via linear and non-linear spectroscopy, including the most advanced techniques like coherent control of molecular excited states. We also discuss the capability of such pulses to influence the nucleation of atmospheric aerosols by assisting condensation of water in air.

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 14, 9291-9300 (2012)

[DOI: 10.1039/C2CP23576E]

May 2012:

Upcoming Seminar

Wed. May 30th at 15h30 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Applications of ultrafast, tuneable, mid-IR spectroscopy: solid state quantum optics and cell imaging for cancer diagnosis»

Dr. Mary Matthews

Blackett Laboratory
Imperial College London

Upcoming Seminar

Thu. May 24th at 14h30 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Spatio-temporal controlling of utlra-short pulses through a multiply scattering medium via spectral pulse shaping»

Dr. Ayhan Tajalli

Laboratoire CAR (CNRS)
Universite Paul Sabatier Toulouse

Upcoming Seminar

Wed. May 23th at 14h00 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Structural and optical probing of gas phase biomolecular ions»

Dr. Philippe Dugourd

Laboratoire de Spectrometrie Ionique et Moleculaire
C.N.R.S. et Universite Lyon I

Upcoming Seminar

Thu. May 10th at 14h30 Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Extreme events in nature, rogue wave in optics»

Prof. John Dudley

University of Franche-Comté and Institut Universitaire de France

pdf gif Abstract link

February 2012:

Upcoming Seminar

Thu. February 9th at 11h Room 03

Maison de Pinchat (Chemin de Pinchat, 22 - Carouge GE)

«Detection and Spectroscopy of Airborne Nanoparticules by LIBS»


ERC logo

«ERC Advanced Grant »


Jean-Pierre Wolf was awarded a prestigious ERC (European Research Council) Advanced Grant for his works on high field-matter interactions and in particular laser filamentation

pdf gif article link

European Resarch Council link

December 2011:

Article in Migros Magazine n°47

Group picture

«Un laser pour faire tomber la pluie»


Dans le cadre d’un projet international, des chercheurs genevois ont réussi à créer des gouttes à partir d’un appareil surpuissant.

pdf gif article link

Migros Magazine 47 link

Upcoming event

Thu. December 8 from 10.30 AM to 17.00 PM

Salle MANEP, Physics Department
24, quai Ernest-Ansermet
1205 Genève

NCCR MUST Education Day

The aim of the day is for the PI's to work with the MUST Directors and Education Delegate to initiate the Education and Outreach part of NCCR MUST, prioritize the future activities, then set events in motion.
The program involves presentations on Photonics Outreach days Bern, successful educational methods, portable teaching tools, and contributions from the organizers of PhysiScope and Chimiscope, Uni Geneva.

pdf gif Program link

Building view

Pinchat Building view

The GAP has moved !!!

NEW Address since November 7th

Please note that the zip code used for Visitors and delivery is different than for Mailing and small shipping.

Université de Genève
GAP Biophotonics
Chemin de Pinchat 22

Visitors and delivery: CH - 1227 Carouge

Mailing and small shipping: CH - 1211 Genève 4

Suisse /Switzerland

New general Phone:

GAP secretariat

Tel. +41 22 379 05 00

Fax. +41 22 379 05 59

Please note that all phone numbers have changed

updated list here

October 2011:

Upcoming Seminar

Fri. October 28th at 14h30 Room 135

Ancienne Ecole de Medecine (Rue de l'Ecole de Medecine, 20 - Geneva)

«Conformational Dynamics and Diversity of Single G Protein-Coupled Receptors»

Dr. Alexandre Fuerstenberg

Department of Structural Biology and Bioinformatics
University of Geneva

pdf gif Abstract link

Upcoming Seminar

Tue. October 13th at 11h15 am Room 135

Ancienne Ecole de Medecine (Rue de l'Ecole de Medecine, 20 - Geneva)

«Two Types of Photoluminescence Blinking Revealed by Single Quantum Dot Spectroelectrochemistry»

