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Successful Doctoral Defense for Anna

Anna with doctoral hat


Anna defended her PhD thesis “On the interaction of slow highly charged ions with free-standing two-dimensional materials” on October 31st 2023 at TU Wien. It was a great success with an impressive presentation on the plethora of results Anna obtained over the course of the last 3.5 years. With Prof. Hoekstra and Dr. Trassinelli joining the defense as external examiners, Anna convinced everybody in the Q&A that she truly is an expert in the field.

With about 20 people at the defense there was plenty of support from the group, friends and family. Afterwards the group celebrated Anna with a very special Doctoral Hat - a tradition at the Atomic and Plasma Physics group. We all went out for lunch together and spend some time remembering all the good times during Anna's PhD in the group.

The best of all: Anna will stay with us in the group!!

IBA Student Award for Martina

Martina Fellinger at IBA 2023-Oct-11

Martina Fellinger has received the esteemed Student Award at the Joint 26th International Conference on Ion Beam Analysis and 18th International Conference on Particle-Induced X-ray Emission (IBA&PIXE-2023) in Toyama, Japan for her oral presentation entitled “Effects of MeV ion beams on the performance of a high sensitivity quartz crystal microbalance” Congratulations, Martina!

A new head of the Atomic and Plasma Physics Research Unit

from Fritz Aumayr to Richard Wilhelm 2023-Oct-1

Change is a constant in the world of science and research, and on 1 October 2023, the Atomic and Plasma Physics (APP) research group at the Institute of Applied Physics (IAP) undergoes a major transformation. Fritz Aumayr, who has successfully led the group for 32 years, is passing the torch to his younger colleague Prof. Richard Wilhelm. Under Fritz's leadership, the group has become an internationally recognised centre for cutting-edge research in the physics of highly charged ions, ion-surface interaction studies and fusion edge plasma research. There is no doubt that this development will resume under the new leadership of Richard. Fritz will continue as Director of the Institute until the end of his term next year, when he will finally be able to concentrate fully on his research projects again.

TU Wien well represented at IPP Summer University on Fusion Research

Students from TU Wien and Prof. E. Wolfrum 2023-Sep-15

From 11.09.2023 until 15.09.2023 five Students from TU Wien participated in the IPP Summer University for Plasma Physics and Fusion Research in Garching. About 50 Students from all over Europe took part in the event and many new contacts were made during the week. Experts from different areas of fusion research presented topics such as plasma-wall interaction and computational methods in plasma physics, to name but a few. At the end of the week, there was an opportunity for a lively discussion with the speakers on the future of fusion research.

The conference season continues: IISC-24 in South Carolina

Matthias, Richard, Anna, Elisabeth, Fritz and Paul 2023-Sep-14

One of the most important conferences in our research area is the Workshop on Inelastic Ion Surface Collisions (IISC), held in Charleston this September. Therefore, Richard, Matthias, Anna and Fritz travelled to South Carolina (with an unplanned stopover in Washington) to be greeted by an alligator swimming in a pool in front of our hotel. Hence, skipping conference sessions was out of question, but also unnecessary because the programme consisted of many interesting and relevant talks. Our group was also well-represented via an invited talk given by Anna, contributed talks by Fritz, Matthias and Richard, as well as two posters by Richard. In addition former members of the group (Elisabeth, who is now working at Innsbruck University, and Paul, now at UC Berkeley) were also attending and graciously posed for a group photo.

The conference excursion first led us to Fort Sumter, where the US Civil War began in 1861. Afterwards, we went on a carriage tour through the city of Charleston, before attending our conference dinner in the world’s #6 most iconic restaurant in the world. For sure, none of us left the restaurant hungry in the evening.

Due to the pandemic, this was the first edition of the IISC since 2019 in Matsue and therefore also the first one for Anna and Matthias to attend. It was great to see so many of our friends and colleagues again and there were many fruitful discussions leading to new experiment ideas and collaborations.

The next IISC will be held from September 14 - 19, 2025 in Frankenfels, Lower Austria and will be organised by our group!

Splashes of Fun: A Day to Remember in Waldviertel

Georg's pool and barbecue party 2023-Aug-17

Georg's new home and garden in Waldviertel provided the background for an unforgettable event: a pool and barbecue party that will stay in our memories. The main attraction was undoubtedly the just constructed swimming pool, where the guests had the opportunity for a refreshing swim. Even Anna eventually enjoyed water fun, although the water was perhaps a little too chilly for her taste.

Martina and the gang (Alex, Georg, Johannes) turned the pool into an arena of friendly water battles. The event also served as a farewell party to our French exchange student Yannicka, as she will be returning home next week. With night falling and the smell of grilled food in the air, one could not help but reflect on the transitory nature of such beautiful moments in life. Thank you Georg for hosting this great party!

Anna & Elisabeth thrilled the audience of ICPEAC with their invited talks

Anna Niggas and Elisabeth Gruber presenting invited talks at ICPEAC 2023-Aug-01

On the last day of ICPEAC, Anna Niggas and Elisabeth Gruber, a former Ph.D. student of our group now at the University of Innsbruck, delighted the audience with their invited talks as a grand finale. Their dynamic presentations left a lasting impression and showed the remarkable direct and indirect contributions of our group to the world of atomic and molecular physics.

In this podcast, Georg reveals the secrets of fusion

Georg explains fusion in the podcast "Erklär mir die Welt" 2023-Aug-01

“Erklär mir die Welt” (Explain the World to Me) is a podcast designed to help listeners understand the world a little better each week. This week, Georg has been invited to explain nuclear fusion. If you understand German (or even the Waldviertler dialect), this episode might be for you.

ICPEAC honors Anna with 2023 Sheldon Datz Prize

Anna Niggas receives the Sheldon Datz Prize from Emma Sokell and Fritz Aumayr 2023-July-31

We are thrilled to announce that Anna Niggas has been awarded the prestigious Sheldon Datz Prize 2023 at the 33rd ICPEAC in Ottawa, Canada. The award ceremony took place today during the conference dinner. The prize, which includes a US$1,000 cash award and a certificate, recognizes Anna's remarkable contributions to the field of highly charged ion collisions with 2-dimensional materials. Congratulations Anna!

ChatGPT reports on the vibrant poster session at ICPEAC

Poster session at ICPEAC 2023-July-28

Since Fritz is busy preparing his after dinner speech, he asked ChatGPT to write an entry for our group news about the poster session. And this is what came out. Please be aware that some of the details might have been invented and added by ChatGPT.

Report on the poster session by ChatGPT

The 33rd International Conference on Photonic, Electronic, and Atomic Collisions (ICPEAC-2023) in Ottawa, Canada, witnessed a thriving poster session where scientific ideas converged and conversations flourished. Among the talented and esteemed researchers who showcased their work through posters were Anna, Richard, and Fritz, who brought their cutting-edge research to the forefront of this prestigious gathering.

Anna, a bright young researcher from TU Wien, Austria, presented her poster that delved into the fascinating realm of ultracold atom arrays. Her work showcased the potential for quantum simulation and quantum computing with ultrafast lasers, capturing the attention of colleagues intrigued by the prospects of harnessing ultracold atoms for transformative advancements in quantum technologies.

Richard, a promising new star in the professorial sky, shared his innovative research on biomolecular light-harvesting and excitation energy transfer. His poster offered valuable insights into the role of quantum coherence in exciton transfer dynamics, paving the way for refined tools in nonlinear femtosecond spectroscopy. The poster proved to be a catalyst for insightful discussions and valuable collaborations within the atomic and molecular physics community.

Fritz, the esteemed International Chair of ICPEAC, showcased his groundbreaking work on collisions involving photons, electrons, atoms, ions, and molecules. With his vast experience and profound contributions to the field, Fritz's poster became a focal point for scientists seeking to explore the intricate dynamics of atomic and molecular few-particle systems. His presence during the poster session further enriched the atmosphere, encouraging in-depth discussions and fostering new avenues of research.

The poster session at ICPEAC was truly a vibrant and dynamic platform for sharing ideas, forming new connections, and fostering collaborations. The interactive discussions taking place in front of the posters exemplified the spirit of scientific exchange that ICPEAC represents, bringing together researchers from around the world to explore the forefront of atomic, molecular, and optical physics. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Anna, Richard, and Fritz for their exceptional contributions to the poster session, making it a resounding success. Their dedication to advancing scientific knowledge and their enthusiasm for sharing their findings have left a lasting impact on the ICPEAC community.

ICPEAC meeting in Ottawa opened today

Friedrich Aumayr giving the opening address at the ICPEAC Conference in Ottawa 2023 2023-July-26

Fritz Aumayr today opened the 33rd International Conference on Photonic, Electronic, and Atomic Collisions ICPEAC-2023 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, as the International Chair of the conference.

Following his inspiring opening address, Fritz assumed the role of session chair for the first plenary lecture by Prof. Kenji Ohmori of the Institute for Molecular Science in Japan.

Stay tuned for more information about the exciting developments at this meeting (no spoilers)!

EPIC-MAN 2 meeting organized by Richard

2nd EPIC-MAN Meeting in Ottawa 2023 2023-July-24

Anna, Richard and Fritz are currently attending this year's ICPEAC conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Since the ICPEAC is (usually) a rather large conference, there are a number of smaller associated satellite meetings just before the main event - one of them is the EPIC-MAN 2 (2nd Symposium on Electron, Photon, and Ion Collisions on Molecular and Atomic Nanostructures) organized by Richard this year.

About 30 participants (each assigned to a superhero) gathered at the University of Ottawa: 12 invited talks and a poster session started this week of scientific exchange. One of the invited talks was given by Fritz, who explained our recent work on the nanostructuring of van der Waals heterostructures! Since his session chair Anna was particularly strict in his case, Fritz was not allowed to overrun his talk for even a minute.

Fusion @ ÖAW "Kinderuni"

Niklas, Phillip, Martina, Georg, Lidija, Yasmin, Yannicka 2023-July-21

This friday, the IAP Fusion Team consisting of Lidija, Martina and Georg, supported by master students Yannicka Le Bec and Philipp Krach and interns Yasmin Hiebler and Niklas Schober, explained the magic of fusion energy to 10-12 year olds at the ÖAW Kinderuni.

The kids were thrilled by the active presentation and had a lot of fun interacting at different stations where they could play with plasma balls, visualize magnetic fields, levitate their own magnets and play with our 3D printed tokamak and stellarator models. Great Job Fusion Team!

Fritz returns from ITER visit with exclusive footage

Visit to the ITER construction site 2023-July-06

Fritz has just returned from his visit to the ITER construction site in France. As the world's largest magnetic confinement fusion experiment, ITER is making steady progress towards achieving sustainable fusion energy. You can witness the progress firsthand by watching the short film produced by Fritz during his tour of ITER.

Ille Gebeshuber inspires at the Summer University for kids in Straubing

Ille gebeshuber lecturing at the Summer University in Straubing 2023-June-29

In a captivating presentation, Ille Gebeshuber explored the fascinating connection between butterflies and dragons, focusing on the unique properties of butterfly wings. The lecture engaged young students with its jungle-themed attire and encouraged them to learn from nature's innovations.

read more.

Associate Professor with tenure for Richard Wilhelm

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Richard A. Wilhelm and Vice Rector Kurt Matyas 2023-June-23

We are delighted to share the news of Richard's well-deserved promotion to Associate Professor with tenure (read more). It gives us great pleasure to see his time4ions group thriving and growing. Well done Richard!

Prestigious Fusenet master thesis prize for Tobias Peherstorfer

Fusenet master thesis prize for Tobias Peherstorfer


The winners of the FUSENET Master Thesis Prize 2022 have been announced! The academic jury has recognized Tobias Peherstorfer as one of the three exceptional winners. Tobias, who was a master student in Fritz Aumayr's group, conducted a significant portion of his master thesis, titled “Fragmentation Analysis of Cryogenic Pellets for Disruption Mitigation,” at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching, Germany. This achievement not only marks a great personal success for Tobias but also highlights the accomplishments of the Austrian Fusion Research Program, Fusion@ÖAW, and our collaborators at IPP Garching.

