Professor Ortwin Hess

Visiting Professor

Qualifications: Dipl Phys (MSc), Dr rer-nat (PhD), Habil (U Stuttgart)


Further information


Ortwin Hess studied physics at the University of Erlangen and the Technical University of Berlin. He obtained the Dipl Phys (MSc) and Dr rer-nat (PhD) degrees at the Technical University of Berlin in 1990 and 1993, respectively. From 1990 to 1992 he has been Research Associate in Edinburgh and spent a Post-Doc at the University of Marburg (1993 - 1994). From 1995 to 2003 Ortwin has been Head of the Theoretical Quantum Electronics Group at the DLR in Stuttgart, Germany. He has a Habilitation in Theoretical Physics at the University of Stuttgart (1997) and became Adjunct Professor in 1998. Since 2001 he is Docent of Photonics at Tampere University of Technology in Finland. Ortwin has been Visiting Professor at Stanford University (1997 - 1998) and the University of Munich (2000 - 2001). Since March 2003 Ortwin holds the Chair of Theoretical Condensed Matter and Optical Physics in the Department of Physics and the Advanced Technology Institute. He is Head of the Theory and Advanced Computation Group.

Research Interests

Ortwin is a theoretical physicist. His research interests are in theoretical condensed matter and optical physics, currently focusing, in particular, on the physics of metamaterials and nanoplasmonics, slow light, ultrafast spatio-temporal dynamics of quantum dot lasers and complex condensed matter systems. Recent interests lie also on soft photonics (dynamic light scattering of nanoparticles in polymer opals, molecular motors) and nano-thermodynamics. Together with his group he has made pioneering contributions to slow light and light storage in metamaterials (the 'trapped rainbow' effect) and complex nanoelectronic materials and on the ultra-fast and spatio-temporal dynamics of semiconductor and quantum dot lasers, quantum fluctuations of lasers and optical amplifiers as well as micro-cavity and optically pumped semiconductor lasers.


Research Funding

Support by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council EPSRC (UK) is gratefully acknowledged.

Details on Ortwin's current EPSRC Support as Princiap Investigator and Co-Investigator can be found here:

Research Collaborations

  • Prof W Barnes (Exeter, UK)
  • Prof J Baumberg (Cambridge University, UK)
  • Prof D Bimberg (Berlin University of Technology, Germany)
  • Prof A Boardman (Salford University, UK)
  • Prof W Elsaesser (Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany)
  • Prof A Hardy (Tel Aviv University, Israel)
  • Dr E Hendry (Exeter, UK)
  • Dr P Hibbins (Exeter)
  • Prof T Kraus (St Andrews, UK)
  • Prof G Mahler (University of Stuttgart, Germany)
  • Prof K Miyazaki (Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan)
  • Prof M McCall (Imperial College, London, UK)
  • Prof G Nagayama (Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan)
  • Prof M Pessa (Tampere University of Technology, Finland)]
  • Prof R Sambles (Exeter, UK)


Selected Publications

O Hess, Optics: Farewell to Flatland, Nature 455, 299 (2008).

K L Tsakmakidis and O Hess, Optics: Watch your back, Nature 451, 27 (2008).

E Gehrig and O Hess, Controlled storage and transfer of photonic space-time quantum-coherence in active quantum dot nanomaterials, Opt Express 16, 3744 (2008).

D P Aryal, K L Tsakmakidis, C Jamois and O Hess, Complete and robust bandgap switching in doulble-inverse-opal photonic crystals, Appl Phys Lett 92, 011109 (2008).

K L Tsakmakidis, A D Boardman and O Hess, 'Trapped rainbow' storage of light in metamaterials, Nature 450, 397 (2007).

E Gehrig and O Hess, Nonlinear spatio-temporal pulse shaping in two-photon active biomolecular media, J Opt Soc Am B 24, 522 (2007).

E Yahel, O Hess and A Hardy, Analysis of nonlinear gain-guided effects on short-pulse amplification in dope fibers by use of an extended power equation, Opt Lett 32, 118 (2007).

F Y Gardes, K L Tsakmakidis, D Thomson, G T Reed, G Z Mashanovich, O Hess and D Avitabile, Micrometer size polarization independent depletion-type photonic modulator in Silicon On Insulator, Opt Express 15, 5879 (2007).

K Tsakmakidis, A Klaedtke, D P Aryal, C Jamois and O Hess, “Single-mode operation in the slow-light regime using oscillatory waves in generalized left-handed heterostructures” Appl Phys Lett 89, 201103(2006).

K Tsakmakidis, C Hermann, A Klaedtke, C Jamois and O Hess “Surface plasmon polaritons in generalized slab heterostructures with negative permittivity and permeabililty” Phys Rev B 73, 085104 (2006).

