ERC Advanced Grant for Nathalie Picqué

She is the first woman physicist in Germany in the field of atomic, molecular and optical physics to be awarded this renowned grant.

With the prestigious ERC Advanced Grants, the European Research Council supports established scientists with a track record of significant research achievements in the last ten years who want to pursue a ground-breaking idea. One of them is now Nathalie Picqué, physicist at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics. She receives the grant for exploring a new concept of precision measurements with frequency combs. A revolutionary spectrometer will simultaneously achieve broad spectral coverage, Doppler-free resolution and extreme accuracy for precise studies of small molecules. The unprecedented degree of control of frequency combs achieved in this way could also open up new experimental possibilities for the study of highly non-linear phenomena in strong-field and attosecond physics.

For more than ten years, Nathalie Picqué has developed pioneering methods using frequency combs in high-resolution molecular spectroscopy. These provide essential information about the structure and dynamics of molecules and open numerous new applications in chemistry, biology and environmental sciences, but also in fundamental physics, for example for precision measurements of fundamental constants. Her methods are meanwhile used by over a hundred research groups worldwide.

“The grant recognizes the work of my entire group and is a strong encouragement to reach new frontiers and to explore an exciting new topic”, says Nathalie Picqué.

ERC Advanced Grants entail a funding of 2.5 million euros over a time frame of five years. With the upcoming project of Nathalie Picqué, postdoctoral and PhD positions are available for young scientists motivated by challenging experiments and interested in exploring new frontiers in precision molecular spectroscopy. Please send enquiries directly to Nathalie Picqué (

About Nathalie Picqué

Nathalie Picqué obtained her doctoral degree in physics in 1998 and her habilitation in 2006, both from the Université de Paris-Sud (Orsay, France). After a postdoctoral stay at the European Laboratory for Nonlinear Spectroscopy in Florence (Italy), she became a permanent scientist with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France) in 2000. In 2011, she relocated to the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching, where she now leads a group. In 2021, she received the Gentner-Kastler Prize of the German and French Physical Societies for outstanding contributions to high-resolution broadband molecular spectroscopy with frequency combs.

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