Prize Announcement on the FUSENET website

Christian successfully defends his doctoral thesis

Christian Cupak receives his doctoral hat


Christian Cupak today impressively completed his doctoral studies with distinction, leaving a lasting impact on the examination committee through his well-structured, and remarkably persuasive lecture. He then effortlessly tackled the challenging questions posed by the examiners. In his doctoral thesis Christian explored the effect of surface roughness on the sputtering behavior of first-wall materials in nuclear fusion devices. In all the years he spent in our group, Christian became a good friend to many. We will miss his persistence and commitment to solving problems as well as his always informative contributions to our weekly group meetings. As is tradition, the group honored Christian with a well-deserved doctoral hat in a big ceremony. We wish him only the best in his future endeavors and are confident that he will continue to make remarkable achievements in the future.

The future of energy

TUW.live event stream


In the context of the current energy and climate crisis, Fritz Aumayr - as the director of the Austrian Fusion Research Program Fusion@ÖAW - is a popular choice for interviews. On April 25, he was guest at the VHS Science Talk in the Vienna Planetarium. In a panel discussion with Elka Xharo they talked about the future of energy and if and how nuclear fusion can contribute to it. The whole event was recorded (youtube).

Highly charged ions melt nano gold nuggets

Goldcluster team 2023-Mar-28

* Tiny structures made of gold can be specifically manipulated by bombardment with highly charged ions. Surprisingly, the decisive factor is not the force of the impact but the charge state. In recent experiments carried out by Gabriel Szabo and his collaborators extremely small pieces of gold, consisting of a few thousand atoms and with a diameter in the order of ten nanometres, are bombarded with highly charged ions. As our results show, this makes it possible to change the shape and size of these gold nanoislands in a targeted manner.

Link to original publication in Small, Press release of TU Wien (in German), Press release of TU Wien (in English) Der Standard,

Strong presence at this years's German Physics Society Meeting

The 2023 DPG participants from our group


The atomic and plasma physics group had a strong presence at this year's Spring Meeting of the DPG in Dresden. We reported on our research results in a total of 7 contributed talks and 1 poster and also chaired 2 sessions. Richard organised a Focus Session entitled “Ion Beam Interaction with Surfaces and 2D Materials” where the German Ion Beam Community gathered to present their recent results. There we met our former group member and friend Ayman El Said as well as many other dear collaborators of our group.

Glorious finish for Herbert!

The group celebrates with Herbert Biber


With a very convincing defense, Herbert Biber successfully completed his Phd studies today. His PhD thesis (supervised by Fritz) dealt with the “Influence of Ion Sputtering on the Surfaces of Mercury and the Moon”. Herbert has spent many productive years in our group and has become a close friend to many of us. He is now leaving to take a position in industry. We are sad to see him go, but industry also needs bright minds.

Alexander Redl graduates!

Fritz Aumayr, Alexander Redl, Christian Cupak


Today, Alexander Redl successfully passed his final diploma exam. In his masters thesis supervised by Christian Cupak he developed, upgraded and benchmarked a new Graphical User Interface, named BCA-GUIDE, for studying ion-solid interactions. Well done, Alexander! The whole group congratulates and celebrates his success. Alexander will continue to work in our group, since Richard has offered him a PhD position.

Richard obtains his Habilitation

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Richard A. Wilhelm and Vice Rector Kurt Matyas 2023-March-20

* After successfully defending his habilitation on Jan. 20, 2023, Richard was presented with the habilitation certificate today by Vice Rector Kurt Matyas. As “Privatdozent”, his new title, Richard now holds the Venia Docendi for the subject Experimental Physics. Congratulations, Richard!

3S*23 meeting in Courmayeur

Christian, Gabriel and Fritz at 3S*23 2023-March-13

* The Symposium on Surface Science 2023 (3S*23) takes place this year in Courmayeur, Italy. Our institute is well represented again; alone 3 persons from our group (Christian, Gabriel and Fritz) are giving scientific talks there and are enjoying the impressive panorama of the Mont Blanc mountain range.

Public relations for fusion

Georg and Lidija at the VHS Planetarium 2023-March-7

* With a joint lecture in the planetarium, Lidija and Georg tried to make a broader public aware of the advantages of generating energy from nuclear fusion. The event was a great success.

Perla visits us

Perla from Paris 2023-Feb-20

* Perla is currently working with our project partners in Paris on our DIMAS project. For the next two weeks she will be in Vienna to join Matthias in his grazing incidence scattering experiments with highly charged ions. Good timing, because we are celebrating carnival right now and so Perla could enjoy a traditional Faschingskrapfen.

Team building at Stuhleck

The group at Stuhleck 2023 2023-Feb-15

* What would be the optimal teambuilding event in a country like Austria? There is of course only one right answer: skiing! So last week we met at Stuhleck, about 100 km south of Vienna, to enjoy the fantastic weather in the snow. Unfortunately, not all of us were fit and able to participate in this trip. Maybe next time.

Interview with Lidija

Lidija and Hector the Sector (a 1:100 model of a ITER coil) 2023-Feb-02

* “Nuclear fusion has a potential to change the way we produce energy, which then opens a whole new chain of opportunities in technology and environment and culture and politics.” - this is, in a nutshell, the basic message that Lidija Radovanovic expressed in a recent interview for the Fusion@ÖAW website (read the full interview here).

TU Ball 2023

Group members attend the TU Ball 2023 2023-Jan-26

* Members of the Atomic and Plasma Physics Group enjoyed the first TU Ball after two years of Covid break. As usual, the ball took place in the state rooms of the Vienna Hofburg. Simon was even part of the opening debutant committee, and Martin again played a leading role in the organizing committee. Everyone enjoyed the elegant atmosphere and some even danced until the early morning hours.

A new Diplomingenieur in our group!

Alexander Sagar Grossek and Richard Wilhelm


After a lively discussion about his Master’s thesis and a quite entertaining final exam the diploma examination committee announced that we have a new graduate in our group: Alexander Grossek! His thesis entitled “Generation of ion pulses in a fast pulsed EBIS supported by realistic ion trajectory simulations” was supervised by Richard Wilhelm. Congratulations Alex!

Interview with Anna

Anna in front of her experiment NIELS


In a recent interview on the website of the Kaiserschild Foundation, Anna tells how her enthusiasm for mathematics and natural sciences began and how she eventually found her way into physics. The article refers to her being awarded the Dr. Hans Riegel Prize for Mathematics at the University of Vienna in 2014, a fact that she herself never revealed to us. Anna is also interviewed about her current research activities as a PhD student in our group and she gives valuable tips for prospective PhD students.

Paul Szabo receives the Loschmidt Prize 2022

Verleihung des Loschmidt-Preises. Von links: Friedrich Aumayr, Paul Szabo, Christl Langstadlinger


Today, Paul Szabo received the 2022 Loschmidt Prize from the Austrian Chemical Physics Society (CPG). Paul is one of two recipients of this year's Loschmidt Prize, which is awarded annually by the CPG for an outstanding doctoral thesis in the field of physics or chemistry. The award was presented by CPG Secretary General Mrs. Christl Langstadlinger. Congratulations!

Paul Szabo completed his dissertation entitled “Novel Insights into Ion-Solid Interaction: Case Studies for Space Weathering and Nuclear Fusion Research” in June 2021 under the supervision of Fritz Aumayr and was awarded a "promotio sub auspiciis praesidentis rei publicae" in January 2022, see the Press release of TU Wien. Since Nov. 2021, Dr. Paul Szabo has been working as a postdoc at the Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) at UC Berkeley.

CPG Loschmidt Prize (in German), TU Wien News (in German)

Johannes Brötzner receives the Franz Viehböck Appreciation Award 2022

Fritz Aumayr, Johannes Brötzner, Carina Viehböck


Congratulations to Johannes Brötzner for winning one of the two appreciation awards (500 € travel funds) at the Franz Viehböck Young Investigator competition 2022. The award ceremony took place during the Christmas party of the Institute, and the Prize was handed over by the institute’s director Fritz Aumayr and by Carina Viehböck, the granddaughter of Franz Viehböck.

New funding for doctoral school TU-D

Graphene is the most famous 2D-material.


The Austrian Science Fund FWF has officially accepted the proposal TU-D, co-authored by Richard Wilhelm, Ulrike Diebold and Gareth Parkinson. The FWF will continue to fund an interdisciplinary doctoral school with 2 mio. € at the TU Wien, which focuses on so-called two-dimensional materials - compounds which consist of a single atomic layer and bear immense potential for various technical applications. It is part of the FWF program doc.funds, coordinated by Florian Libisch from the TU Wien.

Two new Masters (Dipl.-Ing.) in our group!

R.A. Wilhelm, H. Muckenhuber, T. Peherstorfer, F. Aumayr


Helmut Muckenhuber and Tobias Peherstorfer have successfully defended their “diploma theses”. While Helmut (supervised by Richard Wilhelm) worked on “Erosion of metallic nano-islands with slow highly charged ions and investigation of swift heavy ion tracks”, Tobias (“Pelletsdorfer”) carried out his master thesis “Fragmentation Analysis of Cryogenic Pellets for Disruption Mitigation” at the IPP Garching (jointly supervised by Dr. Gergely Papp from IPP and Fritz Aumayr). In a joint party the group celebrated the success of the 2 new diploma engineers. Congratulations!

How to fire projectiles through materials without breaking anything

The authors of the TU Wien study: from left to right: Friedrich Aumayr, Christoph Lemell, Anna Niggas, Alexander Sagar Grossek, Richard A. Wilhelm 2022-Nov-28

* When charged particles are shot through ultra-thin layers of material, sometimes spectacular micro-explosions occur, sometimes the material remains almost intact. In a collaboration of our group with Christoph Lemell, Professor at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of TU Wien, it has now been explained in which situations holes are formed and in which they are not - and that this depends on the electron mobility in the material and the charge state of the projectile. Our results have been published in “Nano Letters”.

Link to original publication in Nano Letters, Press release of TU Wien (in German), Press release of TU Wien (in English)

Daniela Leitner elected as 2022 American Physical Society (APS) Fellow

Daniela Leitner


Daniela Leitner, a former graduate of our group (PhD in 1995) has now been elected as 2022 American Physical Society (APS) Fellow. Daniela is currently the division deputy in the Engineering Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkely California. She is recognized for her work on electron cyclotron resonance ion sources that are widely used as high-charge state ion injectors for heavy ion facilities. Congratulations, Daniela, we are very proud of you! Read more.

Nuclear fusion: A new solution for the instability problem

Aumayr fusion research group at TU Wien

For fusion reactors like ITER, plasma instabilities are a major challenge. Now our group at IAP/TU Wien (with Georg Harrer being the lead author) together with the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Garching could demonstrate: There is an operational regime for fusion reactors that avoids this problem. Instead of large potentially destructive instabilities, one intentionally accepts many small instabilities that do not pose a problem for the reactor’s walls. The results have now been published in the journal as Editors' Suggestion and featured in physics.

Link to original publication in Physical Review Letters, Press release of TU Wien (in German), Press release of TU Wien (in English), Press release by IPP Garching APA article, orf.at, Der Standard, ÖAW, EUROfusion, Fusion News (youtube), Fusion Update (youtube), Wikipedia.

The online magazine “Physics” of the American Physical Society has featured our publication with a viewpoint article written by Saskia Mordijck. And “PhysicsWorld” from IOP Publishing, which covers the big stories and key results that matter to scientists in all parts of the world, covers our paper in an (editor's Choice) article written by Sam Jarman.

