The research targets of the Photonics Department at the Centre of Energy Research are the preparation as well as the non-destructive and real time characterization of thin films on large surfaces, in photonic and complex structures; development of optical and magnetic measurement methods for the improvement of sensitivity and for the broadening of the range of materials that can be investigated by these methods; preparation and spectroscopic characterization of self-organized surface nanostructures; in situ monitoring of solid-liquid interface processes for the understanding of the adsorption of complex biomolecules and for the optimization of thin film preparations for sensors.