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Recent advances in single particle tracking and supercomputing techniques demonstrate the emergence of normal or anomalous, viscoelastic diffusion in conjunction with non-Gaussian distributions in soft, biological, and active matter systems. We here formulate a stochastic model based on a generalised Langevin equation in which non-Gaussian shapes of the probability density function and normal or anomalous diffusion have a common origin, namely a random parametrisation of the stochastic force. We perform a detailed analysis demonstrating how various types of parameter distributions for the memory kernel result in exponential, power law, or power-log law tails of the memory functions. The studied system is also shown to exhibit a further unusual property: the velocity has a Gaussian one point probability density but non-Gaussian joint distributions. This behaviour is reflected in the relaxation from a Gaussian to a non-Gaussian distribution observed for the position variable. We show that our theoretical results are in excellent agreement with stochastic simulations.

The Sun is a star, which due to its proximity has a tremendous influence on Earth. Since its very first days mankind tried to "understand the Sun", and especially in the 20th century science has uncovered many of the Sun's secrets by using high resolution observations and describing the Sun by means of models. As an active star the Sun's activity, as expressed in its magnetic cycle, is closely related to the sunspot numbers. Flares play a special role, because they release large energies on very short time scales. They are correlated with enhanced electromagnetic emissions all over the spectrum. Furthermore, flares are sources of energetic particles. Hard X-ray observations (e.g., by NASA's RHESSI spacecraft) reveal that a large fraction of the energy released during a flare is transferred into the kinetic energy of electrons. However the mechanism that accelerates a large number of electrons to high energies (beyond 20 keV) within fractions of a second is not understood yet. The thesis at hand presents a model for the generation of energetic electrons during flares that explains the electron acceleration based on real parameters obtained by real ground and space based observations. According to this model photospheric plasma flows build up electric potentials in the active regions in the photosphere. Usually these electric potentials are associated with electric currents closed within the photosphere. However as a result of magnetic reconnection, a magnetic connection between the regions of different magnetic polarity on the photosphere can establish through the corona. Due to the significantly higher electric conductivity in the corona, the photospheric electric power supply can be closed via the corona. Subsequently a high electric current is formed, which leads to the generation of hard X-ray radiation in the dense chromosphere. The previously described idea is modelled and investigated by means of electric circuits. For this the microscopic plasma parameters, the magnetic field geometry and hard X-ray observations are used to obtain parameters for modelling macroscopic electric components, such as electric resistors, which are connected with each other. This model demonstrates that such a coronal electric current is correlated with large scale electric fields, which can accelerate the electrons quickly up to relativistic energies. The results of these calculations are encouraging. The electron fluxes predicted by the model are in agreement with the electron fluxes deduced from the measured photon fluxes. Additionally the model developed in this thesis proposes a new way to understand the observed double footpoint hard X-ray sources.

We develop a method of finding analytical sotutions of the Bogolyubov-de Gennes equations for the excitations of a Bose condensate in the Thomas-Fermi regime in harmonic traps of any asymmetry and introduce a classification of eigenstates. In the case of cylindrical symmetry we emphasize the presence of an accidental degeneracy in the excitation spectrum at certain values of the projection of orbital angular momentum on the symmetry axis and discuss possible consequences of the degeneracy in the context of new signatures of Bose- Einstein condensation

Die vorliegende Arbeit beschäftigt sich mit der Charakterisierung von Seismizität anhand von Erdbebenkatalogen. Es werden neue Verfahren der Datenanalyse entwickelt, die Aufschluss darüber geben sollen, ob der seismischen Dynamik ein stochastischer oder ein deterministischer Prozess zugrunde liegt und was daraus für die Vorhersagbarkeit starker Erdbeben folgt. Es wird gezeigt, dass seismisch aktive Regionen häufig durch nichtlinearen Determinismus gekennzeichent sind. Dies schließt zumindest die Möglichkeit einer Kurzzeitvorhersage ein. Das Auftreten seismischer Ruhe wird häufig als Vorläuferphaenomen für starke Erdbeben gedeutet. Es wird eine neue Methode präsentiert, die eine systematische raumzeitliche Kartierung seismischer Ruhephasen ermöglicht. Die statistische Signifikanz wird mit Hilfe des Konzeptes der Ersatzdaten bestimmt. Als Resultat erhält man deutliche Korrelationen zwischen seismischen Ruheperioden und starken Erdbeben. Gleichwohl ist die Signifikanz dafür nicht hoch genug, um eine Vorhersage im Sinne einer Aussage über den Ort, die Zeit und die Stärke eines zu erwartenden Hauptbebens zu ermöglichen.

The occurrence of earthquakes is characterized by a high degree of spatiotemporal complexity. Although numerous patterns, e.g. fore- and aftershock sequences, are well-known, the underlying mechanisms are not observable and thus not understood. Because the recurrence times of large earthquakes are usually decades or centuries, the number of such events in corresponding data sets is too small to draw conclusions with reasonable statistical significance. Therefore, the present study combines both, numerical modeling and analysis of real data in order to unveil the relationships between physical mechanisms and observational quantities. The key hypothesis is the validity of the so-called "critical point concept" for earthquakes, which assumes large earthquakes to occur as phase transitions in a spatially extended many-particle system, similar to percolation models. New concepts are developed to detect critical states in simulated and in natural data sets. The results indicate that important features of seismicity like the frequency-size distribution and the temporal clustering of earthquakes depend on frictional and structural fault parameters. In particular, the degree of quenched spatial disorder (the "roughness") of a fault zone determines whether large earthquakes occur quasiperiodically or more clustered. This illustrates the power of numerical models in order to identify regions in parameter space, which are relevant for natural seismicity. The critical point concept is verified for both, synthetic and natural seismicity, in terms of a critical state which precedes a large earthquake: a gradual roughening of the (unobservable) stress field leads to a scale-free (observable) frequency-size distribution. Furthermore, the growth of the spatial correlation length and the acceleration of the seismic energy release prior to large events is found. The predictive power of these precursors is, however, limited. Instead of forecasting time, location, and magnitude of individual events, a contribution to a broad multiparameter approach is encouraging.

Hysteresis in the pinning-depinning transitions of spiral waves rotating around a hole in a circular shaped two- dimensional excitable medium is studied both by use of the continuation software AUTO and by direct numerical integration of the reaction-diffusion equations for the FitzHugh-Nagumo model. In order to clarify the role of different factors in this phenomenon, a kinematical description is applied. It is found that the hysteresis phenomenon computed for the reaction-diffusion model can be reproduced qualitatively only when a nonlinear eikonal equation (i.e. velocity- curvature relationship) is assumed. However, to obtain quantitative agreement, the dispersion relation has to be taken into account.

We present a theoretical framework for the analysis of the statistical properties of thermal fluctuations on a lossy transmission line. A quantization scheme of the electrical signals in the transmission line is formulated. We discuss two applications in detail. Noise spectra at finite temperature for voltage and current are shown to deviate significantly from the Johnson-Nyquist limit, and they depend on the position on the transmission line. We analyze the spontaneous emission, at low temperature, of a Rydberg atom and its resonant enhancement due to vacuum fluctuations in a capacitively coupled transmission line. The theory can also be applied to study the performance of microscale and nanoscale devices, including high-resolution sensors and quantum information processors

We present a momentum transfer mechanism mediated by electromagnetic fields that originates in a system of two nearby molecules: one excited (donor D*) and the other in ground state (acceptor A). An intermolecular force related to fluorescence resonant energy or Forster transfer (FRET) arises in the unstable D* A molecular system, which differs from the equilibrium van der Waals interaction. Due to the its finite lifetime, a mechanical impulse is imparted to the relative motion in the system. We analyze the FRET impulse when the molecules are embedded in free space and find that its magnitude can be much greater than the single recoil photon momentum, getting comparable with the thermal momentum (Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution) at room temperature. In addition, we propose that this FRET impulse can be exploited in the generation of acoustic waves inside a film containing layers of donor and acceptor molecules, when a picosecond laser pulse excites the donors. This acoustic transient is distinguishable from that produced by thermal stress due to laser absorption, and may therefore play a role in photoacoustic spectroscopy. The effect can be seen as exciting a vibrating system like a string or organ pipe with light; it may be used as an opto-mechanical transducer.