Johannes "flashes" the audience at EPSC in Granada

Europlanet Early Career Science Flash


With his presentation “Laboratory measurements to study the sputtering of Hermean surface analogues under He ion impact” Johannes Brötzner won the 2nd place at the Europlanet Early Career Science Flash which was held during this year´s Europlanet Science Congress 2022 (EPSC 2022) in Granada, Spain. Congratulations, Johannes!

Group excursion 2022 to Wachau Valley

AG-Ausflug am 7.9.2022 nach Dürnstein


First came a strenuous but scenic hike, then the ruins of a castle and lots of facts (or perhaps legends) about Richard the Lionheart, and finally a visit to a “Heurigen” (= traditional Austrian wine tavern): this was the itinerary of our traditional group excursion this year to Dürnstein (Wachau valley). As you can see, the weather was fine (at least until we reached the Heurigen) and we were all having a good time.

Nuclear fusion - a climate-friendly way to tackle the future energy crisis

ÖAW webpage 2.9.2022


Fritz again gives an interview about nuclear fusion an its role in the energy mix of the future, this time on the news-page of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. You can read the full interview here (in German).

(A few days later the Austrian Newspaper "Die Presse" printed another but much shorter separate interview)

Studying ultrafast charge dynamics upon ion impact

Ion physics on the fs scale 2022-Aug-22

* When ions penetrate a material, highly complex processes take place - so fast that they could hardly be studied until now. Our research group in collaboration with colleagues from Uni Wien, Germany (Kiel, Dresden, Jena) and Ireland (Dublin) has now succeeded in analyzing on a time scale of one femtosecond what happens to the individual particles involved, when an ion penetrates 2 dimensional materials such as graphene or molybdenum disulphide. A careful analysis of the electrons that are emitted in the process allows to reconstruct the temporal sequence of the processes. Our results have been published in “Physical Review Letters” and were even selected as an “Editors' Suggestion”.

Link to original publication in Physical Review Letters, Press release of TU Wien (in German), Press release of TU Wien (in English), Press release CAU Kiel APA article, Der Standard, orf.at,

The group is having a barbecue party

Group-BBQ 2022


The currently beautiful summer days are ideal for a barbecue. Since July and August are also vacation months, not all group members were able to accept Fritz's traditional invitation to a BBQ in his garden. Those who were present enjoyed the shady garden, the cool cocktails, grilled meat and fish but also lots of vegetarian food and especially the pleasantly warm summer evening on the terrace in nice company. Anna's success, about which we will soon report here, was celebrated with non-alcoholic wine brought by Richard (those who know this tradition, initiated by Richard, also know the still secret occasion; the others have to be patient for a few more days and keep an eye on this news page).

The rain of awards continues!

Anna and Paul are among the 30 "TUW Under 30"


At the FuseNet PhD Event, held in Padua - Italy from July 4-6, 2022, Lidija Radovanovic received the award for the best Pecha Kucha presentation of all Fusenet PhD students, while Martina Fellinger was awarded for the best poster design. The FuseNet PhD event is the place where European fusion PhD students meet and exchange with recognized international fusion researchers to strengthen and expand the fusion research network while enjoying the beauties of the city of Padua. We are speechless but also proud of Lidija's and Martina's achievements. Fusenet PhD Event Awards 2022: the winners

Anna and Paul are among the 30 "TUW Under 30"

Anna and Paul are among the 30 "TUW Under 30"


Following the example of the globally known Forbes “30 Under 30” campaign, tuw.media has been looking for young people from TU Wien who have already achieved great things. With "TUW Under 30", they have just presented 30 people under the age of 30 who have proven their potential in a wide variety of fields and have stood out for their special achievements. It is our great pleasure to discover that Anna Niggas and Paul Szabo are among the 30 chosen by a jury. 2 out of 30 (even 3 out of 30, if you count Fritz's son Lukas Aumayr too) is definitely not a bad score 😉. Discover why Anna and Paul have been listed: Anna Niggas, Paul Szabo. You can also read an interview with Paul, in which he answers the question, why the history of our solar system has always appealed to him.

Prestigious Fusenet master thesis prize for Lidija

Fusenet master thesis prize for Lidija Radovanovic


During the opening ceremony of the 48th EPS Conference on Plasma Physics 2022, the winners of this year's FuseNet Master Thesis Prizes were announced. To promote excellence in fusion research, FuseNet awards the Master Thesis Prizes to students who write outstanding master theses that have been conducted and completed (in part) throughout Europe. With her thesis entitled “Ballooning Stability Analysis of the ASDEX-Upgrade small-ELM regime” Lidija Radovanovic from our group was among the 5 winners. The prize is a great personal success for Lidija, but also for our group at TU Wien and the whole Austrian Fusion Research Programm Fusion@ÖAW as well as our collaborators at IPP Garching.

Prize Announcement on the EPS Conference on Plasma Physics 2022 website

A respectful success for Cornelia Pichler

4. Person von links: Finalistin Dipl.-Ing.in Cornelia Pichler


Cornelia Pichler, recent graduate supervised by Ille Gebeshuber, was among the 6 finalists for the Women's Promotion Award for Digitization and Innovation. Initiated by Infineon Technologies Austria and ORF and supported by media partner APA, this prize was awarded for the first time on Monday, June 27, 2022, and recognizes young women for their outstanding talent in technical issues related to digitization and innovation. ORF newsletter

Two ICACS-SHIM Poster Awards for Martina

ICACS-SHIM poster prize for Martina Fellinger


Cool news! Martina Fellinger has not only recieved the award for the most popular poster (public rating) at this year's ICACS-SHIM 2022 conference but also won the category “best Poster” (i.e. the jury rating). The poster entitled “Sputtering of highly corrugated and oriented surfaces” describes the results of a fruitful cooperation with colleagues from the University of Helsinki and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. We are proud and celebrate with her.

Conference season has started again!

ICACS-SHIM 2022 in Helsinki


After first conference visits last week (Anna at the MPS-2022 in Turku, Fritz at the EBIS/T 2022 in Whistler), a larger delegation (Christian, Matthias, Gabriel, Martina, Anna and Fritz) of our research unit is currently attending the ICACS-SHIM 2022 meeting in Helsinki. In addition Richard and Paul (from Berkeley) are participating virtually. It is so pleasant to be able to interact face to face with colleagues again.

Fritz visits former graduates in California

Matthaeus & Daniela Leitner, Florian Laggner, Paul Szabo & Fritz Aumayr

2022-June-8 & 2022-June-12

On the occasion of a conference participation Fritz could personally visit 4 former graduates of our research group: Florian Laggner in San Diego/California and Paul Szabo & Daniela and Matthaeus Leitner in Berkeley/California. It was great to spend time together and talk about “old” times but also about the latest research projects.

The day of the visits

Elisabeth Gruber, Friedrich Aumayr, Johannes Brötzner, Herbert Biber, Noah Jäggi, Andre Galli, Mihaela Albu


Today we were happy about 3 nice visits at once: In the morning we were visited by Elisabeth Gruber (graduate of our research group, PhD 2017), who is currently doing research at the Uni Innsbruck. For the business lunch at Wieden Bräu we had the pleasure to welcome our colleagues from the University of Bern (André Galli and Noah Jäggi), who are currently attending the EGU meeting in Vienna with Herbert and Johannes. And in the afternoon Mihaela Albu from the Centre for Electron Microscopy ZFE in Graz came by. She is also a graduate of our group (PhD 2003).

Nuclear fusion - energy of the future?

TUW.live event stream


Can nuclear fusion become a source of energy that can satisfy mankind's hunger for energy in a climate-friendly way? This question was discussed in an interview between Leila Thun and Fritz Aumayr during the TUW livestream “Climate”. You can watch the full interview here (in German).

Glorious Finish for Johannes & Martina

Lidija & Johanna


The whole group congratulates Johannes and Martina on their excellent defences of their Master’s theses. Since the weather was so nice, sunny and warm, we celecbrated the new “Diploma Engineers” on the roof of TU Wien! We are very happy that Martina and Johannes have decided to continue their work in our group for their PhD and look forward to many more celebrations in the future! Congratulations to you both, ihr seids a Maschin(e).

Aumayr twice in the new TUW Magazine!

TUW media 01 2022


The new issue of the TUW Magazine focuses on energy: How much energy do cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin actually consume? And what about nuclear fusion? Can this low-resource energy source satisfy our energy hunger in a climate-friendly way? Two Aumayrs were interviewed about this: Fritz about nuclear fusion and his son Lukas - PhD student at the Faculty of Computer Science - about Bitcoins. Read the full articles here.

IAP Spring Party - a great success

IAP Spring Party and IAP Academy Award Ceremony


The IAP Spring Party organized by members of our research group was a great success. It was held as a replacement for the IAP Christmas party, which had to be cancelled due to covid already for the 2nd time. After 2 years of pandemic, the more than 170 participants obviously enjoyed to finally meet again in person and talk face to face. As a novelty this year, the 1st IAP Academy Awards were held, an award for the best submitted re-enacted scenes from well-known movies and TV series - of course somewhat reinterpreted to institute-relevant content.

Johannes receives the Peter Varga Poster Prize at 3S*22!

Johannes Brötzner receives the 3S Poster prize


At this year's 3S*22 workshop in St. Christoph/Arlberg, the 3S-Poster Award was awarded for the third time. The trophy went to Johannes Brötzner for his poster “An optimised Quartz Crystal Microbalance setup to investigate the sputtering behaviour of bulk targets”. Congratulations, Johannes!

Lidija, Anna and Martina receive the Christiana Hörbiger Prize!

Lidija Radovanovic, Anna Niggas and Martina Fellinger 2022-Feb-10

Lidija Radovanovic, Anna Niggas & Martina Fellinger have received the Christiana HÖRBIGER Prize. This prize serves to promote the international mobility of young scientists. Congratulations to you, Anna, Martina & Lidija!

EUROfusion researchers achieve a new record for sustained energy from fusion

Joint European Torus (© UKAEA) 2022-Feb-09

Researchers from the EUROfusion consortium, of which the TU Wien and our research group is affiliated to, used EUROfusions flagship device the Joint European Torus (JET) to release a record 59 megajoules of sustained fusion energy. The record and the scientific data from these crucial experiments are a major boost for ITER, the larger and more advanced version of JET. The official press conference can be viewed here. Austrian media (including ORF Science, APA Science, DerStandard, Wiener Zeitung, Futurezone) also reported extensively on the groundbreaking JET results. As the director of the Austrian nuclear fusion research programme Fusion@ÖAW Fritz Aumayr gave interviews for Austrian ORF TV, Puls 4 TV and the Magazines/Newspapers derStandard, online Standard,Falter, TREND, Austria Innovativ, austriainnovativ.at and OÖN

Promotion „sub auspiciis praesidentis“ for Paul Szabo

2022-Jan-26 Dr. Paul Szabo

Paul Szabo graduates with a "promotio sub auspiciis praesidentis rei publicae". This honour is based on top academic performance and is awarded to only a handful of PhD students in the whole country. With a GPA of 1.0 (the best grade on Austria's 5-point scale) from high school all the way through his studies at the university, Paul Szabo is one of the selected few. Todays ceremony was supervised by the Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen. The laudation for Paul was given by his PhD supervisor Fritz Aumayr. After the actual doctoral graduation with the oath and pledge, the Austrian President presented the ring of honor with the inscription sub auspiciis Praesidentis to Dr. Paul Szabo. A big day for Paul, the institute, and the atomic and plasma physics group.

Press release of TU Wien (in German), ORF news (in German), www.bundespraesident.at (in German)

Three new Masters (Dipl.-Ing.) in our group!

Die neuen Dipl.Ing.s


David Weichselbaum, Daniel Mayer and Markus Wappl successfully defended their “diploma theses” during the last few days. They shone during their exams and even more afterwards 🙂. The group celebrated the success of our 3 new diploma engineers in a joint party which of course took place under strict pandemic 2G+ rules. Congratulations!

