Malte came to St Andrews in 2013. With funds from the second SUPA phase and from other funding bodies including the Human Frontier Science Program and the European Research Council he has set up an interdisciplinary research group that develops new photonic tools for the life sciences. Malte has previously led groups at TU Dresden in Germany and worked at Harvard Medical School in the US. Since 2010, he and his team have published over 70 papers, including 9 in Nature or Science titled journals.
Malte’s original background is in organic electronics and in particular in OLEDs. He has worked extensively on the development of highly efficient OLEDs, employing amongst other concepts molecular doping approaches and optical outcoupling enhancement through molecular orientation. OLEDs are now promising candidates for the next generation of solid-state light sources and can offer high quality, glare-free illumination. Malte is also interested in microscopic patterning of organic semiconductors and in active plasmonics using organic materials.
Malte’s group has a range of activities that involve the use light and biocompatible microphotonic devices to interrogate and manipulate cells and biological matter in different ways. Malte is possibly most well-known for the invention of the biological laser, which was recognized as one of the top 10 breakthroughs in physics in 2011. Inspired by the idea of these unique lasers, the group works on functional imaging modalities for cellular biomechanics and on unique laser-based cell tags. Other activities are the development of organic LEDs (OLEDs) as light source for optogenetics and the study of strong light matter coupling in unusual materials.