Explicit solution of the Lindblad equation for nearly isotropic boundary driven XY spin 1/2 chain
(2010)

Explicit solution for the two-point correlation function in a non-equilibrium steady state of a nearly isotropic boundary driven open XY spin 1/2 chain in the Lindblad formulation is provided. A non-equilibrium quantum phase transition from exponentially decaying correlations to long range order is discussed analytically. In the regime of long range order a new phenomenon of correlation resonances is reported, where the correlation response of the system is unusually high for certain discrete values of the external bulk parameter, e.g. the magnetic field.

In this work, some new results to exploit the recurrence properties of quasiperiodic dynamical systems are presented by means of a two dimensional visualization technique, Recurrence Plots(RPs). Quasiperiodicity is the simplest form of dynamics exhibiting nontrivial recurrences, which are common in many nonlinear systems. The concept of recurrence was introduced to study the restricted three body problem and it is very useful for the characterization of nonlinear systems. I have analyzed in detail the recurrence patterns of systems with quasiperiodic dynamics both analytically and numerically. Based on a theoretical analysis, I have proposed a new procedure to distinguish quasiperiodic dynamics from chaos. This algorithm is particular useful in the analysis of short time series. Furthermore, this approach demonstrates to be efficient in recognizing regular and chaotic trajectories of dynamical systems with mixed phase space. Regarding the application to real situations, I have shown the capability and validity of this method by analyzing time series from fluid experiments.

We present an excerpt of the document "Quantum Information Processing and Communication: Strategic report on current status, visions and goals for research in Europe", which has been recently published in electronic form at the website of FET (the Future and Emerging Technologies Unit of the Directorate General Information Society of the European Commission, http://www.cordis.lu/ist/fet/qipc-sr.htm). This document has been elaborated, following a former suggestion by FET, by a committee of QIPC scientists to provide input towards the European Commission for the preparation of the Seventh Framework Program. Besides being a document addressed to policy makers and funding agencies (both at the European and national level), the document contains a detailed scientific assessment of the state-of-the-art, main research goals, challenges, strengths, weaknesses, visions and perspectives of all the most relevant QIPC sub-fields, that we report here

We investigate the influence of spatial heterogeneities on various aspects of brittle failure and seismicity in a model of a large strike-slip fault. The model dynamics is governed by realistic boundary conditions consisting of constant velocity motion of regions around the fault, static/kinetic friction laws, creep with depth-dependent coefficients, and 3-D elastic stress transfer. The dynamic rupture is approximated on a continuous time scale using a finite stress propagation velocity ("quasidynamic model''). The model produces a "brittle- ductile'' transition at a depth of about 12.5 km, realistic hypocenter distributions, and other features of seismicity compatible with observations. Previous work suggested that the range of size scales in the distribution of strength-stress heterogeneities acts as a tuning parameter of the dynamics. Here we test this hypothesis by performing a systematic parameter-space study with different forms of heterogeneities. In particular, we analyze spatial heterogeneities that can be tuned by a single parameter in two distributions: ( 1) high stress drop barriers in near- vertical directions and ( 2) spatial heterogeneities with fractal properties and variable fractal dimension. The results indicate that the first form of heterogeneities provides an effective means of tuning the behavior while the second does not. In relatively homogeneous cases, the fault self-organizes to large-scale patches and big events are associated with inward failure of individual patches and sequential failures of different patches. The frequency-size event statistics in such cases are compatible with the characteristic earthquake distribution and large events are quasi-periodic in time. In strongly heterogeneous or near-critical cases, the rupture histories are highly discontinuous and consist of complex migration patterns of slip on the fault. In such cases, the frequency-size and temporal statistics follow approximately power-law relations

We show that realistic aftershock sequences with space-time characteristics compatible with observations are generated by a model consisting of brittle fault segments separated by creeping zones. The dynamics of the brittle regions is governed by static/kinetic friction, 3D elastic stress transfer and small creep deformation. The creeping parts are characterized by high ongoing creep velocities. These regions store stress during earthquake failures and then release it in the interseismic periods. The resulting postseismic deformation leads to aftershock sequences following the modified Omori law. The ratio of creep coefficients in the brittle and creeping sections determines the duration of the postseismic transients and the exponent p of the modified Omori law

Stabilized multi-wavelength emission from a single emitter broad area diode laser (BAL) is realized by utilizing an external cavity with a spectral beam combining architecture. Self-organized emitters that are equidistantly spaced across the slow axis are enforced by the spatially distributed wavelength selectivity of the external cavity. This resulted in an array like near-field emission although the BAL is physically a single emitter without any epitaxial sub-structuring and only one electrical contact. Each of the self-organized emitters is operated at a different wavelength and the emission is multiplexed into one spatial mode with near-diffraction limited beam quality. With this setup, multi-line emission of 31 individual spectral lines centered around and a total spectral width of 3.6 nm is realized with a 1000 mu m wide BAL just above threshold. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of such a self-organization of emitters by optical feedback utilizing a spectral beam combining architecture.

The emission characteristics of a novel, specially designed broad area diode laser (BAL) with on-chip transversal Bragg resonance (TBR) grating in lateral direction were investigated in an off-axis external cavity setup. The internal TBR grating defines a low loss transversal mode at a specific angle of incidence and a certain wavelength. By providing feedback at this specific angle with an external mirror, it is possible to select this low loss transverse mode and stabilize the BAL. Near diffraction limited emission with an almost single lobed far field pattern could be realized, in contrast to the double lobed far field pattern of similar setups using standard BALs or phase-locked diode laser arrays. Furthermore, we could achieve a narrow bandwidth emission with a simplified setup without external frequency selective elements. (C) 2014 Optical Society of America

We study the random-field Ising chain in the limit of strong exchange coupling. In order to calculate the free energy we apply a continuous Langevin-type approach. This continuous model can be solved exactly, whereupon we are able to locate the crossover between an exponential and a power-law decay of the free energy with increasing coupling strength. In terms of magnetization, this crossover restricts the validity of the linear scaling. The known analytical results for the free energy are recovered in the corresponding limits. The outcomes of numerical computations for the free energy are presented, which confirm the results of the continuous approach. We also discuss the validity of the replica method which we then utilize to investigate the sample-to-sample fluctuations of the finite size free energy

We develop a statistical theory of the coupling sensitivity of chaos. The effect was first described by Daido [Prog. Theor. Phys. 72, 853 (1984)]; it appears as a logarithmic singularity in the Lyapunov exponent in coupled chaotic systems at very small couplings. Using a continuous-time stochastic model for the coupled systems we derive a scaling relation for the largest Lyapunov exponent. The singularity is shown to depend on the coupling and the systems' mismatch. Generalizations to the cases of asymmetrical coupling and three interacting oscillators are considered, too. The analytical results are confirmed by numerical simulations.