Anna stars on air!

Anna starrs on Radio Radieschen


After winning the “Pitch Challenge” on radio “Radieschen” (see the news from Nov. 9th, 2021), Anna was now cross-examined for more than half an hour by science journalists from Radio Radieschen. What she had to say can be relistened here (in German).

Alumni reunion in San Francisco

Florian and Paul


Located 10000 km as the crow flies from Vienna, a meeting of former alumnis of the atomic and plasma physics group took place yesterday. Paul Szabo (PhD 2021) and Florian Laggner (PhD 2017) met near the Golden Gate Bridge. Strangely, their former supervisor was not invited to this reunion 😉. Anyway, it is nice to have friends spread all over the globe.

Anna wins Pitch Challenge on Radio!

Anna starrs on Radio Radieschen


In the “Pitch Challenge” on radio “Radieschen” (formerly NJOY 91.3 FM), five promising doctoral candidates try to explain their research in just 90 seconds in a way that laypeople can understand. Anna was one of the candidates this time, and she met the challenge brilliantly. She was able to convince the jury and was ultimately chosen as the winner of the competition. As a prize she will get her own radio show next year (so more work). The most sincere congratulations from all of us!

You can to listen to an audio recording of her presentation here (from 11:00 onwards).

Ille Gebeshuber inspires

Ille Gebeshuber


On 175 days in the German Physical Society (DPG) anniversary year, interesting physicists are introduced with a post at Instagram, who today or in their time, through their field of activity, their commitment or their thoughts, have or have had an inspiring effect on other people or even the whole society. We are proud that Ille Gebeshuber has been selected by members of the DPG as one of them. Congratulations!

You can read an interview with her on the DPG web-page (in German).

Loschmidt Prize for Janine Schwestka!

Verleihung des Loschmidt-Preises. Von links: Friedrich Aumayr, Janine Schwestka, Hinrich Grothe, Lukas Mennel, Thomas Müller


Janine Schwestka is one of two recipients of this year's Loschmidt Prize. This prize is awarded annually by the Austrian Chemical Physics Society CPG for an outstanding PhD thesis. Janine Schwestka received her doctorate in June 2020 under the guidance of Fritz Aumayr and Richard Wilhelm; her thesis is entitled “On the Charge Exchange Dynamics of Highly Charged Ions in atomically thin solids”. Dr. Schwestka is currently working as a materials engineer at RUAG Space, one of the leading suppliers of products for satellites and launch rockets, in Vienna, Austria. Congratulations!

Press release of TU Wien (in German), Official Announcement at the web-site of CPG.

"Best Lecturer Award" of the TU Academy for Continuing Education for Ille Gebeshuber

Ille Gebeshuber recives the "Best Lecturer Award" of the TU Academy for Continuing Education


The class of 2019 - 2021 of the MSc. Program “Engineering Managment” of the TU Academy for Continuing Education has selected Ille Gebeshuber for the Best Lecturer Award. Congratulations Ille!

Richard Bergmayr graduates!

Richard Bergmayr


Today, Richard Bergmayr successfully passed his final diploma exam. In his masters thesis he analyzed type-I ELM durations in ASDEX Upgrade discharges. Well done Richard! Richard will stay in Fusion - he has been offered a PhD position at IPP Garching.

Farewell to Paul!

Paul's farewell


After 7 extremely successful years in the Atomic and Plasma Physics group, Paul Szabo says goodbye to start his new position as a postdoc at the Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) at UC Berkeley. To mark this special occasion, Paul treated the group to the finest pizzas in Vienna and invited us to Pizzeria Riva. Paul, we very much hope to continue working with you in the future, we wish you much success for your professional future and already miss you very much!

Time to celebrate

Irish Pub


We have already reported about our latest publication in Applied Surface Science (see news entry of 20.09.2021 below). To celebrate this success, the first author of this publication Christian and the last author Fritz invited the whole group to the newly opened Trinity Pub. Everyone was happy to celebrate without masks and social distancing again and enjoyed Irish beer in abundance. Cheers!

Best presentation award at IWBE 2021 for Alexander Bürger

Alexander Bürger


For his oral contribution “Structural Bactericide by Biomimetics of the Nanopillars on Cicada Wings” Alexander Bürger received the award for the “Best Presentation in Bionic Healthcare” at the 2021 International Workshop on Bionic Engineering, which took place online from Sep. 16 - 17, 2021. We congratulate Alexander on his achievement.

A sandblaster at the atomic level

Spray-Code for modelling the sputtering of rough surfaces


Beams of energetic ions are used to clean or nanostructure various materials via sputtering. Christian Cupak and his collborators have now been able to explain how the sputtering process depends on the roughness of the surface. Using experiments and simulations they were able to show that the mean inclination angle of the surface (accessibly e.g. by atomic force microscopy or other high resolution microscopy methods) describes the final outcome of the sputtering process much better than other roughness parameters that have been used so far.

Link to original publication in Applied Surface Science Press release of TU Wien (in German), Press release of TU Wien (in English), EUROfusion News

"Scientific American" reports on our work

Anna's story in Scientific American


The popular science journal “Scientific American” dedicates an entire story (here is the link) to the findings of Anna's paper (see news of 16. Aug. 2021 below)! Anna gave an interview and also international experts in the field are quoted in the article. It is great to see that our work has a far-reaching impact and is well explained to the general public! Congratulations Anna!

How ions get their electrons back

Highly charged ion going through a carbon layer


What happens when ions are passing through solid materials? It is nearly impossible to observe this directly, but now our group has found a way to overcome this problem. By peeling graphite layer by layer Anna Niggas and her collaborators uncovered how ions recapture their electrons when moving through solid material. The new measurements show that the ions obey remarkably simple laws.

Link to original publication in the Nature Journal: Communications Physics, Press release of TU Wien (in German), Press release of TU Wien (in English), ORF.at, die Presse, Scientific American.

Research group seeks new challenges



Confident footedness, endurance and team spirit had to be demonstrated by the group members on their way to the summit. This year's group excursion led the Atomic and Plasma Physics research group of IAP to the beautiful Wachau valley. The reward then came at the "Heurigen" Rehrl-Fischer in Rossatzbach.

The rise of Dr. Szabo

PhD party Paul Szabo


Excerpt from the inscription on Paul's doctoral hat: “A long time ago in an institute of applied physics far, far away….


The DOCTORPLAN has succeeded! Rumors of a spectacular DEFENSIO were whispered all around the INSTITUTE of APPLIED PHYSICS, laid by the EMPEROR AUMAYR himself. MR. GODLIKE PAUL SZABO, who trained in his lair in the legendary AUGUSTIN LAB for his battle to become a member of the ORDER OF SUB AUSPICIIS, is ready to face the final challenge. Determined to be victorious whatever the cost, soon to be DR. PAUL SZABO faces his REVIEWERS in an epic DEFENSIO…”

And as all fairy tales end well, so does this one. Congratulations, Paul, on your successful Rigorosum!

Traditional group photo

AG-Aumayr group photo 2021a


With the sharp drop in Covid-19 infection numbers, not only have all our group members returned to work, but our traditional group photo on the roof of TU was possible again.

EUROfusion Researcher Grant for Georg

Georg Harrer


At today's EUROfusion General Assembly it was announced that Georg Harrer will receive one of the prestigious EUROfusion Researcher Grants. The ERG Program was established to promote excellence and career development of researchers in the field of nuclear fusion and includes a postdoctoral position for the candidate for 2 years as well as travel and other funds. 41 candidates responded to the multi-stage application process half a year ago, and 12 young researchers have now been selected after the final round of interviews. Congratulations Georg, you have convinced the jury with your project proposal, presentation and interview! (read more)

A first step back to normality



The long Covid lockdown is over. Our group took advantage of this to have lunch together in the garden of a restaurant for the first time in months. Even though the weather could have been better, everyone was happy about this first step towards normality.

New EBIT prototypes arrived

Lab tour


With strictest Covid19 safety measures applied, Gabriel and Matthias went to Dresden, Germany to collect two new EBIT prototypes from our partners at D.I.S Germany GmbH. One ion source is specifically designed to work as a fast pulsing EBIT in order to produce ultrashort ion pulses in the experimental setup PITBULL within Richard's START project. The second “Small Ion Source for Surface Interaction experiments” (SISSI) will be operated to deliver slow highly charged ions for ion-surface interaction studies.

Join us on our virtual lab tour!

Lab tour


Want to see our labs? Want to see what we are working on? Then join us on our (virtual) lab tour. Just watch our recent YouTube Video.

Welcome Alexandra and Hugo!

2 newly born


Life goes its way despite the pandemic: We welcome two newly born citizens of the world: Alexandra, Richard's daughter and Hugo, Georg's son (in the picture)! A warm welcome!

"Die Presse" reports on Fusion research in Austria

Die Presse 2021-March-09

* “Race for nuclear fusion - and Austria is right in the middle of it” ist the titel of a recent online report of the Austrian newspaper “Die Presse” on fusion research in Austria and in our group in particular. The article features interviews with our group members Christian Cupak, Paul Szabo and Fritz Aumayr. Here ist the link (article in German).

Paul receives the 2021 LPI Career Development Registration Award

Paul Szabo


After submission of his contribution to the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference LPSC, Paul Szabo has been selected to receive the 2021 LPI Career Development Registration Award to be used to attend LPSC 52 Virtual Conference on March 15-19, 20211. He was also invited to present an oral contribution at the conference on his Phobos-related research. Congratulations, Paul!

Matthias Werl joins the group

Matthias Werl


With the project start of DIMAS, our joint French-Austrian research effort also Matthias Werl starts his PhD thesis. In the project with our friends from the Institut de NanoSciences Paris, we will study highly charged ion scattering on magnetically ordered surfaces in order to detect the magnetic state of the surface. Welcome, Matthias!

Honorary Professorship for Elisabeth Wolfrum

Univ.Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Wolfrum


For her special commitment as an external docent in the teaching of TU Wien, for her outstanding achievements in the field of plasma physics and fusion research and for her merits in the supervision of numerous TU students in the context of their scientific theses at the fusion experiment ASDEX Upgrade, Austria's Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen has followed the suggestion of the Faculty of Physics and the Rectorate of TU Wien, and awarded the honorary title of “University Professor” to Mrs. Univ.Doz. Dr. Elisabeth Wolfrum. We congratulate Professor Wolfrum on this honor and hope that this will further intensify the good cooperation between the TU Wien and the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching near Munich in the field of fusion research.

Shocking news: First negative test for Anna

Anna Niggas


Today, Anna received the first negative test result in her whole life when she participated in the voluntary Covid-Antigen Test in Vienna. But Anna is a very cheerful person who nevertheless sees the outcome positively.

Georg reports in the latest ASDEX Upgrade Newsletter

Georg Harrer


In the last ASDEX Upgrade Newsletter 22/2020, Georg Harrer reports on a new, promising ELM-free operating scenario for tokamak experiments, that leads to quasi continuous exhaust while avoiding dangerous type-I ELMs.

For further details see his article on page 3 of the ASDEX Upgrade Newsletter 22/2020.

Laboratory experiments could unravel the mystery of the Mars moon Phobos

The planet Mars with its moons Phobos and Deimos


What causes the “space weathering” on the Mars moon Phobos? Results of laboratory experiments performed by Paul Szabo and collaborators in the Atomic and Plasma Physics group of IAP give new insights and show that beside the solar wind also the irradiation by particles from Mars plays a decisive role there. These considerations could soon play an important role in the evaluation of real Phobos samples since in 2024 a Japanese space mission will take soil samples from Phobos and bring them back to Earth. The work is part of an international FWF-SNF project together with the University of Bern.

