Optical physics was one of the earliest disciplines established in the Institute of Physics, ChineseAcademy of Sciences (CAS). In December 1994 the Laboratory of Optical Physics was authorized as an Open Laboratory of CAS, and then renamed a CAS Key Laboratory in 2001. Its main focus is on the fundamental studies of laser interactions with matter, as well as applied basic research on novel materials in optics and photonics. That is, while emphasizing the physics of optics, at the same time modern optical methods and techniques are applied to condensed matter physics and material science for potential applications of new materials in high-tech industry. Current research topics include novel optical properties in low dimention perovskite oxide, pure and applied studies in laser physics, photonic crystals, nonlinear optics, quantum optics, high laser field physics, high energy density physics and ultrafast processes. Through persistent efforts the Laboratory is becoming more and more competitive academically, with a considerable number of publications in the major international journals. Important progress has also been achieved in the fabrication low dimension oxide materials and heterostructures by laser MBE, and many kinds of ultrashort pulsed lasers and all-solid-state lasers have been developed in-house, reaping in several national awards in science and technology. Meanwhile, the application of optical methods to biological systems has become an increasingly active research field, further demonstrating the close association of optics with condensed matter and material science in the Lab.
At present we have a whole range of advanced laser systems, such as pulsed lasers with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosecond pulse durations, as well as a tunable ring laser, excimer laser and widely tunable optical parametric amplifier (OPA). Modern detection instruments such as fast oscilloscopes, lock-in amplifiers, boxcars, single-photon detection counters, all types of autocorrelators, and different kinds of spectrometers covering the infrared, visible and ultraviolet regions are also available.
With a total of 34 research and administrative staff and 90 graduate students the Laboratory has emerged as a dynamic force at the forefront of research in optics, undertaking many major national programs. Successful collective projects are in progress with over a dozen external research groups both in China and abroad, and the Laboratory will continue to encourage and support such highly fruitful collaboration.