Active Matter and Fluids Research

 My research is about the light-matter interaction of micro and nano systems. I study how light can be used to activate inert materials such as colloids to induce their self-propulsion, self-assembly into larger superstructures and how to gain optimal  control over them. This is a highly interdisciplinary field involving photonics, materials science and biomimetics.

In particular my research involves:
  • nano and micro machines
  • self-assembled active matter
  • microcavities and small forces
This addresses current scientific and technological challenges in developing novel methods, for example, in smart drug delivery systems, automated search-and-rescue missions, and soil and water remediation from environmental pollutants. Moreover, the study of small forces in micro cavities allows to understand and build a new generation of sensors whose enhanced sensitivity enables the detection of transient effects and molecules.

News & Events

Nov 7, 2022

New article published in Nature Physics

Tunable critical Casimir forces counteract Casimir-Lifshitz attraction Falko Schmidt, Agnese Callegari, Abdallah Daddi-Moussa-Ider, Battulga Munkhbat, Ruggero Verro,  Timur Shegai, Mikael Käll, Hartmut Löwen, Andrea Gambassi, Giovanni Volpe Nat Phys (2... (Link)

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Nov 6, 2022

Falko Schmidt awarded as My Green Lab Ambassador

Falko Schmidt has been named the My Green Lab Ambassador for the completion of the training on more sustainable laboratory methods.  My Green Lab is a non-profit organization whose goal it is to raise awareness to current laboratory methods by giving ... (Link)

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Aug 21, 2022

Presentation by Falko Schmidt on "Tunable critical Casimir forces counteract Casimir–Lifshitz attraction" at the CMD29, Manchester, UK

Falko Schmidt is presenting his work on Critical Casimir Forces in NEMS at the Condensed Matter Division CMD29 in Manchester, UK.  CMD29 is a large international conference covering all aspects of condensed matter physics. Its 29th iteration of the Co...

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Research Projects

Light-induced micro and nano machines

Optical tweezers are used to induce rotational motion of nanoparticles and microparticles effectively creating miniaturised versions of macroscopic engines.

Self-assembled active matter

Under light illumination a suspension of binary colloids self-assembles into active hierarchical superstructures providing insights into the formation process of biological systems.

Fluctuation-driven forces in microcavities

Optical microcavities allow the study of light-matter interactions enabling sensitive measurements of small forces.

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Tunable critical Casimir forces counteract Casimir–Lifshitz attraction

Falko Schmidt, Agnese Callegari, Abdallah Daddi-Moussa-Ider, Battulga Munkhbat, Ruggero Verre, Timur Shegai, Mikael Käll, Hartmut Löwen, Andrea Gambassi, Giovanni Volpe

Nature Physics, 2022

Kolloidphysik: Motorisierte Tröpfchen

Hartmut Löwen, Jens Grauer, Falko Schmidt, Benno Liebchen

Physik in unserer Zeit, vol. 53(1), 2022, pp. 9-10

Self-organization of Colloidal Systems in the Presence of Fluctuations

Falko Schmidt

Active & Intelligent Living Matter Conference, 2022 Jun 30

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About Me:

Dr. Falko Schmidt has defended his doctoral thesis in 2021 from the physics department at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. He is currently a PostDoctoral researcher at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany working on nanophotonics systems such as single photon emitters in 2D materials.
He has over 7 years of experience in building holographic optical setups for experiments on the optical manipulation of micro- and nanosystems. He is the author of 6 scientific peer-reviewed articles published in renowned journals (e.g. Nature Physics, Nature Communications, Physical Review Letters). He is also the co-founder of Lucero AB, a spin-off from research at the University of Gothenburg developing automated manipulation solutions for single cells in drug screening purposes.


Dr. Falko Schmidt

PostDoctoral Researcher

Institute of Applied Physics

Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Albert Einstein Str. 15, 07745 Jena