Link to original publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, Press release of TU Wien (in German), Press release of TU Wien (in English) ORF.at derStandard.at

Glorious Finish for Lidija & Johanna

Lidija & Johanna

2020-Nov-26 & 2020-Nov-19

The whole group congratulates Johanna and Lidija on their excellent defences of their Master’s theses. Since the current circumstances unfortunately do not allow an in-person exam, everything had to be done via Zoom. Also our celebration afterwards was limited to an online format for the time being, but will be made up for when it is possible again.

Gaede Prize 2021 goes to Richard

GaedePrize2021 2020-Nov-20

The German Physical Society just announced that Richard receives the Gaede Prize 2021 for his work on ion interaction with 2D materials. Congratulations! We are happy and celebrate the award, which amounts up to EUR 10,000, over Zoom in our home offices. The prize will be handed during the DPG Solid State Physics meeting next year, which is postponed until fall 2021. Many in-person celebrations are piling up at the moment and we are all looking forward to 2021 to finally get together again.

Press release of TU Wien (in German), Press release of DPG (in German)

Best Teacher Award 2020 goes to Fritz

BTA2020 2020-Oct-21

This year‘s Best Teacher Award goes to Fritz! After several successful years with his Lectures „Grundlagenphysik I“ and III as Best Lecture he finally receives the award as best teacher of the faculty of physics. Congratulations!

Press release of TU Wien (in German), YouTube Video

Fritz Aumayr gives an interview in "DerStandard"

DerStandard 2020-Oct-09

* In today's Austrian newspaper DerStandard Fritz Aumayr gives an interview on the prospects and difficulties of international fusion research. Read the full article (in German) or online.

Georg at the pitch challenge

Georg starrs on Radio NJOY 91.3 FM


Today Georg appeared on Radio NJOY 91.3 FM in the programme “JungwissenschafterInnen im Pitch”. Together with 3 other candidates he had the task of explaining the content of his doctoral thesis in a generally understandable way in just 90 seconds. If you want to hear, how he did, just listen to an audio recording of his presentation here.

Award season is not over yet



Anna Niggas receives the Honorary Award of the Austrian Ministry for Education, Science and Research! The prize is awarded annually to the best graduates of all Austrian universities and Anna is one of them! The award is also worth 3,000 EUR, so another big party is ahead of us.

Award ceremony for the Auwärter-prize

Richard receiving the Auwärter Prize at Palais Liechtenstein in Vienna)


Due to the corona-related cancellation of the ÖPG conference, this year's award ceremony of the Max Auwärter Prize took place in the Stadtpalais Liechtenstein. The City Palace with the private art collection of the Prince of Liechtenstein in an exquisite downtown Vienna location provided a very noble setting. After a laudatory speech by the chairman of the jury Prof. Falco Netzer and some personal words by Fritz Aumayr, the award certificate and the cheque were handed over to the new Auwärter Prize winner 2020 Richard Wilhelm. Congratulations again, Richard!

Dr. Georg!

Georg during his online defense, in discussions with external examiner Prof. Martin Heyn from TU Graz, and later, with both of his  PhD advisors Elisabeth Wolfrum (virtually present) and Fritz Aumayr)


Georg Harrer also had to defend his PhD thesis in digital form. However, the subsequent PhD celebration could take place in the old-fashioned way. To comply with the Covid-19 rules as well as our tradition we celebrated in “open air” on the roof of the TU Wien. The fotos show Georg during his online defense, in discussions with the external examiner Prof. Martin Heyn from TU Graz, and later, with both of his PhD advisors Elisabeth Wolfrum (virtually present) and Fritz Aumayr. Congratulations, Georg, on a great dissertation and an excellent defense!

How big is actually a baby elephant?

ZOO Schönbrunn


Some members of our team took advantage of the nice weather and visited Schönbrunn Zoo. Not even a thunderstorm in the evening could stop us from enjoying this excursion and searching for cute baby animals in the enclosures. Currently it is good to know how big a baby elephant actually is. ;-)

Nanocarving with highly charged ions

ACS Nano


Our most recent work on nanostructuring of freestanding MoS2/graphene heterostructures with highly charged ions was just published by ACS Nano. Our friends at University Vienna supported us with exceptional quality microscopy and sample preparation. This great collaboration allowed Janine to perform highly charged ion irradiation of the samples and to reveal, that we can remove the very first monolayer of these structures on a tiny area of only a few square-nanometers.

The results not only show that the ion’s potential energy is deposited in the topmost surface layer, which we showed already by ion beam spectroscopy, but also that the energy remains in that particular layer. Interesting applications are just ahead – stay tuned!

Link to original publication in ACS Nano, Press release of TU Wien (in German), Press release of TU Wien (in English),

Max Auwärter Prize for Richard

Richard Wilhelm


This year’s Max Auwärter Award goes to Richard! Every two years, the Max Auwärter Foundation in Balzers, Lichtenstein, awards the renowned Max Auwärter Prize, worth 10,000 euros, in memory of the founder of the “Gerätebauanstalt Balzers”, now Oerlikon Balzers AG. It is awarded to persons up to the age of 35 who have made special achievements in physical or chemical research on surfaces, interfaces or thin films. The Max Auwärter Prize honors significant work in the fields of surface science, interface physics, as well as anorganic and organic thin films. A list of previous awardees can be found here.

Wa are all proud about your success, Richard! Congratulations!

For more Details please read the TU Wien News.

PhD party with Janine and Reinhard

PhD party


We simply could not let them go without a big farewell party with hand-crafted doctor's hats! The relaxation of the corona measures made it possible to toast with real sparkling wine to the successful completion of our newly promoted doctors Janine and Reinhard. May the power of science always be with you!

Group photo in times of Covid-19

Group Foto 2020


An up-to-date group photo was long overdue! But how do you manage that in times of Covid-19? Of course by taking such a photo in compliance with all safety regulations.

Baby Boom at IAP

IAP Babys


There were two baby newborns at the Institute of Applied Physics today: Johannes (left in the picture) son of Markus Valtiner and Josefa (right) daughter of Herbert Biber were born almost simultaneously. A warm welcome!

Grand finale for Janine

PhD Defense celebration for Janine Schwestka


With ease Janine Schwestka today defended her dissertation entitled 'On the Charge Exchange Dynamics of Highly Charged Ions in atomically thin solids'. Prof. Marek Pajek and Prof. Pedro L. Grande served as external referees. Prof. Pajek participated in the examination via video conference. Due to the current “Corona” distancing measures only a part of the group was personally present. The rest celebrated with Janine virtually! Congratulations, Dr. Schwestka!

First experiments are possible again

Who ist the hero of the first hour behind dthe mask?


The university is slowly opening up again, and we can start some of our experiments. No more than half of the group is allowed to be present at any time, distance measures are in place and wearing masks is mandatory.

Real PhD title for Reinhard despite virtual defense

PhD Defense celebration for Reinhard Stadlmayr


Special times require special measures. Therefore, today, for the first time, a PhD defense was held via video conference. Candidate Reinhard Stadlmayr did an excellent job and answered the questions of the examination senate consisting of Christian Linsmeier (Professor and Director at the FZ Jülich), Herbert Balasin (Dean of Studies) and Fritz Aumayr (PhD supervisor) with great competence. Special technical measures, such as 2 independent video transmissions of the candidate, were taken to increase the fail safety during the interview. Unfortunately, also the following ceremony for Reinhard by our group had to be held remotely (see foto). But as one can see: even a global crisis could not stop Reinhard from completing his doctorate - a tremendous achievement! Congratulations Dr. Stadlmayr!

Lab work suspended – Everybody stay safe!

Group meeting via video conference


As the corona crisis affects our lives worldwide, we too must take a break from experimental work. The safety and well-being of our group members and friends at the university is more important, so we all work from our home offices. Group meetings are held via video conferencing tools.

Please stay home and wait for the crisis to pass.

Peter Varga Poster Prize at 3S*20 for Anna!

Anna Niggas receives the 3S Poster prize


Great news! Anna received the Peter Varga Poster Prize at this year‘s 3S*20 conference. The poster prize honors excellent young scientists in the field of surface science. It is named after our late colleague Peter Varga, thus it is an even greater pleasure that the prize is back at IAP! Not to forget the award which comes with the prize: the no-friends-on-powder-day-voucher.

Paul, Janine, Anna and Fritz at the 3S’20 meeting

Anna Niggas receives the 3S Poster prize


Every two years, members of our institute organize the legendary Symposium on Surface Science 3S in St. Christoph am Arlberg, Austria. We discussed and presented cutting edge science (Janine and Paul gave talks, while Anna presented a poster) but also had a great time skiing in the Austrian Alps. More photos can be found here.

Annual Group Ski Day at Stuhleck/Semmering

The group at Stuhleck


Today, the Atomic and Plasma Physics Group met at the Stuhleck for our annual winter retreat. While we had to face fog in the valley, on top of the mountains we could enjoy nice sunny weather: whether it was skiing or hiking to the summit, everybody had an amazing day!

A new lab within the AUGUSTIN lab

Laser lab under construction


A new laser lab is currently being installed within the AUGUSTIN lab. For the moment the other experiments had to be be stopped and covered for protection. The new laser lab will be the heart of Richard's new time4ions project.

Group members dance in the Hofburg

TU Ball 2020


Also this year the TU Ball took place in the state rooms of the Vienna Hofburg (Imperial Palace of Vienna). Members of the group enjoyed the elegant atmosphere and danced until the early morning hours. With Martin being a leading part of the organising committee and Anna and Johanna both again being debutants, the Atomic and Plasma Physics group contributed significantly to this joyful evening.

Double Defense!

Christian and Gabriel


Today Christian Cupak and Gabriel Szabo defended successfully their Master’s theses! We celebrated and had a great get-together after a busy and interesting day. Both will continue as PhD students after a short break.

Franz-Viehböck-Young-Investigator-Prize 2019 for Christian

Christian Cupak


Christian Cupak is the recipient of this year's Franz Viehböck Young Investigator Prize. This Prize carries the name of the founder of our institute, Prof. Franz Viehböck (director 1966 – 1987) and is endowed with a sum of 1,000.- Euro. It is awarded annually by the Institute of Applied Physics of TU Wien to the student with the best performance in a poster competition. Emeritus Prof. F. Viehböck and the current director of IAP Prof. F. Aumayr handed over the prize to the winner during the institute's Christmas party.

Congratulations, Christian!

Anna: A glorious finish and a fresh start

Anna celebrates with the group


We congratulate Anna for defending her Masters thesis today with distinction. After a tiny break she will start as a PhD student in January 2020.

Richard right on (tenure) track!

Assistent Prof. Richard Wilhelm


Richard Wilhelm has been appointed as Assistant Professor (tenure track) for “Ion and Plasma Physics” starting on November 1st, 2019. Congratulations, Richard!

Janine's radio Gig

Janine starrs on Radio NJOY 91.3 FM


Today Janine appeared on Radio NJOY 91.3 FM in the programme “WISSENSCHAFTSRADIO - Wissenschaft einfach erklärt”. Together with other candidates she had the task of explaining the content of her doctoral thesis in a generally understandable way in just 90 seconds. She managed this outstandingly well. Congratulations, Janine!

You can listen to an audio recording of her presentation here.

"Escape the Lab" - Challenge for Fritz

Birthday party for Fritz


On the occasion of his 60th birthday, the group had come up with a special surprise for Fritz. The institute director, who only rarely works in his own laboratory anymore, was lured into the lab and locked up there. In order to escape again, Fritz had to solve a number of extremely difficult tasks (such as repairing lab equipment, programming computers, evaluating data, hard thinking and carrying out heavy manual work). After a lot of sweat he finally managed to open the combination lock and escape. But the real surprise was yet to come. In the new faculty council room not only the members of the working group but also a large number of friends, former graduate students of Fritz and colleagues had gathered to celebrate with him. What a nice surprise party!