T Ruhl, P Spahn, C Hermann, C Jamois and O Hess, “Double-Inverse-Opal Pho-tonic Crystals: The Route to Photonic Bandgap Switching” Adv Funct Mater 16, 885 (2006).

A Klaedtke and O Hess, “Ultrafast nonlinear dynamics of whispering-gallery mode micro-cavity lasers”, Opt Express 14, 2744 (2006).

E Gehrig and O Hess, "Dynamic Amplitude-Phase Coupling in Quantum Dot Lasers", Appl Phys Lett 86, 203116 (2005)

G Slavcheva and O Hess, "Dynamical model of coherent circularly polarized optical pulse interactions with two-level quantum systems", Phys Rev A 72, 053804 (2005)

M Hartmann, G Mahler and O Hess, "Existence of Temperature on the Nanoscale", Phys Rev Lett 93, 080402 (2004)

O Hess, C Hermann and A Klaedtke, "Finite-Difference Time-Domain Simulation of Photonic Crystal Defect Structures", phys stat sol (2003)

C Hermann and O Hess "Modified spontanous emission rate in an inverted opal structure with complete photonic bandgap", J Opt Soc Am B, 19, 3013 (2002)

E Gehrig and O Hess, "Mesoscopic Spatio-Temporal Theory for Quantum Dot Lasers", Phys Rev A 65, 033804 (2002)

E Gehrig and O Hess, "Ultrafast Active Phase Conjugation in Broad-Area Semiconductor Laser Amplifiers", J Opt Soc Am B 18, 1036 (2001)

G Carpintero, H Lamela, M Leones, C Simmendinger and O Hess, "Fast modulation scheme for a two laterally coupled diode laser array". Appl Phys Lett 78, 4097 (2001)

H F Hofmann and O Hess, "Thermal Photon Statistics in Laser Light Above Threshold", Phys Rev A 62, 063807 (2000)

H F Hofmann and O Hess, "Coexistence of thermal noise and squeezing in the intensity fluctuations of small laser diodes", J Opt Soc Am B, 1926 (2000)

H F Hofmann and O Hess, "Quantum Maxwell-Bloch Equations for Spatially Inhomogeneous Semiconductor Lasers", Phys Rev A 59 2342 (1999)

H F Hofmann, G Mahler and O Hess, "Quantum Control of Atomic Systems by Time Resolved Homodyne Detection", Phys Rev A 57 4877 (1998)

H F Hofmann and O Hess, "Spontaneous emission spectrum of the non-lasing supermodes in semiconductor laser arrays", Opt Lett 23, 391 (1998).

M Muenkel, F Kaiser and O Hess, "Suppression of Instabilities Leading to Spatio-Temporal Chaos in Semi-conductor Laser Arrays by Means of Delayed Optical Feedback", Phys Ref E 56, 3868 (1997)

O Hess and T Kuhn, "Maxwell-Bloch equations for spatially inhomogeneous semiconductor lasers. I: Theoretical Description", Phys Rev A 54, 3347 (1996)

O Hess and T Kuhn, "Maxwell-Bloch equations for spatially inhomogeneous semiconductor lasers. II: Spatio-Temporal Dynamics", Phys Rev A 54, 3360 (1996)

C Simmendinger and O Hess, "Controlling delay-induced chaotic behavior of a semiconductor laser with optical feedback", Phys Lett A 216, 97- (1996)

O Hess and T Kuhn, "Spatio- Temporal Dynamics of Semiconductor Lasers: Theory, Modelling and Analysis", Prog Quant Electr 20, 84-175 (1996)

I Fischer, O Hess, W Elsaesser and E Gobel, "High-Dimensional Chaotic Dynamics of an External Cavity Semiconductor Laser", Phys Rev Lett 73, 2188 (1994)

O Hess and S Hess, "Nonlinear Fluid Behavior: From Shear Thinning to Shear Thickening", Physica A 207, 517 (1994)


Research Funding

Support by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council EPSRC (UK) is gratefully acknowledged.

Details on Ortwin's current EPSRC Support as Princiap Investigator and Co-Investigator can be found here:


  • Light and Matter (3LM)
  • Theoretical Physics (3TP-M)
  • Nonlinear Physics (3NLP)
  • Computer Modelling and Simulation
  • Frontiers of Nanotechnology
  • Level-1 tutorials

Departmental Duties

Coordinator of Computing (ATI)
Levels-3 and Level-M Co-ordinator in Physics

Co-ordinator of the SEPNET Euro-Masters

Chair of the SEPNET EuroMasters Steering Group


O. Hess, Spatio Temporal Dynamics of Semiconductor Lasers. (Wissenschaft und Technik Verlag, Berlin 1993).

E. Gehrig and O. Hess, Spatio-Temporal Dynamics and Quantum Fluctuations in Semiconductor Lasers (Springer, Heidelberg 2003).