This work incorporates three treatises which are commonly concerned with a stochastic theory of the Lyapunov exponents. With the help of this theory universal scaling laws are investigated which appear in coupled chaotic and disordered systems. First, two continuous-time stochastic models for weakly coupled chaotic systems are introduced to study the scaling of the Lyapunov exponents with the coupling strength (coupling sensitivity of chaos). By means of the the Fokker-Planck formalism scaling relations are derived, which are confirmed by results of numerical simulations. Next, coupling sensitivity is shown to exist for coupled disordered chains, where it appears as a singular increase of the localization length. Numerical findings for coupled Anderson models are confirmed by analytic results for coupled continuous-space Schrödinger equations. The resulting scaling relation of the localization length resembles the scaling of the Lyapunov exponent of coupled chaotic systems. Finally, the statistics of the exponential growth rate of the linear oscillator with parametric noise are studied. It is shown that the distribution of the finite-time Lyapunov exponent deviates from a Gaussian one. By means of the generalized Lyapunov exponents the parameter range is determined where the non-Gaussian part of the distribution is significant and multiscaling becomes essential.

Concerns have been raised that anthropogenic climate change could lead to large-scale singular climate events, i.e., abrupt nonlinear climate changes with repercussions on regional to global scales. One central goal of this thesis is the development of models of two representative components of the climate system that could exhibit singular behavior: the Atlantic thermohaline circulation (THC) and the Indian monsoon. These models are conceived so as to fulfill the main requirements of integrated assessment modeling, i.e., reliability, computational efficiency, transparency and flexibility. The model of the THC is an interhemispheric four-box model calibrated against data generated with a coupled climate model of intermediate complexity. It is designed to be driven by global mean temperature change which is translated into regional fluxes of heat and freshwater through a linear down-scaling procedure. Results of a large number of transient climate change simulations indicate that the reduced-form THC model is able to emulate key features of the behavior of comprehensive climate models such as the sensitivity of the THC to the amount, regional distribution and rate of change in the heat and freshwater fluxes. The Indian monsoon is described by a novel one-dimensional box model of the tropical atmosphere. It includes representations of the radiative and surface fluxes, the hydrological cycle and surface hydrology. Despite its high degree of idealization, the model satisfactorily captures relevant aspects of the observed monsoon dynamics, such as the annual course of precipitation and the onset and withdrawal of the summer monsoon. Also, the model exhibits the sensitivity to changes in greenhouse gas and sulfate aerosol concentrations that are known from comprehensive models. A simplified version of the monsoon model is employed for the identification of changes in the qualitative system behavior against changes in boundary conditions. The most notable result is that under summer conditions a saddle-node bifurcation occurs at critical values of the planetary albedo or insolation. Furthermore, the system exhibits two stable equilibria: besides the wet summer monsoon, a stable state exists which is characterized by a weak hydrological cycle. These results are remarkable insofar, as they indicate that anthropogenic perturbations of the planetary albedo such as sulfur emissions and/or land-use changes could destabilize the Indian summer monsoon. The reduced-form THC model is employed in an exemplary integrated assessment application. Drawing on the conceptual and methodological framework of the tolerable windows approach, emissions corridors (i.e., admissible ranges of CO2- emissions) are derived that limit the risk of a THC collapse while considering expectations about the socio-economically acceptable pace of emissions reductions. Results indicate, for example, a large dependency of the width of the emissions corridor on climate and hydrological sensitivity: for low values of climate and/or hydrological sensitivity, the corridor boundaries are far from being transgressed by any plausible emissions scenario for the 21st century. In contrast, for high values of both quantities low non-intervention scenarios leave the corridor already in the early decades of the 21st century. This implies that if the risk of a THC collapse is to be kept low, business-as-usual paths would need to be abandoned within the next two decades. All in all, this thesis highlights the value of reduced-form modeling by presenting a number of applications of this class of models, ranging from sensitivity and bifurcation analysis to integrated assessment. The results achieved and conclusions drawn provide a useful contribution to the scientific and policy debate about the consequences of anthropogenic climate change and the long-term goals of climate protection. --- Anmerkung: Die Autorin ist Trägerin des von der Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Universität Potsdam vergebenen Michelson-Preises für die beste Promotion des Jahres 2003/2004.

In-plane strain and shape analysis of Si/SiGe nanostructures by grazing incidence diffraction
(2000)

We consider networks of chaotic maps with different network topologies. In each case, they are coupled in such a way as to generate synchronized chaotic solutions. By using the methods of control of chaos we are controlling a single map into a predetermined trajectory. We analyze the reaction of the network to such a control. Specifically we show that a line of one-dimensional logistic maps that are unidirectionally coupled can be controlled from the first oscillator whereas a ring of diffusively coupled maps cannot be controlled for more than 5 maps. We show that rings with more elements can be controlled if every third map is controlled. The dependence of unidirectionally coupled maps on noise is studied. The noise level leads to a finite synchronization lengths for which maps can be controlled by a single location. A two-dimensional lattice is also studied. (C) 2005 American Institute of Physics

This paper theoretically analyzes a dielectric elastomer tube actuator (DETA). Subject to a voltage difference between the inner and outer surfaces, the actuator reduces in thickness and expands in length, so that the same voltage will induce an even higher electric field. This positive feedback may cause the actuator to thin down drastically, resulting in electrical breakdown. We obtain an analytical solution of the actuator undergoing finite deformation when the elastomer obeys the neo-Hookean model. The critical strain of actuation is calculated in terms of various parameters of design. We also discuss the effect of the strain-stiffening on electromechanical behavior of DETAs by using the model of freely joined links. (C) 2010 American Institute of Physics. [doi:10.1063/1.3490186]

A membrane of a dielectric elastomer coated with compliant electrodes may form wrinkles as the applied voltage is ramped up. We present a combination of experiment and theory to investigate the transition to wrinkles using a clamped membrane subject to a constant force and a voltage ramp. Two types of transitions are identified. In type-I transition, the voltage-stretch curve is N-shaped, and flat and wrinkled regions coexist in separate areas of the membrane. The type-I transition progresses by nucleation of small wrinkled regions, followed by the growth of the wrinkled regions at the expense of the flat regions, until the entire membrane is wrinkled. By contrast, in type-II transition, the voltage-stretch curve is monotonic, and the entire flat membrane becomes wrinkled with no nucleation barrier. The two types of transitions are analogous to the first and the second order phase transitions. While the type-I transition is accompanied by a jump in the vertical displacement, type-II transition is accompanied by a continuous change in the vertical displacement. Such transitions may enable applications in muscle-like actuation and energy harvesting, where large deformation and large energy of conversion are desired.

