Eileen Otte is a postdoctoral researcher in Prof. Mark L. Brongersma’s group at the Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials (GLAM), Stanford University, supported by the GLAM fellowship as well as DAAD PRIME program (Germany). Her research expertise spans various areas of optics & photonics and related fields including structured light; topological, singular, and quantum optics; light-matter interactions and optical trapping; nanophotonics and metamaterials; and advanced imaging with diverse applications. After completing her Master degree with distinction, she specialized on structured singular light in her PhD studies. She performed her research at the University of Muenster (WWU), Germany, as well as the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, under supervision of Prof. Dr. Cornelia Denz and Prof. Dr. Andrew Forbes. In 2019 she finished her PhD, honored with "summa cum laude" and the WWU Dissertation Award in Physics, and recognized internationally as part of the Springer Theses series. Further, she received the Research Award 2020 of the Industrial Club Duesseldorf and is a junior class member of the NRW Academy of Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts. In 2021, Eileen moved to Stanford, focusing on nanoscale light-matter interactions in collaboration with the Center for Soft Nanoscience, WWU, Germany. Eileen has published 24 peer-reviewed articles as well as a book and was invited for 18 talks including one keynote talk at international conferences, seminars, and colloquia.

Honors & Awards

  • Emerging Leaders 2021, Journal of Optics (IOP) (Nov. 2021)
  • GLAM fellowship, Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials, Stanford University (Sept. 2021)
  • PRIME fellowship, German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD (Sept. 2021)
  • Emerging Talents 2021, Journal of Optics (IOP) (May 2021)
  • PhD thesis publication in the "Springer Theses" series, Springer Nature (Jan. 2021)
  • Appointment to the "Junges Kolleg", NRW Academy of Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts (Jan. 2021)
  • Finalist "SAMOP Dissertation Prize 2020", German Physical Society (DPG) (Nov. 2020)
  • Research Award 2020 (Wissenschaftspreis 2020), Industrie-Club e.V. Duesseldorf & NRW Academy of Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts (Oct. 2020)
  • WWU Dissertation Award, University of Muenster, Germany (Dec. 2019)
  • IP@WWU, International PhD Study at WWU, University of Muenster, Germany (Oct. 2016)
  • Participant of the 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings; Else & Wilhelm Heraeus Foundation (June 2016)

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Science, Westfalische Wilhelms Universitat (2019)
  • Master of Science, Westfalische Wilhelms Universitat (2015)
  • Bachelor of Science, Westfalische Wilhelms Universitat (2012)
  • Dr. rer. nat., University of Muenster, Germany, Physics (2019)
  • M.Sc., University of Muenster, Germany, Physics with specialization on Photonics, Material Physics, and Molecular Biophysics (2015)
  • B.Sc., University of Muenster, Germany, Physics (2012)

Stanford Advisors

Lab Affiliations

All Publications

  • Optical second-order skyrmionic hopfion OPTICA Ehrmanntraut, D., Droop, R., Sugic, D., Otte, E., Dennis, M. R., Denz, C. 2023; 10 (6): 725-731
  • Counter-propagating scalar and vector beams for subwavelength shaping and particle manipulation Asche, E., Otte, E., Denz, C., Imbrock, J., IEEE IEEE. 2023
  • Advancing 3D shaping of vectorial light by counter-propagation of self-healing scalar and vector Bessel-Gaussian beams JOURNAL OF OPTICS Asche, E., Otte, E., Denz, C. 2022; 24 (10)
  • Shaping the skeleton of structured light in 3D space: From self-imaging singularity networks to optical skyrmionic Hopfions Otte, E., Droop, R., Ehrmanntraut, D., Sugic, D., Dennis, M. R., Denz, C., Omatsu, T. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2022

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.2659392

    View details for Web of Science ID 000905290800031

  • Particle-like topologies in light NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Sugic, D., Droop, R., Otte, E., Ehrmanntraut, D., Nori, F., Ruostekoski, J., Denz, C., Dennis, M. R. 2021; 12 (1): 6785


    Three-dimensional (3D) topological states resemble truly localised, particle-like objects in physical space. Among the richest such structures are 3D skyrmions and hopfions, that realise integer topological numbers in their configuration via homotopic mappings from real space to the hypersphere (sphere in 4D space) or the 2D sphere. They have received tremendous attention as exotic textures in particle physics, cosmology, superfluids, and many other systems. Here we experimentally create and measure a topological 3D skyrmionic hopfion in fully structured light. By simultaneously tailoring the polarisation and phase profile, our beam establishes the skyrmionic mapping by realising every possible optical state in the propagation volume. The resulting light field's Stokes parameters and phase are synthesised into a Hopf fibration texture. We perform volumetric full-field reconstruction of the [Formula: see text] mapping, measuring a quantised topological charge, or Skyrme number, of 0.945. Such topological state control opens avenues for 3D optical data encoding and metrology. The Hopf characterisation of the optical hypersphere endows a fresh perspective to topological optics, offering experimentally-accessible photonic analogues to the gamut of particle-like 3D topological textures, from condensed matter to high-energy physics.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-021-26171-5