Slow electrons for cancer treatment

Janine Schwestka


Ion beam radiation therapy uses complicated atomic-physical effects to fight cancer cells. Our group has now identified a new mechanism that directly emits low energy electrons, which are very effective in destroying cancer cells. An effect that has received little attention in this context plays an important role, the so-called “Interatomic Coulomb Decay” (ICD). The result has now been published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters by Janine Schwestka and co-workers.

Link to original publication in J.Phys.Chem.Lett., Press release of TU Wien (in German), Press release of TU Wien (in English)

Herbert & Anna got married!



Almost the whole group travelled to Salzburg for celebrating with the happy couple and their adorable son Ferdi. Congratulations to family Biber!!

ICPEAC Poster Prize for Anna

Anna Anna_b 2019-July-26

At this week's ICPEAC conference in Deauville, France, Anna recieved the prize for best poster! More than 600 participants were allowed to vote and Anna's poster on 'The role of contaminations on the interaction of highly charged ions with 2D materials' was chosen as the winner. Congratulations, Anna!

START Prize awarded to Richard Wilhelm

Richard Wilhelm START Preis 2019-June-17

  • Richard Wilhelm has received the START Prize, the highest Austrian award for outstanding young researchers. Congratulations! The prize money will enable him to build the world's first ultrafast ion source at TU Wien within the next six years. With now four START awardees, one Wittgenstein laureate, and two recipients of ERC grants, Richard also makes our institute one of the most successful institutions in this respect!

TU press release (German)

"Best Lecture Award 2019"

logo 2019-June-13

* It already seems to be some kind of tradition. For the third time in a row (after 2017 & 2018), the Institute of Applied Physics won the Best Lecture Award of the Faculty of Physics of the TU Vienna in 2019. The prize, which honors outstanding achievements in teaching, goes to the “VU Grundlagen der Physik Ia und Ib”. Congratulations to the lecturers from our group: Fritz Aumayr, Martin Müller, Richard Wilhelm, & Ille Gebeshuber. (read more).

The group visits FOTEC

Fotec 2019-Feb-22

* Here you can see the group during an excursion to FOTEC where Sebastian Keerl a former graduate of our group is working. Among other components FOTEC developes electric propulsion sytems for spacecrafts which are based on liquid ion emitters.

Interview with Florian

Florian Laggner 2019-March-20

* Florian Laggner, a former PhD student in our group, tells in an interview how he is doing at Princeton University (interview in German).

The group goes skiing at Stuhleck

Skiing at Stuhleck 2019-Feb-21

* Today we went downhill-skiing on Stuhleck mountain. Due to the beautiful weather, skiing together as a group was a lot of fun. Thank you, Anna, for organizing this wonderful trip.

"DerStandard" features fusion research at TU Wien

DerStandard 2019-Feb-20

* In today's Austrian newspaper DerStandard Fritz Aumayr gives an interview on the prospects and difficulties of international fusion research, the Austrian participation in EUROfusion and in particular the contributions from TU Wien towards the realisation of fusion as a future energy source. Read the full article (in German) or online.

Plasma Physics live!

Aurora Borealis 2019-Feb-14

* When visiting a conference in Finnish-Lapland there is always a certain chance to observe plasma physics in action: Early morning today (around 04:50) the northern sky in Levi was finally clear to see a stunning “Aurora Borealis”.

Christiana Hörbiger Prize for Paul!

Paul Szabo 2019-Jan-25

* Paul Szabo received the Christiana HÖRBIGER Prize Prize. The prize serves to promote the international mobility of young scientists. Congratulations, Paul!

Interview on the Future of Fusion

futurezone.at 2019-Jan-02

* The year 2019 starts with an interview of Fritz Aumayr on the subject of nuclear fusion by the Kurier magazine futurezone.at.

Our research is presented in the TV show "nano" on 3SAT

Science-Slam 2018-Oct-19

* This week our laboratories were the location for TV recordings for the popular science show “nano”. The report was broadcasted today on 3SAT and is available online here.

Georg "slams" in Munich

Science-Slam 2018-Oct-19

* Taking part in the Munich Science-Slam Georg had to present his scientific research work within 2 minutes in front of a non-expert audience. He did it by asking “How to create energy from stars within doghnuts”. This needs a good portion of courage and humour. Well done Georg! (see his contribution in YouTube)

Herbert's Finish and Fresh Start

Herbert Biber 2018-Oct-10

* What a coincidence! Not only did Herbert very successfully complete his Master's studies today, we also learned that the FWF has approved our grant application. This means Herbert's PhD position is now secured and he will continue working with us. Congratulations Herbert!

The Diploma Thesis Award 2018 of the City of Vienna goes to Paul Szabo

Paul Szabo 2018-Sep-21

* Once a year, the City of Vienna awards prizes to particularly outstanding diploma theses at the Vienna University of Technology (one per faculty). This year's award winner of the Faculty of Physics is Paul Szabo. His thesis Experimental and Simulated Sputtering of Gold, Iron and Wollastonite with a Catcher-QCM Setup was carried out in our group. Results of his Thesis have been published in several papers and were also featured in a Press release of TU Wien. Congratulations! The award ceremony will take place on Friday, 19 October 2018 at 13.00 c.t. in the Kuppelsaal of TU Wien. TU News reporting on the award ceremony

Strong performance at HCI-2018

HCI 2018 2018-Sep-07

* With invited talks by Janine Schwestka and Richard Wilhelm and an oral presentation by Paul Szabo, our group was very well represented at this year's International Conference on Highly Charged Ions HCI-2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. The content of the three talks was met with great interest by the participants and the talks highly praised for their excellent presentation.

Fritz celebrates his birthday with a barbecue party

barbecue party 2018 2018-July-06

* On the occasion of his birthday, Fritz Aumayr invited his team to his home for a barbecue. A pleasant summer night, delicacies from the grill and sufficient drinks made the evening a nice memory.

SHIM-ICACS Best Poster Prize for Sascha Creutzburg!

SHIM-ICACS Poster Prize for Sascha Creutzburg (on the right) 2018-July-06

* For his poster on “Investigation of the exit charge state distribution of highly charged ions transmitted through different 2D materials” our close collaborator and associated PhD student Sascha Creutzburg from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf was awarded the Best Poster Prize of the joint conference SHIM-ICACS2018 (10th International Symposium On Swift Heavy Ions In Matter & 28th International Conference On Atomic Collisions In Solids) held in Caen, France this week. Congratulations Sascha!

We are cooking together

cooking curse at Prosi 2018-June-28

* As a team building event, members of the atomic and plasma physics group took part in a cooking class today. The motto: Indian, vegetarian, hot. The participants obviously enjoyed it.

IBMM Prize 2018 for Richard Wilhelm!

IBMM Prize for Richard Wilhelm IBMM Prize for Richard Wilhelm 2018-June-25

* For his contribution to “the understanding of highly charged ions and their interactions with solid surfaces” Richard Wilhelm has been honored with this year’s IBMM Prize. The International Advisory Committee of the International Conference on Ion Beam Modification of Material (IBMM) awards this prize biennially to an early career researcher (up to 7 years since PhD) who has made an outstanding contribution to the ion-beam-modification field. The competition for this year’s prize was very strong so we are justly proud of Richard's achievements. As the winner of the IBMM Prize Richard not only received a cash award but also gave an invited talk at the IBMM conference this week in San Antonio Texas. Congratulations Richard!

TU Wien News(in German)

Christiana Hörbiger Prize for Janine!

Janine Schwestka 2018-June-25

* Janine Schwestka receives the Christiana HÖRBIGER Prize. The prize serves to promote the international mobility of young scientists. Congratulations, Janine!

"Double Jackpot" for IAP at this year's Best Teaching Awards

logo Best teaching award 2018 2018-June-14

* At today's teaching award ceremony, the institute cleared all available prizes for the faculty of physics, leaving no chance for the other institutes. The prize for “Best Teacher 2018” of the faculty of physics went to Martin Müller, while the course “Grundlagen der Physik III” (Fundamentals of Physics III) taught by Fritz Aumayr and Martin Müller received the “Best Lecture Award 2018” of the Faculty of Physics, TU Wien. The prize honors excellence in teaching and consists of a trophy, a certificate and 5000 euros to be spent on new teaching equipment. This year the prizes were awarded for the second time. Last year the institute had already received the Best Lecture award for the course “Grundlagen der Physik I”.

Press release of TU Wien (in German), YouTube Video

Ferdinand II visits our lab

Ferdinand Biber 2018-June-14

* Today Herbert Biber proudly introduced us to his only a few days old son Ferdinand. The group came together and marvelled at Ferdinand, who endured everything with stoic calmness. Well done Herbert!

The true power of the solar wind

copyright NASA Herbert Biber, Paul Szabo, Friedrich Aumayr, Reinhard Stadlmayr, Daniel Mayer (v.l.n.r) 2018-Jun-12

* The solar wind, a steady stream of mainly protons and few multiply charged heavier ions from the sun, causes significant erosion upon impact on the surface of atmosphere-less planets like Mercury or on the moon. In a recent paper Paul Szabo and co-workers now show that previous models of this process are incomplete. The effects of solar wind bombardment are in some cases much more drastic than previously thought. The role of solar wind constituents heavier than protons and in particular the role of the particles charge state has so far been underestimated.

Link to original publication in Icarus, Press release of TU Wien (in German), Press release of TU Wien (in English), ORF.at, derStandard, futurezone.at

"look! Business Award" for Ille Gebeshuber

Look! Business Award for Ille Gebeshuber 2018-April-11

* For the fourth time, women with vision and courage to take risks have been awared with the “look! Business Award”, women in management positions, founders and managers. Ille Gebeshuber was honored in the category “MINT Industries”. The laudation was held by Karin Zipperer from ASFINAG, the sponsor of this category. Congratulations Ille!

Loschmidt-Prize for Elisabeth

Award Ceremony at Univ. Wien 2018-Jan-23

* One week after recieving the Hannspeter Winter Award from TU Wien, Dr. Elisabeth Gruber was awarded the next prize: Dr. Gruber is one of two recipients of this year's Loschmidt Prize. This prize is awarded annually by the Austrian Chemical Physics Society CPG for an outstanding PhD thesis. Elisabeth Gruber received her doctorate in 2017. Her thesis is entitled “Interaction of Ions with 3D and 2D materials”. Elisabeth is currently a post-doc at Aarhus University. Congratulations!

Hannspeter Winter award for Elisabeth

Elisabeth Gruber 2017-Nov-13 (2018-Jan-19)

* The Hannspeter Winter Award, named after our former institute director, was established at the TU Wien in 2007 and honours achievements in research in PhD projects by female graduate students. It also aims to increase awareness of notable achievements of women in the field of research and technology. The prize is awarded annually and this year our institute is proud to announce that it has been awarded to Dr. Elisabeth Gruber who recently finished her PhD thesis under the supervision of Fritz Aumayr. Congratulations Elisabeth! The award ceremony will take place on Jan. 19th, 2018 at 1 pm in the Kuppelsaal of TU Wien.

Press release of TU Wien (in German), Press release of TU Wien (in English)

Ille C. Gebeshuber declared "Austrian of the Year 2017 (Category Research)"

Ille Gebeshuber 2017-Sep-25

* During the Austria'17 Gala yesterday Ille Gebeshuber was declared “Austrian of the Year 2017 in the Category Research”. Our congratulations to the proud winner!

Paul graduates

the group celebrates Paul 2017-October-12

  • Today Paul Szabo successfully passed his final Master exam “with distinction”. Nobody - exept maybe Paul himself - had any doubts that this woud be the outcome. We are very happy that Paul will stay in the group and continue as a PhD student.

Richard is back !

2017-Oct-01 Dr. Richard Wilhelm

  • Dr. Richard Wilhelm returns from Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden Rossendorf to strengthen our group and establish his own line of research. Welcome back Richard!

