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Professor Wolfgang Langbein

Professor Wolfgang Langbein

Head of Condensed Matter and Photonics Group

+44 (0)29 2087 0172
N/1.19, Queen's Buildings - North Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am Professor of Physics and  Head of the Condensed Matter and Photonics group.

My research has the themes semiconductor nanostructures, optical spectroscopy and imaging, with specific emphasis on ultrafast and nonlinear processes, and optical resonators. I combine these themes to provide advances with a scope from fundamental physics, via materials science, to the life sciences.


  • Since 2007  Cardiff University, Professor of Physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy
  • 2006  Cardiff University, Reader in Physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy
  • 2004  Cardiff University, Senior Lecturer in Physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy
  • 2003  Habilitation in Physics, University of Dortmund, Germany. Thesis on “Speckle-Analysis of Resonant Light Emission from Solids”
  • 1998  Assistant Professor at the University of Dortmund, Germany, 
  • 1995  Assistant Research Professor at the Mikroelektronik Centret, Danish Technical University, Lyngby, Denmark
  • 1995  PhD in Physics at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, Thesis on ”Many-body effects and carrier dynamics in type-II superlattices”
  • 1992    Diploma in Physics with distinction, Department of Physics, University of Kaiserslautern, Germany. Thesis on ”Magnetoexcitons and carrier dynamics in GaAs/AlGaAs quantum wells”

Honours and awards

  • Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow
  • Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales

Professional memberships

  • Learned Society of Wales (LSW)
  • Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Optical Society of America (OSA)
  • Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG)
  • Royal Microscopical Society (RMS)

Academic positions

I was external PhD examiner in University of Lund (Sweden), EPF Lausanne (Switzerland), Universite Fourier, Grenoble (France)

Speaking engagements

Conference Organisation:

  • Program Committee Member OECS 2015 (2015)
  • Session Chair Quantum Optics Photon 14 (2014)
  • Program Committee Member UK Semiconductors 2013
  • Session Chair Quantum Optics Photon 12 (2012)
  • Program Committee Member UK Semiconductors 2012
  • Program Committee Member QD2010 (2010)

Recent Invited International Conference Talks:

  • Femtosecond non-linear spectroscopy and microscopy from quantum coherence to cell structure
    W.Langbein, Lead Speaker, Rank Prize Symposium on Semiconductor Nano-Photonics for Quantum Information Science, 23-26/09/2013, Grasmere, UK
  • Ultrafast coherent exciton nonlinearities and dynamics in individual quantum dots - phonons, coherent coupling, and cavity quantum electrodynamics
    W.Langbein, Plenary Talk, OECS13, 8-13/09/2013, Rome, Italy
  • Ultrafast coherent exciton dynamics in individual quantum dots - phonons, coherent coupling, and CQED
    W.Langbein, DPG Spring Meeting, 13/03/2013, Regensburg, Germany
  • Nonlinear Optical Microscopy
    W. Langbein, International School Of Physics "Enrico Fermi": Microscopy applied to Biophotonics (3 Lectures, Varenna, Italy 12-22 July 2011)
  • Imaging spectroscopy applied to microcavity polaritons Coherent nonlinear dynamics of quantum dots in micropillar cavities in the strong coupling regime W. Langbein, Conference on Cold Atoms, Semiconductor Polaritons and Nanoscience, POLATOM ESF research networking programme (2 Lectures, Chersonissos, Crete, Greece, May 2 - 6, 2011)
  • Two-dimensional nonlinear imaging of quantum dots: Polarization dynamics & Coherent coupling
    W.Langbein and J.Kasprzak, Fundamental Optical Processes in Semiconductors (FOPS) Conference, 01-05 August 2011, Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.






























I hold first- and second-year tutorials, and supervise 3rd and 4th year project students.

In the past years I have been teaching modules in optical microscopy, condensed matter physics, theoretical physics, and quantum optics.

I am supervising post-doctoral fellows and post-graduate students.

My research interests are

  1. Quantum optics and ultrafast spectroscopy of semiconductor nanostructures, microcavities, and quantum-dot optical amplifiers.
  2. Application of optical spectroscopy to life-science, focussing on the techniques of coherent anti-stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy, fluorescent resonant transfer, quantitative phase imaging, label-free optical biosensors using microcavities, and statistical analysis of individual quantum emitters such as colloidal quantum dots.
  3. Electromagnetic simulations and the resonant state expansion


  • Optical spectroscopy and imaging
  • Raman and coherent Raman spectroscopy and imaging
  • Quantum optics of  semiconductor nanostructures
  • Biosensing
  • Plasmonics
  • Other topics within my expertise (see publication list)

Past projects

  • Co-Supervisor Thomas Allcock Exciton Photon dynamics in quantum dots embedded in photonic cavities (awarded 2021)
  • Supervisor  Joseph Williams Quantitative optical microscopy of bio-nanostructures (awarded 2019) 
  • Supervisor Alexander Nahmad-Rohen, Optical imaging of lipid bilayers and its applications to neurology (awarded 2019)
  • Supervisor David Regan Measurement of thickness and phase transitions in supported lipid bilayers using quantitative differential interference contrast microscopy (awarded 2019)
  • Supervisor Lorenzo Scarpelli  Optical spectroscopy of excitons confined in two-dimensional materials and semiconductor heterostructures (awarded 2019)
  • Co-Supervisor Hame Sehmi - Resonant-state expansion for optical systems with frequency dispersion. (awarded 2019)
  • Co-Supervisor Yisu Wang -  Fabrication and quantitative correlative light-electron microscopy of novel plasmonic nanoparticles (awarded 2018)
  • Co-Supervisor Attilio Zilli -. Measuring and modelling the absolute optical cross- sections of individual nano-objects (awarded 2018)
  • Co-Supervisor Josie Bradley -  Label-free multiphoton microscopy of lipids in oocytes, eggs and early embryos (awarded 2016)
  • Supervisor for Robin Islam - Optical biosensors based on imaging of whispering-gallery modes in microsphere resonators. (awarded 2016)
  • Supervisor for Arnica Karuna -  Applications of coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy to cell biology (awarded 2016)