Atmospheric interactions with land surface in the arctic based on regional climate model solutions
(2014)

Realistic networks display not only a complex topological structure, but also a heterogeneous distribution of weights in the connection strengths. Here we study synchronization in weighted complex networks and show that the synchronizability of random networks with a large minimum degree is determined by two leading parameters: the mean degree and the heterogeneity of the distribution of node's intensity, where the intensity of a node, defined as the total strength of input connections, is a natural combination of topology and weights. Our results provide a possibility for the control of synchronization in complex networks by the manipulation of a few parameters

Dynamical organization of connection weights is studied in scale-free networks of chaotic oscillators, where the coupling strength of a node from its neighbors develops adaptively according to the local synchronization property between the node and its neighbors. We find that when complete synchronization is achieved, the coupling strength becomes weighted and correlated with the topology due to a hierarchical transition to synchronization in heterogeneous networks. Importantly, such an adaptive process enhances significantly the synchronizability of the networks, which could have meaningful implications in the manipulation of dynamical networks

We investigate noise-controlled resonant response of active media to weak periodic forcing, both in excitable and oscillatory regimes. In the excitable regime, we find that noise-induced irregular wave structures can be reorganized into frequency-locked resonant patterns by weak signals with suitable frequencies. The resonance occurs due to a matching condition between the signal frequency and the noise-induced inherent time scale of the media. m:1 resonant regions similar to the Arnold tongues in frequency locking of self-sustained oscillatory media are observed. In the self-sustained oscillatory regime, noise also controls the oscillation frequency and reshapes significantly the Arnold tongues. The combination of noise and weak signal thus could provide an efficient tool to manipulate active extended systems in experiments

We study synchronization behavior in networks of coupled chaotic oscillators with heterogeneous connection degrees. Our focus is on regimes away from the complete synchronization state, when the coupling is not strong enough, when the oscillators are under the influence of noise or when the oscillators are nonidentical. We have found a hierarchical organization of the synchronization behavior with respect to the collective dynamics of the network. Oscillators with more connections (hubs) are synchronized more closely by the collective dynamics and constitute the dynamical core of the network. The numerical observation of this hierarchical synchronization is supported with an analysis based on a mean field approximation and the master stability function. (C) 2006 American Institute of Physics

Noise-sustained and controlled synchronization of stirred excitable media by external forcing
(2005)

Most of the previous studies on constructive effects of noise in spatially extended systems have focused on static media, e.g., of the reaction diffusion type. Because many active chemical or biological processes occur in a fluid environment with mixing, we investigate here the interplay among noise, excitability, mixing and external forcing in excitable media advected by a chaotic flow, in a two-dimensional FitzHugh-Nagumo model described by a set of reaction- advection-diffusion equations. In the absence of external forcing, noise may generate sustained coherent oscillations of the media in a range of noise intensities and stirring rates. We find that these noise-sustained oscillations can be synchronized by external periodic signals much smaller than the threshold. Analysis of the locking regions in the parameter space of the signal period, stirring rate and noise intensity reveals that the mechanism underlying the synchronization behaviour is a matching between the time scales of the forcing signal and the noise-sustained oscillations. The results demonstrate that, in the presence of a suitable level of noise, the stirred excitable media act as self-sustained oscillatory systems and become much easier to be entrained by weak external forcing. Our results may be verified in experiments and are useful to understand the synchronization of population dynamics of oceanic ecological systems by annual cycles

The thermal behavior of poly(methoxydiethylenglycol acrylate) (PMDEGA) is studied in thin hydrogel films on solid supports and is compared with the behavior in aqueous solution. The PMDEGA hydrogel film thickness is varied from 2 to 422 nm. Initially, these films are homogenous, as measured with optical microscopy, atomic force microscopy, X-ray reflectivity, and grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS). However, they tend to de-wet when stored under ambient conditions. Along the surface normal, no long-ranged correlations between substrate and film surface are detected with GISAXS, due to the high mobility of the polymer at room temperature. The swelling of the hydrogel films as a function of the water vapor pressure and the temperature are probed for saturated water vapor pressures between 2,380 and 3,170 Pa. While the swelling capability is found to increase with water vapor pressure, swelling in dependence on the temperature revealed a collapse phase transition of a lower critical solution temperature type. The transition temperature decreases from 40.6 A degrees C to 36.6 A degrees C with increasing film thickness, but is independent of the thickness for very thin films below a thickness of 40 nm. The observed transition temperature range compares well with the cloud points observed in dilute (0.1 wt.%) and semi-dilute (5 wt.%) solution which decrease from 45 A degrees C to 39 A degrees C with increasing concentration.

We study the properties of classical and quantum strongly nonlinear chains by means of extensive numerical simulations. Due to strong nonlinearity, the classical dynamics of such chains remains chaotic at arbitrarily low energies. We show that the collective excitations of classical chains are described by sound waves whose decay rate scales algebraically with the wave number with a generic exponent value. The properties of the quantum chains are studied by the quantum Monte Carlo method and it is found that the low-energy excitations are well described by effective phonon modes with the sound velocity dependent on an effective Planck constant. Our results show that at low energies the quantum effects lead to a suppression of chaos and drive the system to a quasi-integrable regime of effective phonon modes.

Fast actuation speed, large-shape deformation and robust responsiveness are critical to synthetic soft actuators. A simultaneous optimization of all these aspects without trade-offs remains unresolved. Here we describe porous polymer actuators that bend in response to acetone vapour (24 kPa, 20 degrees C) at a speed of an order of magnitude faster than the state-of-the-art, coupled with a large-scale locomotion. They are meanwhile multi-responsive towards a variety of organic vapours in both the dry and wet states, thus distinctive from the traditional gel actuation systems that become inactive when dried. The actuator is easy-to-make and survives even after hydrothermal processing (200 degrees C, 24 h) and pressing-pressure (100 MPa) treatments. In addition, the beneficial responsiveness is transferable, being able to turn 'inert' objects into actuators through surface coating. This advanced actuator arises from the unique combination of porous morphology, gradient structure and the interaction between solvent molecules and actuator materials.

Low cost, large area, lightweight, stretchable piezoelectric films, based on space-charge electret with a foam structure (i.e., ferroelectrets or piezoelectrets), have been fabricated by using commercially available irradiation cross-linked poly(propylene) (IXPP) foam sheets. Piezoelectric d(33) coefficients are as high as 100pCN(-1). The piezoelectric performance in such IXPP films is well preserved for repeated strains of less than 10%. Piezoelectric d(33) coefficients are frequency independent in the range from 2 to 100Hz. Such new class materials may be applied in sensory skins, smart clothing, bio-inspired systems, microenergy harvesters, and so on.

A series of novel platinum-containing carbazole monomers and polymers was synthesized and fully characterized by UV-VIS absorption, luminescence, and photoinduced absorption studies. In these compounds, a carbazole unit is incorporated into the main chain via either a para- or a meta-linkage. We discuss the effects of linkage and polymerization on the energy levels of S-1, T-1, and T-n. The S-1-T-1 splitting observed for the meta-linked monomer (0.4 eV) is only half of that in the para-linked monomer (0.8 eV). Upon polymerization, the exchange energy in the para- linked compound reduces, yet still remains larger than in the meta-linked polymer. We attribute the difference in exchange energy to the difference in wave function overlap between electron and hole in these compounds. (c) 2006 American Institute of Physics

The polarization signatures of blazar emissions are known to be highly variable. In addition to small fluctuations of the polarization angle around a mean value, large (greater than or similar to 180 degrees) polarization angle swings are sometimes observed. We suggest that such phenomena can be interpreted as arising from light travel time effects within an underlying axisymmetric emission region. We present the first simultaneous fitting of the multi-wavelength spectrum, variability, and time-dependent polarization features of a correlated optical and gamma-ray flaring event of the prominent blazar 3C279, which was accompanied by a drastic change in its polarization signatures. This unprecedented combination of spectral, variability, and polarization information in a coherent physical model allows us to place stringent constraints on the particle acceleration and magnetic field topology in the relativistic jet of a blazar, strongly favoring a scenario in which magnetic energy dissipation is the primary driver of the flare event.

