Microscience is the big brother of Nanoscience. I use this term because even the most "nano" structure won't do anything useful unless it is coupled to a much larger system (measurement apparatus, observer, universe ...). That's what I am interested in - essentially, it's what makes Nanoscience into Nanotechnology.
Examining the technological aspects of nano-and microscale systems seriously, one is invariably faced with a multiscale problem.
The twilight zone between micro and macro length scales is "mesoscopic physics". Historically, i.e. since the Eighties of the last century (the twentieth), mesoscopic physics had to deal with micro- and nanostructure experiments that were rather dirty, in the sense that disorder often dominated the behavior of small devices. Microstructures nowadays, on the other hand, profit from significant advances in fabrication technologies which lead to cleaner systems. Their properties are then dominated by boundary effects. Boundaries and interfaces between large and small systems are a central theme in microscience.
Although fabrication-technological advances were largely driven by the microelectronics industry, micro-optical devices have emerged as an important class of systems where fundamental problems of microscience have a direct impact upon applications. Micro-optics therefore has become the focus of my work since 1995, motivated by collaborations with experimental groups at Yale University, Lucent Technologies, France Telecom and Darmstadt University of Technology.
Details on these collaborations can be found in my bibliography; to see how these questions are connected with the theory of nonlinear dynamics and chaos, please take a look at the Hitchhiker's guide to dielectric cavities.
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