    View details for Web of Science ID 000722007200003

    View details for PubMedID 34811373

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8608860

  • Shaping light in 3d space by counter-propagation SCIENTIFIC REPORTS Droop, R., Asche, E., Otte, E., Denz, C. 2021; 11 (1): 18019


    We extend the established transverse customization of light, in particular, amplitude, phase, and polarization modulation of the light field, and its analysis by the third, longitudinal spatial dimension, enabling the visualization of longitudinal structures in sub-wavelength (nm) range. To achieve this high-precision and three-dimensional beam shaping and detection, we propose an approach based on precise variation of indices in the superposition of higher-order Laguerre-Gaussian beams and cylindrical vector beams in a counter-propagation scheme. The superposition is analyzed experimentally by digital, holographic counter-propagation leading to stable, reversible and precise scanning of the light volume. Our findings show tailored amplitude, phase and polarization structures, adaptable in 3D space by mode indices, including sub-wavelength structural changes upon propagation, which will be of interest for advanced material machining and optical trapping.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-021-97313-4

    View details for Web of Science ID 000695272000123

    View details for PubMedID 34504187

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8429748

  • Self-imaging vectorial singularity networks in 3d structured light fields JOURNAL OF OPTICS Droop, R., Otte, E., Denz, C. 2021; 23 (7)
  • Customization and analysis of structured singular light fields JOURNAL OF OPTICS Otte, E., Denz, C. 2021; 23 (7)
  • Fully-structured counter-propagating optical trap sculpted by spherical aberration JOURNAL OF OPTICS Otte, E., Denz, C. 2021; 23 (6)
  • Polarization nano-tomography of tightly focused light landscapes by self-assembled monolayers NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Otte, E., Tekce, K., Lamping, S., Ravoo, B., Denz, C. 2019; 10: 4308


    Recently, four-dimensional (4D) functional nano-materials have attracted considerable attention due to their impact in cutting-edge fields such as nano-(opto)electronics, -biotechnology or -biomedicine. Prominent optical functionalizations, representing the fourth dimension, require precisely tailored light fields for its optimal implementation. These fields need to be like-wise 4D, i.e., nano-structured in three-dimensional (3D) space while polarization embeds additional longitudinal components. Though a couple of approaches to realize 4D fields have been suggested, their breakthrough is impeded by a lack of appropriate analysis techniques. Combining molecular self-assembly, i.e., nano-chemistry, and nano-optics, we propose a polarization nano-tomography of respective fields using the functional material itself as a sensor. Our method allows a single-shot identification of non-paraxial light fields at nano-scale resolution without any data post-processing. We prove its functionality numerically and experimentally, elucidating its amplitude, phase and 3D polarization sensitivity. We analyze non-paraxial field properties, demonstrating our method's capability and potential for next generation 4D materials.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-019-12127-3

    View details for Web of Science ID 000486995200018

    View details for PubMedID 31541086

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6754390

  • Recovery of nonseparability in self-healing vector Bessel beams PHYSICAL REVIEW A Otte, E., Nape, I., Rosales-Guzman, C., Valles, A., Denz, C., Forbes, A. 2018; 98 (5)
  • Polarization Singularity Explosions in Tailored Light Fields LASER & PHOTONICS REVIEWS Otte, E., Alpmann, C., Denz, C. 2018; 12 (6)
  • Entanglement beating in free space through spin-orbit coupling LIGHT-SCIENCE & APPLICATIONS Otte, E., Rosales-Guzman, C., Ndagano, B., Denz, C., Forbes, A. 2018; 7: 18009


    It is well known that the entanglement of a quantum state is invariant under local unitary transformations. This rule dictates, for example, that the entanglement of internal degrees of freedom of a photon remains invariant during free-space propagation. Here, we outline a scenario in which this paradigm does not hold. Using local Bell states engineered from classical vector vortex beams with non-separable degrees of freedom, the so-called classically entangled states, we demonstrate that the entanglement evolves during propagation, oscillating between maximally entangled (purely vector) and product states (purely scalar). We outline the spin-orbit interaction behind these novel propagation dynamics and confirm the results experimentally, demonstrating spin-orbit coupling in paraxial beams. This demonstration highlights a hitherto unnoticed property of classical entanglement and simultaneously offers a device for the on-demand delivery of vector states to targets, for example, for dynamic laser materials processing, switchable resolution within stimulated emission depletion (STED) systems, and a tractor beam for entanglement.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/lsa.2018.9

    View details for Web of Science ID 000431457400005

    View details for PubMedID 30839563

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6060074

  • Customized focal light landscapes by complex vectorial fields for advanced optical trapping Otte, E., Tekce, K., Denz, C., Galvez, E. J., Andrews, D. L., Gluckstad, J. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2018

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.2289645

    View details for Web of Science ID 000449785000015

  • Tailored vectorial light fields: flower, spider web and hybrid structures Otte, E., Alpmann, C., Denz, C., Omatsu, T., Morita, R. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2017

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.2274935

    View details for Web of Science ID 000406962600010