We present a detailed analysis of time-and energy-dependent synchrotron polarization signatures in a shock-in-jet model for gamma-ray blazars. Our calculations employ a full three-dimensional radiation transfer code, assuming a helical magnetic field throughout the jet. The code considers synchrotron emission from an ordered magnetic field, and takes into account all light-travel-time and other relevant geometric effects, while the relevant synchrotron self-Compton and external Compton effects are handled with the two-dimensional Monte-Carlo/Fokker-Planck (MCFP) code. We consider several possible mechanisms through which a relativistic shock propagating through the jet may affect the jet plasma to produce a synchrotron and high-energy flare. Most plausibly, the shock is expected to lead to a compression of the magnetic field, increasing the toroidal field component and thereby changing the direction of the magnetic field in the region affected by the shock. We find that such a scenario leads to correlated synchrotron + synchrotron-self-Compton flaring, associated with substantial variability in the synchrotron polarization percentage and position angle. Most importantly, this scenario naturally explains large polarization angle rotations by greater than or similar to 180 degrees, as observed in connection with gamma-ray flares in several blazars, without the need for bent or helical jet trajectories or other nonaxisymmetric jet features.

We compute the local spectrum of the magnetic field near a metallic microstructure at finite temperature. Our main focus is on deviations from a plane-layered geometry for which we review the main properties. Arbitrary geometries are handled with the help of numerical calculations based on surface integral equations. The magnetic noise shows a significant polarization anisotropy above flat wires with finite lateral width, in stark contrast to an infinitely wide wire. Within the limits of a two-dimensional setting, our results provide accurate estimates for loss and dephasing rates in so-called `atom chip traps' based on metallic wires. A simple approximation based on the incoherent summation of local current elements gives qualitative agreement with the numerics, but fails to describe current correlations among neighboring objects.

Microfabricated solid-state surfaces, also called atom chip', have become a well-established technique to trap and manipulate atoms. This has simplified applications in atom interferometry, quantum information processing, and studies of many-body systems. Magnetic trapping potentials with arbitrary geommetries are generated with atom chip by miniaturized current-carrying conductors integrated on a solid substrate. Atoms can be trapped and cooled to microKelvin and even nanoKelvin temperatures in such microchip trap. However, cold atoms can be significantly perturbed by the chip surface, typically held at room temperature. The magnetic field fluctuations generated by thermal currents in the chip elements may induce spin flips of atoms and result in loss, heating and decoherence. In this thesis, we extend previous work on spin flip rates induced by magnetic noise and consider the more complex geometries that are typically encountered in atom chips: layered structures and metallic wires of finite cross-section. We also discuss a few aspects of atom chips traps built with superconducting structures that have been suggested as a means to suppress magnetic field fluctuations. The thesis describes calculations of spin flip rates based on magnetic Green functions that are computed analytically and numerically. For a chip with a top metallic layer, the magnetic noise depends essentially on the thickness of that layer, as long as the layers below have a much smaller conductivity. Based on this result, scaling laws for loss rates above a thin metallic layer are derived. A good agreement with experiments is obtained in the regime where the atom-surface distance is comparable to the skin depth of metal. Since in the experiments, metallic layers are always etched to separate wires carrying different currents, the impact of the finite lateral wire size on the magnetic noise has been taken into account. The local spectrum of the magnetic field near a metallic microstructure has been investigated numerically with the help of boundary integral equations. The magnetic noise significantly depends on polarizations above flat wires with finite lateral width, in stark contrast to an infinitely wide wire. Correlations between multiple wires are also taken into account. In the last part, superconducting atom chips are considered. Magnetic traps generated by superconducting wires in the Meissner state and the mixed state are studied analytically by a conformal mapping method and also numerically. The properties of the traps created by superconducting wires are investigated and compared to normal conducting wires: they behave qualitatively quite similar and open a route to further trap miniaturization, due to the advantage of low magnetic noise. We discuss critical currents and fields for several geometries.

We investigate the lifetime of magnetically trapped atoms above a planar, layered atom chip structure. Numerical calculations of the thermal magnetic noise spectrum are performed, based on the exact magnetic Green function and multi layer reflection coefficients. We have performed lifetime measurements where the center of a side guide trap is laterally shifted with respect to the current carrying wire using additional bias fields. Comparing the experiment to theory, we find a fair agreement and demonstrate that for a chip whose topmost layer is metallic, the magnetic noise depends essentially on the thickness of that layer, as long as the layers below have a, much smaller conductivity; essentially the same magnetic noise would be obtained with a metallic membrane suspended in vacuum. Based on our theory we give general scaling laws of how to reduce the effect of surface magnetic noise on the trapped atoms

The performance of highly soluble regioregular poly[ (3-hexylthiophene)-co-(3-octylthiophetie)] (P3HTOT) as a semiconducting material in organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) is presented in comparison to that of the corresponding homopolymers. Transistors made from as-prepared layers of P3HTOT exhibit a mobility of ca. 7 x 10(-3) cm(2) V-1 s(-1), which is comparable to the performance of transistors made from as-prepared poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and almost 6 times larger than the mobility of transistors prepared with poly(3-octylthiophene) (P3OT). On the other hand, the solubility parameter delta(p) of P3HTOT is close to that of the highly soluble P3OT. Moreover, compared to a physical blend of poly(3-hexylthiophene) and poly(3-octylthiophene), the mobility of P3HTOT devices is almost twice as large and the performance does not degrade upon annealing at elevated temperatures. Therefore, the copolymer approach outlined here may be one promising step toward an optimum balance between a Sufficient processability of the polymers from common organic solvents, a high solid state order, and applicable OFET performances

The optical, structural, and electrical properties of thin layers made from poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) samples of different molecular weights are presented. As reported in a previous paper by Kline et al., Adv. Mater 2003, 15, 1519, the mobilities of these layers are a strong function of the molecular weight, with the largest mobility found for the largest molecular weight. Atomic force microscopy studies reveal a complex polycrystalline morphology which changes considerably upon annealing. X-ray studies show the occurrence of a layered phase for all P3HT fractions, especially after annealing at 1.50 degreesC . However, there is no clear correlation between the differences in the transport properties and the data from structural investigations. In order to reveal the processes limiting the mobility in these layers, the transistor properties were investigated as a function of temperature. The mobility decreases continuously with increasing temperatures; with the same trend pronounced thermochromic effects of the P3HT films occur. Apparently, the polymer chains adopt a more twisted, disordered conformation at higher temperatures, leading to interchain transport barriers. We conclude that the backbone conformation of the majority of the bulk material rather than the crystallinity of the layer is the most crucial parameter controlling the charge transport in these P3HT layers. This interpretation is supported by the significant blue-shift of the solid-state absorption spectra with decreasing molecular weight, which is indicative of a larger distortion of the P3HT backbone in the low-molecular weight P3HT layers

The effect of oxygen plasma treatment and/or silanization with hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) on the surface chemistry and the morphology of the SiO2-gate insulator were studied with respect to the performance of organic field effect transistors. Using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), it is shown that silanization leads to the growth of a polysiloxane interfacial layer and that longer silanization times increase the thickness of this layer. Most important, silanization reduces the signal from surface contaminations such as oxidized hydrocarbon molecules. In fact, the lowest concentration of these contaminations was found after a combined oxygen plasma/silanization treatment. The results of these investigations were correlated with the characteristic device parameters of polymer field effect transistors with poly(3-hexylthiophene)s as the semiconducting layer. We found that the field effect mobility correlates with the concentration of contaminations as measured by XPS. We, finally, demonstrate that silanization significantly improves the operational stability of the device in air compared to the untreated devices

The mammalian brain is, with its numerous neural elements and structured complex connectivity, one of the most complex systems in nature. Recently, large-scale corticocortical connectivities, both structural and functional, have received a great deal of research attention, especially using the approach of complex networks. Here, we try to shed some light on the relationship between structural and functional connectivities by studying synchronization dynamics in a realistic anatomical network of cat cortical connectivity. We model the cortical areas by a subnetwork of interacting excitable neurons (multilevel model) and by a neural mass model (population model). With weak couplings, the multilevel model displays biologically plausible dynamics and the synchronization patterns reveal a hierarchical cluster organization in the network structure. We can identify a group of brain areas involved in multifunctional tasks by comparing the dynamical clusters to the topological communities of the network. With strong couplings of multilevel model and by using neural mass model, the dynamics are characterized by well-defined oscillations. The synchronization patterns are mainly determined by the node intensity (total input strengths of a node); the detailed network topology is of secondary importance. The biologically improved multilevel model exhibits similar dynamical patterns in the two regimes. Thus, the study of synchronization in a multilevel complex network model of cortex can provide insights into the relationship between network topology and functional organization of complex brain networks.

