Andreas Trügler

Details about my work and research.


From cancer therapy to invisibility - the promises of light-matter interactions at the nanoscale

Andreas Trügler

2-Minute Read


Physics at the nanoscale

Half a century ago it was Richard Feynman who first talked about the incredible possibilities if we investigate physics at the nanoscale (There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom, 1959, Caltech). It took nearly 20 years until this first concepts became reality.

The discovery of fullerenes, carbon nanotubes and semiconducting nanostructures, the invention of the atomic force or scanning tunneling microscope are just a few milestones which lead to the fact that nanotechnology is regarded as one of the key technologies of the 21st century. The rapid advance of nanoscience in the last years led to a vast increase of research activities and inspired many scientists and research groups. The field of application is widespread, ranging from quantum optics, surface technology, and biochemistry, to also less obvious areas like medicine.

Nanoparticles and surface plasmons

Nanoparticles are small clusters with a diameter of about 10 to 100 nanometers and they consist of several thousands to millions of atoms. For such small objects the physical properties can differ appreciably compared to what they exhibit on a macroscale. One of the fascinating things is that quantum mechanical effects can be studied for these particles in a regime, where the transition from the micro- to the macrocosm takes place.

The Boundary Element Method is a common and versatile technique to numerically solve equations in plasmonics.

Numerical Simulation of Maxwell’s equations

I have been working on numerical simulations of physical processes at the nanoscale for almost a decade. During that time Ulrich Hohenester and I also developed a Matlab simulation toolbox called MNPBEM, where we applied the Boundary Element Method to efficiently solve Maxwell’s equations for metallic nanoparticles.

Our MNPBEM toolbox for simulations at the nanoscale.

Our MNPBEM toolbox for simulations at the nanoscale.

Some selected publications

  1. A. Trügler
    Optical Properties of Metallic Nanoparticles: Basic Principles and Simulation
    Springer Series in Materials Science, Vol. 232 (2016), ISBN: 978-3-319-25072-4.

  2. A. Hörl, G. Haberfehlner, A. Trügler, F. Schmidt, U. Hohenester, and G. Kothleitner
    Tomographic reconstruction of the photonic environment of plasmonic nanoparticles
    Nature Communications 8, 37 (2017).       (Nat. Com.)

  3. M. Lagos, A. Trügler, U. Hohenester, P. Batson
    Mapping vibrational surface and bulk modes in a single nanocube
    Nature 543, 529-532 (2017).       (Nature)

  4. U. Hohenester and A. Trügler
    MNPBEM - A Matlab toolbox for the simulation of plasmonic nanoparticles
    Comp. Phys. Commun. 183, 370 (2012).       (CPC)

Title image: Cryo-electron microscope image of the protein apoferritin by Paul Emsley/MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Research Interests


I'm a scientist and researcher working on privacy-preserving machine learning applications.