Dr Christophe Galland

Los Alamos National Labs

pdf gif Abstract link
le_journal_UniGe_52_1st_page Le_journal_UniGe_52_p16

Interview of Jérôme Kasparian


"Le Journal de l'Unige"

about the research conducted at GAP-Biophotonics on laser-assisted water condensation (See Nature Communications article: «Field measurements suggest the mechanism of laser-assisted water condensation» [DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1462]

pdf gif Article link

Upcoming Seminar

Tue. October 4th at 2 pm Room 135

Ancienne Ecole de Medecine (Rue de l'Ecole de Medecine, 20 - Geneva)

«Optical Imaging from Tissue to Molecule »

Prof. Theo Lasser

Laboratoire d'Optique biomedicale - EPFL, Lausanne (Switzerland)

pdf gif Abstract link

Upcoming Seminar

Tue. October 4th at 2 pm Room 135

Ancienne Ecole de Medecine (Rue de l'Ecole de Medecine, 20 - Geneva)

«Triplet Imaging of Oxygen Consumption during the Contraction of a Single Smooth Muscle Cell (A7r5)»

Dr. Matthias Geissbühler

Laboratoire d'Optique biomedicale - EPFL, Lausanne (Switzerland)

pdf gif Abstract link

RSR.ch logo

Interview of Prof. Jean-Pierre Wolf


Les Temps Modernes, 04 October 2011

download MP3 (8.8 Mb)


LWC2011 - first Conference on Laser-based weather control

at the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in Geneva

Sept, 29 2011 - Oct, 1st 2011


September 2011:

Vous cherchez? thumbnail 

pdf gif Article in "La Tribune" link 125 Kb

Interview of

Stefano Henin


"La Tribune"

about his research after publication in Nature Communications of the new article:

«Field measurements suggest the mechanism of laser-assisted water condensation»

[DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1462]
Breast cell image

From left to right: P. Griot (Responsable Assurance Qualité), M. Pohl (Président de la section de physique), Pierre Béjot, S. Haefeli (Directeur Manufacture), J.-D. Vassalli (Recteur de l’Université de Genève), S. Knop (Directeur Communication), picture by A. Morvan

Dr. Pierre Béjot wins the
Vacheron-Constantin Science award 2011

For his PHD thesis

« Theoretical and experimental investigations of ultrashort laser filamentation in gases »

PhD thesis PB Thesis link 18 Mb

Article in "L'Hebdo" pdf gif 125 Kb

Vacheron-Constantin web site

Article in "Le Temps" about Nature Communications

Lightning control thumbnail 

pdf gif Article in "Le Temps" link 210 Kb

New article in Nature Communications

«Field measurements suggest the mechanism of laser-assisted water condensation»


Because of the potential impact on agriculture and other key human activities, efforts have been dedicated to the local control of precipitation. The most common approach consists of dispersing small particles of dry ice, silver iodide, or other salts in the atmosphere. Here we show, using field experiments conducted under various atmospheric conditions, that laser filaments can induce water condensation and fast droplet growth up to several µm in diameter in the atmosphere as soon as the relative humidity exceeds 70%. We propose that this effect relies mainly on photochemical formation of p.p.m.-range concentrations of hygroscopic HNO3, allowing efficient binary HNO3–H2O condensation in the laser filaments. Thermodynamic, as well as kinetic, numerical modelling based on this scenario semiquantitatively reproduces the experimental results, suggesting that particle stabilization by HNO3 has a substantial role in the laser-induced condensation.

[DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1462]

August 2011:

Upcoming Seminar

Frid. August 19th at 10 am Auditoire Stuckelberg

Ecole de Physique (Quai Ernest Ansermet, 24 - Geneva)

«Why is chemical synthesis and property optimization easier than expected?»

Prof. Herschel Rabitz

Princeton University

pdf gif Abstract link

May 2011:

Breast cell image

Réalisée sur le nouveau système A1R-MP, cette image de cellule tumorale du sein, dont les membranes sont marquées en rouge par une molécule fluorescente montre en bleu le contraste obtenu avec les nouveaux marqueurs proposés par le GAP-Biophotonics. Ces derniers ne souffrent pas de photo-bleaching, contrairement aux marqueurs fluorescents. © Gap-Biophotonics/Nikon (Unpublished).