Recently it has been shown that lateral carrier confinement in an InGaAs quantum well (QW) embedded in GaAs can be achieved by using a laterally patterned InGaP stressor layer on top of the heterostructure. To exploit this effect in a device the structure has to be planarized by a second epitaxial step. It has been shown that the lateral strain modulation almost vanishes after overgrowth with GaAs, whereas overgrowth with a single ternary layer of opposite strain compared to the stressor layer suffers from strain induced decomposition. Here we show that the lateral carrier confinement of the initially free standing nanostructure can almost be maintained using a two step process for overgrowth, where a strained thin ternary layer is grown first followed by GaAs up to complete planarization of the patterned structure. Thickness and composition of the ternary layer are adjusted on the basis of finite element calculations of the strain distribution (FEM). The strain field achieved after overgrowth is probed by X-ray grazing- incidence diffraction (GID). (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

The electrophoretic deposition process was used to produce multi-layered ceramics consisting of alternating layers of fully stabilized cubic zirconia and partially stabilized tetragonal zirconia to make use of their different mechanical behaviour, investigating the possibility to deflect advancing cracks at the interfaces of the different layers. This crack deflection is apparently impacted by a toughening mechanism only found in the tetragonal stabilized zirconia polymorph and is characterized by the stress induced transformation of the metastable tetragonal phase into the monoclinic one, which is accompanied by a volume increase resulting in a closing mechanism for advancing cracks.
While improving the electrophoretic deposition process, we investigated the transformation toughening mechanism at the layer interfaces and their effect on crack propagation. Investigations involved a combination of different imaging methods, including light microscopy, white light interferometry, atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy.

A statistical model describing the propensity for protein aggregation is presented. Only amino-acid hydrophobicity values and calculated net charge are used for the model. The combined effects of hydrophobic patterns as computed by the signal analysis technique, recurrence quantification, plus calculated net charge were included in a function emphasizing the effect of singular hydrophobic patches which were found to be statistically significant for predicting aggregation propensity as quantified by fluorescence studies obtained from the literature. These results suggest preliminary evidence for a mesoscopic principle for protein folding/aggregation. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

We combine data from the Spitzer Survey for Stellar Structure in Galaxies, a recently calibrated empirical stellar mass estimator from Eskew et al., and an extensive database of Hi spectral line profiles to examine the baryonic Tully-Fisher (BTF) relation. We find (1) that the BTF has lower scatter than the classic Tully-Fisher (TF) relation and is better described as a linear relationship, confirming similar previous results, (2) that the inclusion of a radial scale in the BTF decreases the scatter but only modestly, as seen previously for the TF relation, and (3) that the slope of the BTF, which we find to be 3.5 +/- 0.2 (Delta log M-baryon/Delta log v(c)), implies that on average a nearly constant fraction (similar to 0.4) of all baryons expected to be in a halo are "condensed" onto the central region of rotationally supported galaxies. The condensed baryon fraction, M-baryon/M-total, is, to our measurement precision, nearly independent of galaxy circular velocity (our sample spans circular velocities, vc, between 60 and 250 km s(-1), but is extended to v(c) similar to 10 km s(-1) using data from the literature). The observed galaxy-to-galaxy scatter in this fraction is generally <= a factor of 2 despite fairly liberal selection criteria. These results imply that cooling and heating processes, such as cold versus hot accretion, mass loss due to stellar winds, and active galactic nucleus driven feedback, to the degree that they affect the global galactic properties involved in the BTF, are independent of halo mass for galaxies with 10 < v(c) < 250 km s(-1) and typically introduce no more than a factor of two range in the resulting M-baryon/M-total. Recent simulations by Aumer et al. of a small sample of disk galaxies are in excellent agreement with our data, suggesting that current simulations are capable of reproducing the global properties of individual disk galaxies. More detailed comparison to models using the BTF holds great promise, but awaits improved determinations of the stellar masses.

Picosecond X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) is used to investigate the electronic and structural dynamics initiated by plasmon excitation of 1.8 nm diameter Au nanoparticles (NPs) functionalised with 1-hexanethiol. We show that 100 ps after photoexcitation the transient XAS spectrum is consistent with an 8% expansion of the Au-Au bond length and a large increase in disorder associated with melting of the NPs. Recovery of the ground state occurs with a time constant of similar to 1.8 ns, arising from thermalisation with the environment. Simulations reveal that the transient spectrum exhibits no signature of charge separation at 100 ps and allows us to estimate an upper limit for the quantum yield (QY) of this process to be <0.1.

Laser-driven plasma sources of femtosecond hard X-ray pulses have found widespread application in ultrafast X- ray diffraction. The recent development of plasma sources working at kilohertz repetition rates has allowed for diffraction experiments with strongly improved sensitivity, now revealing subtle fully reversible changes of the geometry of crystal lattices. We provide a brief review of this development and present a novel plasma source with an optimized mechanical and optical design, providing a high flux of several 10(10) photons/s at the Cu-K alpha energy of 8.04 keV and a pulse duration of a parts per thousand currency sign300 fs. First experiments, including the generation of Debye-Scherrer diffraction patterns from Si powder, demonstrate the high performance of this source.

The recent discovery of an intricate and nontrivial interaction topology among the elements of a wide range of natural systems has altered the manner we understand complexity. For example, the axonal fibres transmitting electrical information between cortical regions form a network which is neither regular nor completely random. Their structure seems to follow functional principles to balance between segregation (functional specialisation) and integration. Cortical regions are clustered into modules specialised in processing different kinds of information, e.g. visual or auditory. However, in order to generate a global perception of the real world, the brain needs to integrate the distinct types of information. Where this integration happens, nobody knows. We have performed an extensive and detailed graph theoretical analysis of the cortico-cortical organisation in the brain of cats, trying to relate the individual and collective topological properties of the cortical areas to their function. We conclude that the cortex possesses a very rich communication structure, composed of a mixture of parallel and serial processing paths capable of accommodating dynamical processes with a wide variety of time scales. The communication paths between the sensory systems are not random, but largely mediated by a small set of areas. Far from acting as mere transmitters of information, these central areas are densely connected to each other, strongly indicating their functional role as integrators of the multisensory information. In the quest of uncovering the structure-function relationship of cortical networks, the peculiarities of this network have led us to continuously reconsider the stablished graph measures. For example, a normalised formalism to identify the “functional roles” of vertices in networks with community structure is proposed. The tools developed for this purpose open the door to novel community detection techniques which may also characterise the overlap between modules. The concept of integration has been revisited and adapted to the necessities of the network under study. Additionally, analytical and numerical methods have been introduced to facilitate understanding of the complicated statistical interrelations between the distinct network measures. These methods are helpful to construct new significance tests which may help to discriminate the relevant properties of real networks from side-effects of the evolutionary-growth processes.