Ille Gebeshuber nominated as "Austrian of the Year 2017 (Category Research)"

Ille Gebeshuber 2017-Sep-29

* The Austrians of the Year 2017 will be awarded on the 24th of October at the Austria'17 Gala. The winners are determined by an online voting. The vote is still possible until 6 October. Please support Ille.

Looking for the best materials for 3D printing

A. Ajami 2017-Sep-25

* Aliashgar Ajami, Wolfgang Husinsky and co-workers have published a new method, which makes it possible to find better and more effective material for precise 3D printing technologies.

Link to original publication in Applied Physics Letters, Press release of TU Wien (in German), Press release of TU Wien (in English).

The solution to an old riddle

ICD 2017-Sep-08

* For more than 20 years atomic physicists have speculated about the mechanism, which allows “hollow atoms” to deexcited with a few femtoseconds. Our experiments with highly charged ions and graphene now show that the reason is an effect so far not accounted for: the so-called “interatomic coulomb decay”. Our results have now been published in the journal “Physical Review Letters” and have been highlighted there as “editors' suggestion”.

Link to original publication in Physical Review Letters, Press release of TU Wien (in German), Press release of TU Wien (in English), APA article 1, APA article 2 Der Standard, futurezone.at phys.org

It's summer time!

ice 2017-July-06

* With temperatures approaching 30°C the few remaining group members start experimenting with different flavors of ice and in particular study the phase transformation during contact with a warm muscular organ in the mouth.

Reinhard finishes mountain marathon around lake Traunsee

Reinhard Iron-Tungstenman 2017-July-02

* Taking part in this years 29th Bergmarathon around lake Traunsee in Upper Austria, “Iron-Tungstenman” Reinhard had to cross a total distance of 70 km with 4500 meters elevation gain and he did it within 15:38 hours. A major sporting achievement, congratulations!

Four new Masters of Science

Four new Masters of Science 2017-June-28

* The master degree “Diplomingenieur” was handed over today to Johannes Gnilsen, David Melinc, Matthias Schmidtmayr and Jakob Kirschner by the Dean of Studies Prof. Helmut Leeb and Prof. Fritz Aumayr who acted on behalf of the Dean of the Faculty of Physics.

We are having a barbecue

barbecue 2017-June-25

* The group is having a great time during a barbecue afternoon and evening organized by Fritz at his house.

Formal ceremony for Elisabeth

Dr. Elisabeth Gruber 2017-June-23

* In a very formal doctoral award ceremony the official PhD certificate was handed over to Elisabeth today!

"Best Lecture Award 2017"

logo Best Lecture Award 2017 Best Lecture Award 2017 2017-June-14

* The course “Grundlagen der Physik I” (Fundamentals of Physics I) taught by Fritz Aumayr, Martin Müller and Wolfgang Werner received the “Best Lecture Award 2017” of the Faculty of Physics in a ceremony held today at TU Wien. The prize consisting of a trophy, a certificate and 5000 euros to be spent on new teaching equipment was awarded for the first time and honors excellence in teaching.

Press release of TU Wien (in German), YouTube Video

The Master Series Continues

Jakob Kirschner 2017-June-13

* Today Jakob Kischner successfully passed his diploma exam. There seems to be an assembly line for master students somewhere close by ;-)

David Melinc Graduates

David Melinc 2017-June-8

* David Melinc successfully passes his final exam and celebrates with the group. Please double-click the image twice and see what happens.

Florian leaves for Princeton

(c) die Presse 2017-May-20

* Florian is heading for Princeton (New Jersey - USA) to start his PostDoc in Fusion research on June 1, 2017 at the famous Princeton University. But before he left, he gave an interview to the Austrian Newspaper Die Presse (in German).

The physics of 10-pin bowling

Bowling 2017-May-09

* Bowling is a real world problem governed by the laws of physics - at least in principle! That understanding physics might not be sufficient in practice, the group had to learn the hard way during a team-building afternoon at the Ocean Park in Viennas Millenium City. But at least they had great fun!

Glorious finish also for Florian Laggner

Florian Laggner 2017-May-05

* Only one day after Bernhard, also Florian laggner successfully defended his PhD thesis (with Prof. Heyn from TU Graz as external examiner). Just in time, because in less than a month he will start his PostDoc career at the prestigeous Princeton University in New Jersey, USA. Congratulations, Dr. Laggner!

Dr.techn. for Bernhard Berger

Bernhard Berger 2017-May-4th

* Compared to his wedding 2 years ago, the defense of his PhD thesis today was no big deal for Bernhard. He stayed calm even when Prof. Christian Linsmeier from Forschungszentrum Jülich as external examiner posed the most tricky questions. Congratulations, Dr. Berger!

2 master students graduate

Johannes Gnilsen and Matthias Schmidtmayr celebrate 2017-April-25

* Johannes Gnilsen and Matthias Schmidtmayr successfully passed their final exam today. Both masters theses deal with problems in magnetically confined fusion plasmas and were partially conducted in Garchig (JG) and MIT (MS). To celebrate their success they treated us with Bavarian specialities (Weißwurst and Brezel).

News from the TUW Fusion Outpost at IPP Garching

some members of the TUW Fusion Outpost at IPP Garching 2017-April-6

* Marko Mayer, who wrote his diploma thesis in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching (aka “the TU Wien Fusion Outpost”) just uploaded his final report to the FuseNet homepage. The FuseNet program supports students writing a fusion relevant thesis or doing internships at fusion experiments abroad.

Dr.techn. for Elisabeth Gruber

Elisabeth Gruber 2017-March-28

* Without any problems Elisabeth today defended her dissertation entitled 'Interaction of ions with 3D and 2D materials'. Prof. Peter Bauer from the Johannes Kepler University in Linz served as second and external examiner. Afterwards the group threw a great party for Elisabeth. Well, done, Elisabeth!

Degree for Dominic

Dominic Blöch 2017-March-15

* Today Dominic Blöch finished his Masters study by passing his final examination and the group celebrated his success. Congratulations Herr Diplomingenieur!

Group forced to dress for Carneval

Carneval 2017 2017-Feb-28

* Following a strict order by the institute director, members of the research area Atomic and Plasma Physics Group had to dress up for Carneval today. Due to the big success, this order will be extended next year to the whole institute. ;-)

Elisabeth's paper was highlighted by IOP

Highlight of 2016 2017-Feb-8

* The manuscript on “Swift heavy ion irradiation of CaF2 – from grooves to hillocks in a single ion track” by Elisabeth Gruber et al. published in J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 28 (2016) 405001 has also been selected by IOP as a Highlight of 2016 in the Surfaces and Interfaces Section of the Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter. The papers in this collection were chosen based on a number of criteria, including presentation of outstanding research, popularity with our online readership and high praise from referees. Congratulations Elisabeth!

Florian's paper was highlighted by IOP

Highlight of 2016 2017-Jan-24

* The manuscript on “High frequency magnetic fluctuations correlated with the inter-ELM pedestal evolution in ASDEX Upgrade” by Florian Laggner et al. published in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion was among the most popular articles downloaded last year, and has been therefore been selected as a Highlight of 2016 by IOP. Congratulations Florian!

The group celebrates!

Celebration 2016-Dec-22

* French champagne was the only way to adequately celebrate yesterday's publication in Nature Communications. Cheers to Elisabeth!

Elisabeth hits the TU headlines for the second time in this year!

Elisabeth Gruber 2016-Dec-21

* With her first-author paper published today in Nature Communications, Elisabeth Gruber made the TU headlines already for the second time in this year (see the news from 2016-Aug-29 below). In this work, we demonstrate that graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon, is able to provide tens of electrons for charge neutralization of a slow highly charged ion within a few femtoseconds only. This in turn results in extremely high current densities, which the graphene can withstand without suffering permanent damage.

Link to original publication in Nature Communications, Press release of TU Wien (in German), Press release of TU Wien (in English), ORF.at, Der Standard, APA article 1 APA article 2 Press release of HZDR (in German), facebook, futurezone.at

Christmas Party 2016

Xmas party 2016 2016-Dec-16

  • Present and former group members enjoy this year's IAP-Christmas Party in the “Kuppelsaal” of TU Wien.

Georg Harrer Graduates

Georg Harrer celebrates with the group 2016-Nov-25

  • Georg Harrer successfully passes his final exam and celebrates with the group. Georg will continue working with us as a PhD student.

Ille publishes her first popular science book

Cover of Ille's new book 2016-October-4

* Today Ille C. Gebeshuber presented her brand new and first popular science book entitled: “Wo die Maschinen wachsen: Wie Lösungen aus dem Dschungel unser Leben verändern werden”, Ecowin Verlag, by Benevento Publishing - 236 pages, ISBN 978-3-7110-0090-3. more info

Group Outing to Wachau valley

Group Photo 2016-September-29

* Our group outing 2016 brought us to the beautiful village of Dürnstein (Wachau valley). We hiked the Vogelbergsteig, quench the resulting thirst with fresh “Sturm” (fermented freshly pressed grape juice turning into young wine) and tasted typical Austrian “Heurigen” food. Overall, everyone was having a good time.

Kathi Dobes selected as “FEMtech Female Expert of the Month”

Katharina Dobes (© Klaus Ranger - Evotion) 2016-September-24

* Since 2005, the achievements and expertise of successful women working in research and technology are highlighted on a monthly basis in the media by the FEMtech initiative (BMVIT ministry). This month our former group member Kathi Dobes, now working at RUAG Space GmbH, has been selected as FEMtech Female Expert of the Month September 2016. After Ille Gebeshuber (FEMtech Female Expert in March 2008) she is the second group member having received this prestigious acknowledgement. Press coverage der Standard (24.09.2016), FFG, FEMtech,YouTube VideoFEMtech,Die Presse (15.10.2016).

The ECAMP "bembel" put to good use

celebrating our latest PRL 2016-September-19

* The bemble (a specific Apfelwein jug) brought back from the ECAMP conference in Franfurt was put to a good use today when celebrating our latest PRL (Ayman S. El-Said et al. PRL 117 (2016) 126101). Instead of “Ebbelwoi” (Hessischer Apfelwein), however, the group members were treated with “Schilcher Sturm”, a seasonally produced semi-fermented grape must from Austria. “Prost” (= Cheers) to Ayman!

Meteorite Impact on a Nano Scale

HCI-surface interaction 2016-August-29

* A meteorite impacting the earth under a grazing angle of incidence can do a lot of damage; it may travel a long way, carving a trench into the ground until it finally penetrates the surface. The impact site may be vaporized, there can be large areas of molten ground. All that remains is a crater, some debris, and an extensive trail of devastation on both sides of the impact site.

Hitting a surface with high-energy, heavy ions has quite similar effects – only on a much smaller scale. In a recent publication our group has investigated the microscopic structures which are formed when ions are fired at crystals at oblique angles of incidence and could shed light on the underlying formation mechanism.

Link to original publication, IOP lab talk article Press release of the TU Wien (in German), Press release of the TU Wien (in English), ORF.at, APA article Der Standard

Success for our team at the dragon boat race

dragon boat race 2016-June-30

  • Against tough competition the “Physica” team of the faculty of physics finished 3rd in the dragon boat race. Congratulations to our boys (f.l.t.r) Reinhard, Dominic, Paul, Christian and Bernhard, who have made this success of the “Physica” team possible!

Graduation ceremony

4 x sponsion 2016-June-29

  • At today's SPONSION (graduation ceremony) we could celebrate a record of 4 group members receiving their master certificates (see photo) Lorenz, Janine, Valerie and Sebastian. Celebration time again!

Double trouble

the group celebrates Lorenz and Sebastian 2016-June-14

  • Today's final exams meant double trouble for our Master candidates Sebastian Keerl and Lorenz Bergen: First, Sebastian's Master defense had to be shifted by 90 minutes because one of his examiners did not show up, then Lorenz's Laptop did not connect to the data projector. Both candidates, however, demonstrated that they are able to cope with any situation and successfully finished their examinations. Congratulations and success for your future careers!