Etroite collaboration entre Nikon Instruments et le GAP-Biophotonics sur la microscopie non-linéaire

Les techniques d’imagerie optique sont en constante évolution et permettent de nos jours la compréhension de phénomènes toujours plus complexes dans des domaines aussi divers que la biologie, la médecine ou la physique.

Parmi ces techniques, la microscopie dite non-linéaire revêt un intérêt particulier car comparé aux techniques standard elle permet d’imager des tissus vivants, sans altérer les cellules, sur des profondeurs de l’ordre du millimètre.

Dans le cadre du nouveau projet européen, FP7 Framework, le groupe GAP-Biophotonics du Prof. Jean-Pierre Wolf a scellé un partenariat avec la Division Instruments de la société Nikon. Le dernier né des systèmes de microscopie non-linéaire Nikon, le confocal multiphoton A1R-MP, a été installé dernièrement dans les locaux du GAP dans l’Ancienne Ecole de Médecine. Disposant d’un nouveau scanner hybride à haute vitesse, ce système permettra de démontrer les potentialités de nouveaux marqueurs pour la détection précoce de tumeurs. Cette approche, proposée par les chercheurs du GAP-Biophotonics, est basée sur les propriétés optiques non-linéaires d’une nouvelle famille de nanoparticules et doit permettre à terme de pouvoir dépasser les limites des nano-sondes actuelles. Grâce à l’utilisation de la dernière génération d’objectifs Nikon λS qui permet de travailler dans l’infrarouge, région spectrale moins sensible à la diffusion de la lumière, la profondeur d’imagerie de tissus sera largement améliorée.

Contact pour tout intérêt (visite ou collaboration)

Prof. Jean-Pierre Wolf : ; +41 22 379 65 94

Dr. Luigi Bonacina : ; +41 22 379 65 96

Upcoming Seminar

Wed. May 25th at 2 pm Auditoire Stuckelberg

Ecole de Physique (Quai Ernest Ansermet, 24 - Geneva)

« Spectroscopy of
Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene »

Prof. Tony Heinz

Columbia University, NY

Upcoming Seminar

Thur. May 5th at 2 pm Room 135

Ancienne Ecole de Medecine (Rue de l'Ecole de Medecine, 20 - Geneva)

«Time-resolved high-harmonic spectroscopy: femtosecond and attosecond dynamics in molecules»

Prof. Dr. Hans Jakob Wörner

Laboraotrium für physikalische Chemie, ETH Zürich

Upcoming Seminar

Frid. May 6th at 2.30 pm Room 135

Ancienne Ecole de Medecine (Rue de l'Ecole de Medecine, 20 - Geneva)

«Acceleration of Electrons and Ions by Intense Laser Pulses»

Prof. Joshi Chandrasekhar

University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA

pdf gif Abstract link

April 2011:

Upcoming Seminar

Wed. April 13th at 2 pm Room 135

Ancienne Ecole de Medecine (Rue de l'Ecole de Medecine, 20 - Geneva)

« Nano-reporters and nano-bullets: how nanotechnology advances enable to probe and target human cellular structures? »

Yuri Volkov, PhD, MD

Trinity College and Institute of Molecular Medicine, Dublin, Ireland

pdf gif Abstract link

Upcoming Seminar

Wed. April 13th at 3.15 pm Room 135

Ancienne Ecole de Medecine (Rue de l'Ecole de Medecine, 20 - Geneva)

« High Aspect Ratio Nanoparticles used in Nanomedicine »

Adriele Prina-Mello, PhD, MSc

Trinity College Dublin, School of Medicine
Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN)
Dublin, Ireland

pdf gif Abstract link

April 2011:


Lundi 4 avril 2011, 17h00
Ecole de Physique, Auditoire Stueckelberg

« Elements of a photonic quantum network »

