About Me

My name is Matthias Hoffmann and I am a staff scientist at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, CA. I work in the laser department at LCLS, the world’s first hard x-ray free electron laser.

I have spent most of my career in ultrafast laser science, mostly on terahertz generation and spectroscopy. After graduating with a Diplom in physics from the University of Freiburg in Germany, I joined the group of Hanspeter Helm in Freiburg for a PhD. My thesis work was focused on THz spectroscopy and I developed improved photoconductive antennas and other techniques for time-domain spectroscopy. My supervisor, Peter Jepsen, moved to Denmark in 2005 and I spent a few months at the Danish Technical University before graduating.

In 2006 I joined Keith Nelson‘s group in the department of chemistry at MIT as a postdoc where I worked with Janos Hebling to implement the first high energy THz sources based on the tilted pulse front technique in lithium niobate. During my time there we developed the first THz-pump/THz probe experiments and investigated nonlinear THz phenomena in variety of materials.

In 2009 I moved to Hamburg, Germany and worked as a scientist in Andrea Cavalleri’s group at the Center for Free Electron lasers at DESY. There I continued my work on nonlinear THz spectroscopy and helped with experiments exploring light-induced superconductivity in high temperature superconductors.

After two years in Andrea’s group I accepted a position as staff scientist at LCLS. My main responsibilities here are the development of improve THz sources and the support of user experiments using these sources at LCLS. In the last few years, I had many fruitful collaborations with researchers from all over the world and demonstrating some of the first THz-pump x-ray probe experiments. Check out the publications list for the latest updates and my Google Scholar profile.

I enjoy spending my free time with my family and road cycling on the beautiful roads of northern California.