Table of Contents


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.

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),, derStandard,

"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 2017 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.

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

Richard is back !

2017-Oct-01 Dr. Richard Wilhelm

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).

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,

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),, Der Standard, APA article 1 APA article 2 Press release of HZDR (in German), facebook,

Christmas Party 2016

Xmas party 2016 2016-Dec-16

Georg Harrer Graduates

Georg Harrer celebrates with the group 2016-Nov-25

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. You can order it here for 24 EUR. 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, APA article Der Standard

Success for our team at the dragon boat race

dragon boat race 2016-June-30

Graduation ceremony

4 x sponsion 2016-June-29

Double trouble

the group celebrates Lorenz and Sebastian 2016-June-14

"Blitz defence" by Valerie

the group celebrates Valerie 2016-June-8

Ille teaches in the tram

"Ring"-lecture 2016-May-17

The next graduate: Janine

the group celebrates Janine 2016-April-22

New Post-Doc

2016-April-1 Dr. Richard Wilhelm

Ille returns from Malaysia

2016-April-1 Prof. Ille C. Gebeshuber

Reinhard graduates

the group celebrates Reinhard 2016-March-09

It's a Boy!

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

Fritz Aumayr - New Director of Institute of Applied Physics

Prof. Friedrich Aumayr 2016-Jan-1

Bernhard Berger got married

Bernhard and Inge 2015-Aug-8

The HZDR Research Prize 2014 goes to our collaborators from Dresden

HZDR Research Prize 2014 2015-March-13

Matthias Willensdorfer receives EUROFusion fellowship

Matthias Willensdorfer receives EUROFusion fellowship 2015-Jan-10

Fritz Aumayr elected as president of the Chemical Physical Society 2015

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

Nanoantennas from femtosecond laser pulses

nano-antenna 2014-June-2

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 Naturefeatures 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

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

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

Ille gives her inaugural lecture in Malaysia

Prof. Ille C. Gebeshuber 2011-Nov-14

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

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

Die Presse 2011-Mar-1

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

Ille Gebeshuber 2011-Feb-09

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

Our image movie is now online



We have been renamed

new IAP logo 2009-Oct-01

Surprise Birthday Party for Fritz Aumayr

Birthday Party 2009-August-27

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

Ayman S. El-Said 2009-June-01

Walter Meissl takes a PostDoc position at RIKEN

Walter Meissl 2009-April-01

Ille leaves us for 3 years

Ille Gebeshuber 2008-Dec-01

Special screening of "Miss Entropy"

Miss Entropy


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

Lasers and Darwin

Laserlab at IAP 2006-Nov-21