Prof. Ian Walmsley

Hooke Professor of Experimental Physics
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research
University of Oxford

pdf gif Abstract link

January 2011:

CRC press book cover

New CRC Press book

"Fundamentals and Applications in Aerosol Spectroscopy"
[DOI: 10.1201/b10417]
Edited by Ruth Signorell and Jonathan P . Reid

Chapter 13 "Femtosecond Spectroscopy and Detection of Bioaerosols" written by L. Bonacina and J.-P. Wolf

October 2010:

MUST logo

Launching of the NCCR-MUST website

The NCCR-MUST is an interdisciplinary research program launched by the Swiss National Science Foundation in 2010. It brings together 15 Swiss research groups working in Ultrafast Science across the fields of physics and chemistry.

The focus in MUST (Molecular Ultrafast Science and Technology) is to create new experimental and theoretical tools and to apply them to unravel the fastest processes in the physics and chemistry of natural and manmade matter. Experimental tools rely on ever-shorter sources of electromagnetic radiation, be it ultraviolet, visible, infrared or even bursts of X-rays. Currently, we are witnessing further huge steps forward in these technologies. New sources of femtosecond X-ray pulses, such as the slicing scheme at synchrotrons, or the X-ray free electron laser (XFEL), are built or planned - one of them at the PSI (SwissFEL). Electron diffraction reaches ultrafast time scales, techniques similar to NMR are extended into the IR and UV/VIS spectrum, attosecond pulses of light bring us to the time scales of electron motion, and intense THz pulses allow for direct excitation of structural modes. Improved, and even novel, theoretical tools emerge from constantly growing computational capabilities, which in turn enable us to tackle previously unsolved problems.

Read more under :

July 2010:

LIDAR at Nuit de la Science

10-11 Juillet 2010 : Nuit de la Science a Geneve

Pour fêter les 50 ans de l'invention du laser le GAP-Biophotonics a participé en force à la Nuit de la Science 2010: démonstration d'un laser fonctionnant a l'air, pincettes laser pour piéger et attraper des bactéries et des pollens, et enfin LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging, voir photo) permettant de détecter les particules polluantes et les nuages jusqu'a 15 km d'altitude.

May 2010:

Condensation cloud explosion

New publication in nature Photonics

Laser-induced water condensation in air

GAP Biophotonics researchers, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Lyon and Free University of Berlin, managed for the first time to initiate water vapor condensation using ultrashort laser pulses. They generated water microdroplets in both laboratory conditions and in the free atmosphere. Although the generated droplets are still much smaller than raindrops this achievement demonstrates that lasers could be used to modulate weather.

April 2010:


pdf gif Abstract link

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.103903

New light on light filaments

Ultrashort, high laser pulses (with powers from the GW to the TW, comparable to the production of 1 or 1000 power plants and durations shorter than 100 fs, a time during which light propagates over a distance as short as the diameter of an hair) launched in a transparent media generate self-guided "filaments of light". These filaments are at the root of spectacular potential applications like lightning control, remote sensing of atmospheric pollution, remote material ablation or analysis, or the generation of THz radiation. Up to now, they were believed to originate from the ionization of the medium, which tends to balance the self-focusing (Kerr effect) induced by the high intensity of the laser beam.

Rather, we show that ionization is a by-product of filamentation, which is governed by the newly measured defocusing higher-orders of non-linearity which balance the Kerr effect and allow self-guiding. This better understanding of the physics of filamentation allows a better and easier modeling of the process in view of its optimization for each of the specific envisioned applications.