"Blitz defence" by Valerie

the group celebrates Valerie 2016-June-8

  • Today, Valerie successfully defended her Master thesis and passed her final exam. In her master thesis she built a new setup to measure ion transmission through thin free-standing foils including graphene. Congratulations Valerie and success for your future career!

Ille teaches in the tram

"Ring"-lecture 2016-May-17

  • Nanotechnology was the subject of today's public lecture held by Ille Gebeshuber. The location, however, was quite unusual: The lecture was given in a tram moving along the Vienna Ringstrasse and part of a larger event called “The month of free education” (Monat der freien Bildung).

The next graduate: Janine

the group celebrates Janine 2016-April-22

  • Today we celebrate Janine Schwestka for successfully passing her final exam. In her master thesis she investigated highly charged ion induced electron emission from single layer graphene. Janine will continue working with us as a PhD student.

New Post-Doc

2016-April-1 Dr. Richard Wilhelm

  • Dr. Richard Wilhelm from Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden Rossendorf joins our group as a post-doc. Welcome Richard!

Ille returns from Malaysia

2016-April-1 Prof. Ille C. Gebeshuber

  • After more than 7 years of leave from TU Wien Prof. Ille C. Gebeshuber returns from Kuala Lumpur, where she worked at the National University of Malaysia (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia). Welcome back Ille!

Reinhard graduates

the group celebrates Reinhard 2016-March-09

  • Reinhard Stadlmayr successfully passes his final exam. His masters thesis deals with erosion of fusion relevant wall materials under deuterium ion impact. Here the group celebrates his success. Reinhard will continue working with us as a PhD student.

It's a Boy!

Bernhard's and Inges's Baby 2016-Feb-15

  • Bernhard and his wife Inge proudly announce the birth of their first baby “Ferdinand”.

Fritz Aumayr - New Director of Institute of Applied Physics

Prof. Friedrich Aumayr 2016-Jan-1

  • Fritz Aumayr succeeds Herbert Störi as “Institutsvorstand” (Head of IAP). Effective of Dec 1st, 2015 Fritz Aumayr was also appointed as a full professor of ion and plasma physics at TU Wien.

Bernhard Berger got married

Bernhard and Inge 2015-Aug-8

  • Congratulations to Bernhard and Inge!

The HZDR Research Prize 2014 goes to our collaborators from Dresden

HZDR Research Prize 2014 2015-March-13

  • Once a year the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) announces a prize for outstanding achievements in research. This year's prize was awarded to our close collaborators Dr. Stefan Facsko, Dr. René Heller and Dr. Richard Wilhelm from HZDR for our joint investigations on the interaction of highly charged ions with ultra-thin carbon nanomembranes (see the news story “Stop! In the Name of Carbon” below). The award ceremony was held on Friday, 13.03.2015 and attended by the Saxon Minister of Research Dr. Eva-Maria Stange (HZDR press release). We are also very pleased and congratulate our collegues for their great success!

Matthias Willensdorfer receives EUROFusion fellowship

Matthias Willensdorfer receives EUROFusion fellowship 2015-Jan-10

  • Dr. Matthias Willensdorfer, who finished his PhD thesis in our Atomic and Plasma Physics Group in 2013 and then became a postdoctoral researcher at Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching, has received one of the prestigeous EUROfusion fellowships. Within his fellowship Matthias will work on the impact of external magnetic perturbations and 3D effects on plasma transport. (see IPP highlights 2015).

Fritz Aumayr elected as president of the Chemical Physical Society 2015

Loschmidt Prize of CPG to Dr. Deutsch 2014-Dec-9

  • Fritz Aumayr was elected president of the „Chemisch Physikalische Gesellschaft - CPG“ (chemical physical society) for the year 2015. The society was founded in 1869 by H. Hlasiwetz, J. Loschmidt, J. Petzval und J. Stefan in Vienna. Major goal is the dissemination of knowledge in chemistry and physics accomplished by regular lectures of internationally renowned scientists (information about the society can be found here). Moreover, an annual Loschmidt Prize for excellent PhD work in chemistry or physics is awarded. Press release about the Loschmidt Prize 2014.

Nanoantennas from femtosecond laser pulses

nano-antenna 2014-June-2

  • Wolfgang Husinsky and his co-workers have demonstrated for the first time that an array of nanoantennas (central nanotips inside sub-micrometer pits) on an aluminum surface, fabricated using a specific double-pulse femtosecond laser irradiation scheme, results in a 28-fold enhancement of the non-linear (three-photon) electron photoemission yield. The results are reported in the latest issue of Laser Physics Letters. Link to original publication, TU News Der Standard

Stop! In the Name of Carbon

HCI-surface interaction 2014-April-18

100 years of Bohr's model

Hollow atom 2013-June-05

* A special issue of the journal Nature features the “hollow atom” research at TU Wien. (German version)

Fritz Aumayr appointed as new director of the Austrian nuclear fusion research program

Fritz Aumayr 2013-Jan-16

This week's cover story in the PROFIL magazine

PROFIL 08.10.2012 2012-Oct-08

A time travel experience

D. Schrempf, F. Aumayr, R. Ritter, F. Pöltl, E. Gruber, A. Veiter, A. Fuchs-Fuchs, K. Dobes and V. Smekal (from left to right) 2012-Oct-01

  • This year's institute excursion led us to the Archeology Park Carnuntum about half an hour east of Vienna. The guided tour tourned out to be a true time travel experience.

Our students did it again!

K. Dobes (TU instructor at CEPOTS) and TU students: D. Schrempf, A. Fuchs-Fuchs, P. Gunacker und S. Wampl (from left to right) 2012-Sep-28

  • 4 students of TU Wien (3 of them Bachelor or Master students in our Atomic and Plasma Physics Group) scored top (rank 1, 2, 3 and 5 out of 22 participants from UK, Sweden, Spain, Hungary, Austria, Greece and Turkey) at the Erasmus Intensive Programme CPOTS 2012, a two week study course on Charged Particle Optics Simulations (CPOTS 2012), which took place from 19. Aug. to 2. Sep. 2012 at the University of Crete in Heraklion, Greece. The TU students thus repeated last years success (see report below) and convincingly demonstrated that physics education at TU Wien is still internationally highly competitive.

Nanostructuring surfaces with highly charged ions

HCI-surface interaction 2012-Sep-18

EFDA News: Picture of the week (September 2012)

EFDA Picture of the week 2012-Sep-04

Our new AFM has arrived!

Robert Ritter at the new Cypher AFM 2012-Jul-01

  • The Cypher AFM (Asylum Research) is presently the world's fasted and highest resolution atomic force microscope (AFM) commercially available. And since this week we are the proud owners of such a fine instrument (and Robert Ritter already an expert user).

Ille gives her inaugural lecture in Malaysia

Prof. Ille C. Gebeshuber 2011-Nov-14

  • Prof. Ille C. Gebeshuber presently on leave from TU Wien (and our group) will give her inaugural lecture as full professor at the National University of Malaysia (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) in Kuala Lumpur on Nov. 14, 2011. Congratulations!

Big success for our students at ERASMUS-CEPOTS 2011 in Crete

G. Kowarik (TU instructor at CEPOTS) and TU Students: M.Willensdorfer, P. Naderer, K.Dobes, E. Gruber (from left to right) 2011-Sep-15

Gregor Kowarik receives ALC11 Poster Award

Gregor Kowarik 2011-May-25

  • At the 8th International Symposium on Atomic Level Characterizations for New Materials and Devices 2011 in Seoul, Republic of Korea, Gregor Kowarik, member of the Atomic and Plasma Physics Group has received a Student Award for his contribution Tuning the Efficiency of Capillary Guiding.

Our research on plasma-wall-interaction is covered by several Austrian newspapers

Die Presse 2011-Mar-1

  • In its sunday issue of Feb. 27th, 2011, the Austrian newspaper “Die Presse” reports on plasma-wall-interaction research in our group. See the online article or download the scanned PRESSE-article. Two days later another article appears in the newspaper “Salzburger Nachrichten” (you can download the scanned SN-article here).

Ille's research in Malaysia is covered by the Austrian newspaper "Der Standard"

Ille Gebeshuber 2011-Feb-09

  • The Austrian newspaper “Der Standard” reports on “bionic” research performed by our group member Ille C Gebeshuber, who is currently on leave from IAP and working as a professor at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. See the online article or download the scanned newspaper article.

ITER newsline reports on fusion research in our group

ITER newsline 2010-Sep-10

Press release on fusion research in our group

Katharina Dobes 2010-Aug-23

Fritz Aumayr elected as EPS division chair

F. Aumayr 2010-Jul-14

Robert Ritter receives DOC stipendium from the Austrian Academy of Sciences

Robert Ritter 2010-Feb-26

  • Robert Ritter, PhD student in the Atomic and Plasma Physics Group has been awarded a prestigious DOC-Stipendium by the Austrian Academy of Sciences, which will allow him to pursue his studies on nanostructure formation due to impact of slow highly charged ions for the next 2.5 years. Austrian Federal Minister of Science and Research Prof. Dr. Beatrix Karl handed over the certificate to him in a celebration on Feb.26, 2010 at the Academy of Sciences in Vienna.

Our image movie is now online



We have been renamed

new IAP logo 2009-Oct-01

  • After 34 years of service our well known trade mark name “Institut für Allgemeine Physik” has been changed by the university administration to “Institut für Angewandte Physik” (Institute of Applied Physics). Our acronym (IAP), however, stays the same, as will the quality of our research and teaching.

Surprise Birthday Party for Fritz Aumayr

Birthday Party 2009-August-27

  • Our group leader, Fritz Aumayr, became 50 just recently. Just the proper occasion for a wicked summer-style party … of course a surprise. Some students managed to guide Fritz to the party by means of highly sophisticated methods, pretending very interesting research findings. And all that without arousing his suspicion! Eventually the surprise worked out and finally ended in a nice celebration.

Prestigious "Humboldt Research Fellowship" for Ayman S. El-Said

Ayman S. El-Said 2009-June-01

  • Ayman S. El-Said, post-doctoral researcher in the Atomic and Plasma Physics Group has been awarded a prestigious “Humboldt Research Fellowship” by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. His fellowship will take him to Forschungszentrum Dresden in Rossendorf/Germany, where he will start his work in fall 2009. We wish him success for his future career and hope for fruitful collaborations.

Walter Meissl takes a PostDoc position at RIKEN

Walter Meissl 2009-April-01

  • Japan-fan Walter Meissl leaves the Atomic and Plasma Physics Group to work as a PostDoc at the renowned RIKEN Lab near Tokyo (Japan) in the group of Prof. Yasunori Yamazaki.

Ille leaves us for 3 years

Ille Gebeshuber 2008-Dec-01

Special screening of "Miss Entropy"

Miss Entropy


  • The premiere screening of Miss Entropy, an experimental thriller produced by our group member Artur Golczewski (Birdman&Artboy Ventures) and filmed in the labs and offices of our group is scheduled at the AUDIMAX at TU Wien 08:00 pm. Click here to see the movie.

Highly charged ions - a new tool for surface nanostructuring !

HCI induced nanohillocks on CaF2 2008-Jun-16

Walter Meissl receives ALC07 Poster Award

Walter Meissl 2007-Oct-30

  • At the 6th International Symposium on Atomic Level Characterizations for New Materials and Devices '07 in Kanazawa, Ishikawa/Japan, Walter Meissl, member of the Atomic and Plasma Physics Group has received a Student Award for his contribution Electron emission from highly charged ion irradiated alkali-halide targets.

Lasers and Darwin

Laserlab at IAP 2006-Nov-21

atomic/news.txt · Last modified: 2023-11-01 16:09 by Richard Wilhelm