We consider synchronization properties of arrays of spin-torque nano-oscillators coupled via an RC load. We show that while the fully synchronized state of identical oscillators may be locally stable in some parameter range, this synchrony is not globally attracting. Instead, regimes of different levels of compositional complexity are observed. These include chimera states (a part of the array forms a cluster while other units are desynchronized), clustered chimeras (several clusters plus desynchronized oscillators), cluster state (all oscillators form several clusters), and partial synchronization (no clusters but a nonvanishing mean field). Dynamically, these states are also complex, demonstrating irregular and close to quasiperiodic modulation. Remarkably, when heterogeneity of spin-torque oscillators is taken into account, dynamical complexity even increases: close to the onset of a macroscopic mean field, the dynamics of this field is rather irregular.

One of the classical ways to describe the dynamics of nonlinear systems is to analyze theur Fourier spectra. For periodic and quasiperiodic processes the Fourier spectrum consists purely of discrete delta-functions. On the contrary, the spectrum of a chaotic motion is marked by the presence of the continuous component. In this work, we describe the peculiar, neither regular nor completely chaotic state with so called singular-continuous power spectrum. Our investigations concern various cases from most different fields, where one meets the singular continuous (fractal) spectra. The examples include both the physical processes which can be reduced to iterated discrete mappings or even symbolic sequences, and the processes whose description is based on the ordinary or partial differential equations.

Realization of all-optically controlled and efficient DNA compaction is the major motivation in the study of interactions between DNA and photosensitive surfactants. In this article, using recently published approach of phase diagram construction [Y. Zakrevskyy, P. Cywinski, M. Cywinska, J. Paasche, N. Lomadze, O. Reich, H.-G. Lohmannsroben, and S. Santer, J. Chem. Phys. 140, 044907 (2014)], a strategy for substantial reduction of compaction agent concentration and simultaneous maintaining the light-induced decompaction efficiency is proposed. The role of ionic strength (NaCl concentration), as a very important environmental parameter, and surfactant structure (spacer length) on the changes of positions of phase transitions is investigated. Increase of ionic strength leads to increase of the surfactant concentration needed to compact DNA molecule. However, elongation of the spacer results to substantial reduction of this concentration. DNA compaction by surfactants with longer tails starts to take place in diluted solutions at charge ratios Z < 1 and is driven by azobenzene-aggregation compaction mechanism, which is responsible for efficient decompaction. Comparison of phase diagrams for different DNA-photosensitive surfactant systems allowed explanation and proposal of a strategy to overcome previously reported limitations of the light-induced decompaction for complexes with increasing surfactant hydrophobicity. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.

Recently, photosensitive surfactants have re-attracted considerable attention. It has been shown that their association with oppositely charged biologically important polyelectrolytes, such as DNA or microgels, can be efficiently manipulated simply by light exposure. In this article, we investigate the self-assembly of photosensitive surfactants as well as their interactions with DNA by calorimetric and spectroscopic methods. Critical micelle concentration (CMC), standard micellization enthalpy, entropy, and Gibbs energy were determined in different conditions (ionic strengths and temperatures) for a series of cationic surfactants with an azobenzene group in their tail. It is shown, that aggregation forces of photosensitive units play an important role in the micellization giving the major contribution to the micellization enthalpy. The onset of the aggregation can be traced from shift of the absorption peak position in the UV-visible spectrum. Titration UV-visible spectroscopy is used as an alternative, simple, and sensitive approach to estimate CMC. The titration UV-visible spectroscopy was also employed to investigate interactions (CAC: critical aggregation concentration, precipitation, and colloidal stabilization) in the DNA-surfactant complex.

The light-induced reversible switching of the swelling of microgel particles triggered by photo-isomerization and binding/unbinding of a photosensitive azobenzene-containing surfactant is reported. The interactions between the microgel (N-isopropylacrylamide, co-monomer: allyl acetic acid, crosslinker: N,N'-methylenebisacrylamide) and the surfactant are studied by UV-Vis spectroscopy, dynamic and electrophoretic light scattering measurements. Addition of the surfactant above a critical concentration leads to contraction/collapse of the microgel. UV light irradiation results in trans-cis isomerization of the azobenzene unit incorporated into the surfactant tail and causes an unbinding of the more hydrophilic cis isomer from the microgel and its reversible swelling. The reversible contraction can be realized by blue light irradiation that transfers the surfactant back to the more hydrophobic trans conformation, in which it binds to the microgel. The phase diagram of the surfactant-microgel interaction and transitions (aggregation, contraction, and precipitation) is constructed and allows prediction of changes in the system when the concentration of one or both components is varied. Remote and reversible switching between different states can be realized by either UV or visible light irradiation.

We report on the interaction of cationic azobenzene-containing surfactant with DNA investigated by absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, and atomic force microscopy. The properties of the surfactant can be controlled with light by reversible switching of the azobenzene unit, incorporated into the surfactant tail, between a hydrophobic trans (visible irradiation) and a hydrophilic cis (UV irradiation) configuration. The influence of the trans-cis isomerization of the azobenzene on the compaction process of DNA molecules and the role of both isomers in the formation and colloidal stability of DNA-surfactant complexes is discussed. It is shown that the trans isomer plays a major role in the DNA compaction process. The influence of the cis isomer on the DNA coil configuration is rather small. The construction of a phase diagram of the DNA concentration versus surfactant/DNA charge ratio allows distancing between three major phases: colloidally stable and unstable compacted globules, and extended coil conformation. There is a critical concentration of DNA above which the compacted globules can be hindered from aggregation and precipitation by adding an appropriate amount of the surfactant in the trans configuration. This is because of the compensation of hydrophobicity of the globules with an increasing amount of the surfactant. Below the critical DNA concentration, the compacted globules are colloidally stable and can be reversibly transferred with light to an extended coil state.

In this work the first observation of new type of liquid crystals is presented. This is ionic self-assembly (ISA) liquid crystals formed by introduction of oppositely charged ions between different low molecular tectonic units. As practically all conventional liquid crystals consist of rigid core and alkyl chains the attention is focused to the simplest case where oppositely charged ions are placed between a rigid core and alkyl tails. The aim of this work is to investigate and understand liquid crystalline and alignment properties of these materials. It was found that ionic interactions within complexes play the main role. Presence of these interactions restricts transition to isotropic phase. In addition, these interactions hold the system (like network) allowing crystallization into a single domain from aligned LC state. Alignment of these simple ISA complexes was spontaneous on a glass substrate. In order to show potentials for application perylenediimide and azobenzene containing ISA complexes have been investigated for correlations between phase behavior and their alignment properties. The best results of macroscopic alignment of perylenediimide-based ISA complexes have been obtained by zone-casting method. In the aligned films the columns of the complex align perpendicular to the phase-transition front. The obtained anisotropy (DR = 18) is thermally stable. The investigated photosensitive (azobenzene-based) ISA complexes show formation of columnar LC phases. It was demonstrated that photo alignment of such complexes was very effective (DR = 50 has been obtained). It was shown that photo-reorientation in the photosensitive ISA complexes is cooperative process. The size of domains has direct influence on efficiency of the photo-reorientation process. In the case of small domains the photo-alignment is the most effective. Under irradiation with linearly polarized light domains reorient in the plane of the film leading to macroscopic alignment of columns parallel to the light polarization and joining of small domains into big ones. Finally, the additional distinguishable properties of the ISA liquid crystalline complexes should be noted: (I) the complexes do not solve in water but readily solve in organic solvents; (II) the complexes have good film-forming properties when cast or spin-coated from organic solvent; (III) alignment of the complexes depends on their structure and secondary interactions between tectonic units.