Campus 98 cover

pdf gif short version (674 Kb) link

pdf gif full version (1.9 Mb) link

Revue Campus 98

Dossier Laser, 50 ans d'illumination

Inventé en 1960 par Théodore Maiman, le laser était à l’origine «une solution cherchant un problème». Il est rapidement devenu un rayon à tout faire, qu’il s’agisse de lire de la musique ou de faire tomber la foudre

Bien avant l’invention du laser, on a prêté à la lumière de terrifiants pouvoirs destructeurs. Entre science et fiction, retour sur l’histoire du «rayon de la mort»

Les lasers d’aujourd’hui sont capables de produire des impulsions d’une brièveté inégalée et d’une puissance spectaculaire. Petit voyage dans les mondes des superlatifs

March 2010:

ZDF television report picture


The german TV Channel ZDF (link) reports on our activities about meteorological modulation using Terawatt lasers in its famous science-discoveries emission called "Abenteuer Wissen"

Look at it on-line: link

February 2010:

GAP building view across the Arve river during construction of the new Wilsdorf bridge

ECMED Nov. 2009 picture

November 2009

ECMED Feb. 2010 picture

February 2010

December 2009:

Biophotonics Group picture
The Biophotonics Group

wish you a pleasant Christmas

and a Happy New Year

July 2009:

Teramobile in Geneva
Picture by M. Moret
TERAMOBILE arrives in Geneva

The TERAMOBILE (link) is now in Geneva. It can be seen in front of the Physics building (link).

The Teramobile system is the first mobile laser yielding 5 terawatts (TW) and 100 fs (10-13 s) pulses, with 350 mJ pulse energy at 10 Hz repetition rate. It concentrates the state-of-the-art laser technology in a 20’ standard freight container, allowing field measurement campaigns.

June 2009:

wave function
Illustration: Alan Stonebraker
Quantum Control of
Tightly Competitive Product Channels

Fundamental selectivity limits of quantum control are pushed by introducing laser driven optimal dynamic discrimination to create distinguishing excitations on two nearly identical flavin molecules. Even with modest spectral resources, significant specificity is achieved with optimal pulse shapes, which amplify small molecular differences to create distinct, identifying signals. Rather than being a hindrance, system complexity appears to aid the control process and augments control field capability, which bodes well for implementation of quantum control in a variety of demanding applications.

M. Roth, L. Guyon, J. Roslund, V. Boutou, F. Courvoisier, J.-P. Wolf, and H. Rabitz Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 253001 (2009) [DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.102.253001]

Selected as Viewpoint in in Physics.aps.org

Distinguishing between molecules that look the same, T. Weinacht Physics 2, 51 (2009) [DOI: 10.1103/Physics.2.51]

Mai 2009:

curved plasma light

By using Airy shaped beam profiles, it was recently shown that curved laser induced plasma channels can be generated. This "rifle shooting in a corner"-like behavior is due to the fact that an Airy beam consists in a main intensity peak on one side of the propagation axis, and a broad tail on the other side, so that the beam's center of gravity still propagates on a straight line. However, if the laser intensity is high enough, non-linear effects like the ionization of the air molecules, take place only where intensity is maximum, namely on the curved trajectory of the main intensity peak. We discuss the properties and applications of these new curved high intensity laser beams in the April 10 issue of Science magazine.

J. Kasparian, J.P. Wolf, Science 324, 194 (2009) [DOI: 10.1126/science.1172244]
P. Polynkin, M.Kolesik, J.V. Moloney et al, Science 324, 229 (2009)

March 2009:

Lightning control thumbnail 

pdf gif
215 Kb [DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2009.9]

Dr Jérôme Kasparian interview in Nature Photonics

"Lightning control by lasers"

October 2008:

Pris au piege thumbnail

pdf gif 740 Kb

Palais de la découverte "Un chercheur une manipe"

October 7 - December 14, 2008 - Paris

July 2008:

RSR.ch logo

24 Minutes Chrono, 01 July 2008
download as MP3 (28.2 Mb)


04 july 2008
download as Mp3 (27 Mb).

Mai 2008:

RSR.ch logo

  La Science de Pain, 23 May 2008 download as MP3 (1.6 Mb).