E. Gehrig and O. Hess, Quantum-Dot Nanomaterials and Devices (Imperial College Press, 2009).

Book Chapters

E. Gehrig and O. Hess, “Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Biomolecular Motors: Mesoscopic Theory and Computer Simulation”, Chapter 80 in: Handbook of Theo-retical and Computational Nanotechnology Edited by M Ried and W Schommers, American Scientific Publishers (2006).

E. Gehrig, N Gaciu and O. Hess, “Control of Broad-Area Laser Dynamics via Delayed Optical Feedback”, invited chapter to “Handbook of Chaos Control” Edited by E Schoell and H G Schuster, Wiley (2007).

E. Gehrig and O. Hess, “Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Quantum-Dot Lasers”, Chap-ter 86 in: Handbook of Theoretical and Computational Nanotechnology Edited by M Ried and W Schommers, American Scientific Publishers (2006).

M. Hartmann, G. Mahler and O. Hess, “Fundamentals of Nano-thermodynamics”, Chapter 73 in: Handbook of Theoretical and Computational Nanotechnology Ed-ited by M Ried and W Schommers, American Scientific Publishers (2006).

A. Klaedtke, J. Hamm, and O. Hess “Simulation of Active and Nonlinear Photonic Nano-Materials in the Finite-Difference Time-Domain Framework” in Computa-tional Materials Science Edited by W Hergert, A Ernst, and M Däne (Springer-Verlag, Berlin 2004) 75 – 101.

G. Boedecker, C. Henkel, C. Hermann, and O. Hess. “Spontaneous Emission in Photonic Structures: Theory and Simulation” in R. Wehrspohn and K. Busch (Eds) The Photonic Crystal Book (Wiley, 2004).

C. Jamois, R.B.Wehrspohn, C. Hermann, O. Hess, L.C. Andreani, and U. Gösele, "Two-dimensional photonic crystal waveguides", in K.-H. Brenner and J. Jahns (Eds.) Microoptics: From Technology to Applications, Springer, 161-182 (2004).

O Hess. "Mesoscopic Photonics - Shining Light on Qunatum Dots, Lasers, and Photonic Crystals", in Current Trends in Optoelectronics and Semiconductor Phys-ics (R. Hernberg and A. Viherkoski, Eds.), 91-111 (2001).

O. Hess and E. Gehrig, “Propagating Anisotropic Solitons in Active Semiconductor Media”, in B. Kramer (Ed.) Adv. Solid State Phys.41, 137-147 (Springer, 2001).

O. Hess. “Theory and Simulation of Spatially Extended Semiconductor Lasers”, in B. Krauskopf and D. Lenstra (Eds.) Fundamental Nonlinear Laser Dynamics, pp. 128—148 (2000).

E. Gehrig and O. Hess. “Dynamics of High-Power Diode Lasers“ in H. Diel (Ed.) High-Power Diode Lasers pp. 55—81 (Springer, Heidelberg 2000). 

O. Hess, „Microscopic Dynamic Aspects in Self-Focusing and Filamentation of High-Power Semiconductor Lasers“ in: Laser'95, Ed. W. Waidelich, H. Hügel, H. Opower, H. Tiziani, R. Wallenstein, and W. Zinth (Springer Verlag, 1996), pp. 795—799.

O. Hess and S. Hess (invited), „Generalized Maxwell Model Equations for the Static and Dynamic Nonlinear Flow Behavior“, in: STATPHYS 19, Ed. Hao Bailin, 369—382, World Scientific, Singapore (1996).

S. Hess and O. Hess, “Nonlinear flow behavior of fluids“, in Nonlinear Thermody-namical Processes in Continua, Eds. W. Muschik and G.A.Maugin (TUB - Do-kumentation 61, Berlin 1992), pp. 122 -134.

E. Abraham, H. Adachihara, O. Hess, R. A. Indik, P. Jacobsen, J. V. Moloney, and P. Ru, “Optical turbulence in semiconductor lasers“, in Nonlinear Processes in Phys-ics, Ed. D. Kaup und A. Fokas (Springer Verlag, New York 1992), pp. 213—217.

S. Hess, D. Baalss, O. Hess, W. Loose, J. F. Schwarzl, U. Stottut, and T. Weider, “Non-equilibrium molecular dynamics studies of the transport properties and the structure of complex fluids“, in Continuum Models and Discrete Systems (Vol.1), Ed. G. A. Maugin (Longman, Hartlow, England 1990), pp. 18—30.

Research Funding

Page Owner: phs1oh
Page Created: Monday 10 August 2009 11:56:25 by lb0014
Last Modified: Wednesday 1 February 2012 12:31:11 by ens2cs
Expiry Date: Wednesday 10 November 2010 11:55:38
Assembly date: Wed Apr 16 22:14:39 BST 2014
Content ID: 11678
Revision: 13
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