Stochastic bifurcations and coherencelike resonance in a self-sustained bistable noisy oscillator
(2010)

We investigate the influence of additive Gaussian white noise on two different bistable self-sustained oscillators: Duffing-Van der Pol oscillator with hard excitation and a model of a synthetic genetic oscillator. In the deterministic case, both oscillators are characterized with a coexistence of a stable limit cycle and a stable equilibrium state. We find that under the influence of noise, their dynamics can be well characterized through the concept of stochastic bifurcation, consisting in a qualitative change of the stationary amplitude distribution. For the Duffing-Van der Pol oscillator analytical results, obtained for a quasiharmonic approach, are compared with the result of direct computer simulations. In particular, we show that the dynamics is different for isochronous and anisochronous systems. Moreover, we find that the increase of noise intensity in the isochronous regime leads to a narrowing of the spectral line. This effect is similar to coherence resonance. However, in the case of anisochronous systems, this effect breaks down and a new phenomenon, anisochronous-based stochastic bifurcation occurs.

The dynamical structure of genetic networks determines the occurrence of various biological mechanisms, such as cellular differentiation. However, the question of how cellular diversity evolves in relation to the inherent stochasticity and intercellular communication remains still to be understood. Here, we define a concept of stochastic bifurcations suitable to investigate the dynamical structure of genetic networks, and show that under stochastic influence, the expression of given proteins of interest is defined via the probability distribution of the phase variable, representing one of the genes constituting the system. Moreover, we show that under changing stochastic conditions, the probabilities of expressing certain concentration values are different, leading to different functionality of the cells, and thus to differentiation of the cells in the various types.

We propose a fibre-based approach for generation of optical frequency combs (OFCs) with the aim of calibration of astronomical spectrographs in the low and medium-resolution range. This approach includes two steps: in the first step, an appropriate state of optical pulses is generated and subsequently moulded in the second step delivering the desired OFC. More precisely, the first step is realised by injection of two continuous-wave (CW) lasers into a conventional single-mode fibre, whereas the second step generates a broad OFC by using the optical solitons generated in step one as initial condition. We investigate the conversion of a bichromatic input wave produced by two initial CW lasers into a train of optical solitons, which happens in the fibre used as step one. Especially, we are interested in the soliton content of the pulses created in this fibre. For that, we study different initial conditions (a single cosine-hump, an Akhmediev breather, and a deeply modulated bichromatic wave) by means of soliton radiation beat analysis and compare the results to draw conclusion about the soliton content of the state generated in the first step. In case of a deeply modulated bichromatic wave, we observed the formation of a collective soliton crystal for low input powers and the appearance of separated solitons for high input powers. An intermediate state showing the features of both, the soliton crystal and the separated solitons, turned out to be most suitable for the generation of OFC for the purpose of calibration of astronomical spectrographs.

We investigate the generation of optical frequency combs through a cascade of four-wave mixing processes in nonlinear fibres with optimised parameters. The initial optical field consists of two continuous-wave lasers with frequency separation larger than 40 GHz (312.7 pm at 1531 nm). It propagates through three nonlinear fibres. The first fibre serves to pulse shape the initial sinusoidal-square pulse, while a strong pulse compression down to sub-100 fs takes place in the second fibre which is an amplifying erbium-doped fibre. The last stage is a low-dispersion highly nonlinear fibre where the frequency comb bandwidth is increased and the line intensity is equalised. We model this system using the generalised nonlinear Schrodinger equation and investigate it in terms of fibre lengths, fibre dispersion, laser frequency separation and input powers with the aim to minimise the frequency comb noise. With the support of the numerical results, a frequency comb is experimentally generated, first in the near infra-red and then it is frequency-doubled into the visible spectral range. Using a MUSE-type spectrograph, we evaluate the comb performance for astronomical wavelength calibration in terms of equidistancy of the comb lines and their stability.

Optical frequency combs (OFC) constitute an array of phase-correlated equidistant spectral lines with nearly equal intensities over a broad spectral range. The adaptations of combs generated in mode-locked lasers proved to be highly efficient for the calibration of high-resolution (resolving power > 50000) astronomical spectrographs. The observation of different galaxy structures or the studies of the Milky Way are done using instruments in the low- and medium resolution range. To such instruments belong, for instance, the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) being developed for the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the 4-metre Multi-Object Spectroscopic Telescope (4MOST) being in development for the ESO VISTA 4.1 m Telescope. The existing adaptations of OFC from mode-locked lasers are not resolvable by these instruments.
Within this work, a fibre-based approach for generation of OFC specifically in the low- and medium resolution range is studied numerically. This approach consists of three optical fibres that are fed by two equally intense continuous-wave (CW) lasers. The first fibre is a conventional single-mode fibre, the second one is a suitably pumped amplifying Erbium-doped fibre with anomalous dispersion, and the third one is a low-dispersion highly nonlinear optical fibre. The evolution of a frequency comb in this system is governed by the following processes: as the two initial CW-laser waves with different frequencies propagate through the first fibre, they generate an initial comb via a cascade of four-wave mixing processes. The frequency components of the comb are phase-correlated with the original laser lines and have a frequency spacing that is equal to the initial laser frequency separation (LFS), i.e. the difference in the laser frequencies. In the time domain, a train of pre-compressed pulses with widths of a few pico-seconds arises out of the initial bichromatic deeply-modulated cosine-wave. These pulses undergo strong compression in the subsequent amplifying Erbium-doped fibre: sub-100 fs pulses with broad OFC spectra are formed. In the following low-dispersion highly nonlinear fibre, the OFC experience a further broadening and the intensity of the comb lines are fairly equalised. This approach was mathematically modelled by means of a Generalised Nonlinear Schrödinger Equation (GNLS) that contains terms describing the nonlinear optical Kerr effect, the delayed Raman response, the pulse self-steepening, and the linear optical losses as well as the wavelength-dependent Erbium gain profile for the second fibre. The initial condition equation being a deeply-modulated cosine-wave mimics the radiation of the two initial CW lasers. The numerical studies are performed with the help of Matlab scripts that were specifically developed for the integration of the GNLS and the initial condition according to the proposed approach for the OFC generation. The scripts are based on the Fourth-Order Runge-Kutta in the Interaction Picture Method (RK4IP) in combination with the local error method.
This work includes the studies and results on the length optimisation of the first and the second fibre depending on different values of the group-velocity dispersion of the first fibre. Such length optimisation studies are necessary because the OFC have the biggest possible broadband and exhibit a low level of noise exactly at the optimum lengths. Further, the optical pulse build-up in the first and the second fibre was studied by means of the numerical technique called Soliton Radiation Beat Analysis (SRBA). It was shown that a common soliton crystal state is formed in the first fibre for low laser input powers. The soliton crystal continuously dissolves into separated optical solitons as the input power increases. The pulse formation in the second fibre is critically dependent on the features of the pulses formed in the first fibre. I showed that, for low input powers, an adiabatic soliton compression delivering low-noise OFC occurs in the second fibre. At high input powers, the pulses in the first fibre have more complicated structures which leads to the pulse break-up in the second fibre with a subsequent degradation of the OFC noise performance. The pulse intensity noise studies that were performed within the framework of this thesis allow making statements about the noise performance of an OFC. They showed that the intensity noise of the whole system decreases with the increasing value of LFS.

We examine the influence of noise on the propagation of harmonic signals with two frequencies through discrete bistable media. We show that random fluctuations enhance propagation of this kind of signals for low coupling strengths, similarly to what happens with purely monochromatic signals. As a more relevant finding, we observe that the frequency being propagated with better efficiency can be selected by tuning the intensity of the noise, in such a way that for large noises the highest frequency is transmitted better than the lower one, whereas for small noises the reverse holds. Such a noise-induced frequency selection can be expected to exist for general multifrequency harmonic signals.