April 2008:

TSR logo

Télévision Suisse Romande

Evening news (Téléjournal, 19:30), 24 April.

dowload as RealMedia (5.7 Mb)

UniGe logo

Communiqué de presse de l'Université de Genève

"Coup de foudre à l'UNIGE" Pdf link (120 kb)

Campus80 cover

Revue Campus 80

"Chasseur d'éclairs en quête de coup de foudre"

Pdf link (154 kb)

Optics Express publication abstract

Pdf link (950 kb free download)


Electric events synchronized with laser filaments in thunderclouds, Jerome Kasparian, Roland Ackermann, Yves-Bernard André, Grégoire Méchain, Guillaume Méjean, Bernard Prade, Philipp Rohwetter, Estelle Salmon, Kamil Stelmaszczyk, Jin Yu, André Mysyrowicz, Roland Sauerbrey, Ludger Woeste, and Jean-Pierre Wolf,
Optics Express, 16(8), 5757-5763 (2008)

[DOI: 10.1364/OE.16.005757]

January 2008:

Optics Express publication abstract

Pdf link (1.3 Mb free download)


Physics and applications of atmospheric nonlinear optics and filamentation, J. Kasparian, J.-P. Wolf, Optics Express, 16(1), 466-493 (2008)

Confernece flyer thumbnail   pdf link (180kb)

A cycle of public conferences organized by "CULTURE et RENCONTRE" (link) and University of Geneva will be held at Collège de Saussure (Petit-Lancy, Geneva) during January and begining of February on Metorology, Climate, and Pollution. Prof J.-P. WOLF and Prof. M. BENISTON from GAP will give a talk (January, 16th and February, 6th resp.).

July 2007:

Poster Thumbnail

PDF gifA3 file 1,1 Mb

Quantum Information, Quantum Control and Quantum Optics Poster Prize awarded to Ariana Rondi at the Femtochemistry and Femtobiology 8 Conference in Oxford, 22-27 July 2007.

See related publication:
L. Bonacina, J. Extermann, A. Rondi, V. Boutou, J.-P. Wolf, Multiobjective genetic approach for optimal control of photoinduced processes, Physical Review A 76, 023408 (2007) Link (PDF gif 550 Kb)


May 2007:

Ultrafast Optics V cover

Range-Resolved Optical Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere,
Series: Springer Series in Optical Sciences, Vol. 102

April 2007:

APL Vol.90 Num. 15 cover


32 TW atmospheric white-light laser P. Béjot et al.
App. Phys. Lett. 90, 151106 (2007) link (PDF gif 250 kb)

May 2006:

Affiche "Un chercheur une manip" logo

Palais de la découverte "Un chercheur une manipe"
may 23 - july 3, 2006 - Paris

RSR la 1er logo Histoire de l'arc en ciel, de B. Maitte, éditions du Seuil

Prof. J.P. Wolf's radio interview broadcasted on May 19 2006 during the program called "Mordicus" entitled "De quelle etoffe sont faits les arcs-en-ciel?"

Journée de l'Europe logo

The GAP Biophotonics at "La journée de l'Europe" in Paris on may 9, 2006

April  2006:

Prof. J.P. Wolf's interview on TV about "What is the purpose of fundamental research" Link (5 min streaming)

TSR logo Laser guided lightning

Prof. Jean-Pierre Wolf and the TERAMOBILE team won "LE PRIX LA RECHERCHE" 2005. Photo ( PDF gif180 Kb)

Links: La Recherche, l'actualité des sciences (Home page), Le Prix la Recherche (Home page)


November  2005:

Uni Kids 2005

Uni Kids 2005

L'Université à accueilli, du 7 au 12 novembre, des enfants de 10 à 12 ans afin de leur faire découvrir la science en la vivant et en la partageant avec celles et ceux qui la font.
Intitulée Kids University ou Université Européenne pour les enfants, cette initiative à été menée simultanément pendant une semaine au sein de dix universités européennes
partenaires de la League of European Research Universities (LERU).

A l’UNIGE, cette première édition s’est articulée autour de la physique et de Jules Verne. Cours donné dans le cadre de Uni Kids sur le thême:

"De la terre à la lune" de Jules Verne download (3.5 Mb)

(public cible: jeunes de 10 à 12 ans)