Table of Contents


A diary of some remarkable events at the IAP and beyond …

3SAT magazine "nano" reports on research at IAP

nano_3SAT 2018-Oct-19

* Constant bombardement of the planet Mercury by solar wind ions leads to erosion of the planetary surface and the formation of a thin exosphere. The interaction processes can be simulated in laboratory experiments carried out in the Atomic and Plasma Physics Group at IAP. Such data are of interest for the ESA mission BepiColombo, Europe's first Mercury mission. A report on this research project was broadcasted today in the popular TV science show “nano” on 3SAT and is also available online here.

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 at the IAP Atomic and Plasma Physics 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.

ÖPG Students' Award for Sabrina Mayr

2018-Sept-12 Sabrina Mayr (right) at the Awards Ceremony

The FWF turns 50, and IAP members (and many friends) help celebrating

2018-Sept-8 The Materials Pavillion at FWF Be Open Festival

The Importance of Trace Impurities and how to Avoid them

2018-Aug-24 The cleanest water drop comes from an icicle

The article in ScienceAbstract with access to full text
Perspective Article by Jeong Young Park
TU Press release in English and German
Media coverage: Der StandardORF ScienceSüddeutsche ZeitungDie WeltDie ZeitSternNew Scientistphys.orgwissenschaft.dechemie.deChemistry World, U.K.ChemEuropeLive Science, U.S.A.Index, HungaryNew Scientist, U.K.Sciences Avenir, FranceBBC Mundoc&en News

Immune system: T-cells are designed for speed

2018-July-17 T-cell study

The paper can be found here: Nature Immunology (2018)

TU Wien News (in German).

Richard Wilhelm receives the IBMM Prize 2018!

IBMM Prize for Richard Wilhelm IBMM Prize for Richard Wilhelm 2018-June-29

* For his contribution to “the understanding of highly charged ions and their interactions with solid surfaces” Richard Wilhelm from the Atomic and Plasma Physics Group 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 particularly 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)

Inaugural Lecture Markus Valtiner

Antrittsvorlesung Valtiner


* Today Markus Valtiner gave his long-awaited inaugural lecture at the TU Vienna. The audience (among them vice rector Fröhlich, the deans Burgdörfer and Danninger as well as colleagues of the faculties of physics and chemistry, representatives of industry, students, friends and family) got an entertaining insight into the world of corrosion and liquid-solid interfaces, supported by practical demonstrations.

Building Bridges with Water Molecules

2018-June-27 Water, water everywhere!

The paper can be found here: “Water agglomerates on Fe3O4(001)”PNAS (2018)

and the usual brilliant write up from Florian Aigner here: TU Wien News. It was picked up by news media der Standard, apa

Prof. Franz Viehbock attends his granddaughter's graduation ceremony

Franz Viehböck


* The founder and first director (1966 - 1987) of the IAP Institute Prof. Franz Viehböck (already considerable 94 years old) participated today in the graduation ceremony of his granddaughter Carina, who successfully completed the Biomedical Engineering Master (and before that the Bachelor in Physics) at the TU Wien. The photo shows him together with his son Franz Viehböck (Austria's only “Austronaut” in space to date), his granddaughter Carina and the current director of the institute, Fritz Aumayr, who led the ceremony on behalf of our dean.

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

Best lecture award 2017 and 2018


* 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

Habilitation Martin Setvin

2018-June-13 Dozent Dr. Martin Setvin

The true power of the solar wind

Solar Wind


* 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,

Reinforcement for our administrative team

2018-May-2 Guni Yasin

T cell antigen receptors act alone: longstanding immunological mystery solved!

Mario Brameshuber 2018-April-17

* As an indispensable part of our immune system, T cells protect us from the onslaught of bacteria and viruses and also from cancer. What happens on a molecular level when T cells detect suspicious activity in the body? In a recent paper, Mario Brameshuber and co-workers from the Biophysics group and from the Medical University of Vienna revealed that the immune receptors of T cells operate in unsuspected ways. While most opinion leaders in the field reasoned that T cell receptors must interact with one another for effective immune-signaling, the Viennese study shows: T cell receptors act alone. The study has now been published in the journal “Nature Immunology”.

The article in Nature Immunology; Read-only link of publication.

TU Press release in English and German
Media coverage: derStandardAPA

"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!

NEW Poster Printer (Canon imagePROGRAF iPF785)


New Poster Printer

The Canon imagePROGRAF iPF785 has the IP-Addresss

Vibration Isolation Patent

2018-March-20 High-resolution microscope suspended for vibration isolation

For more information, see the TU press release (English, German), the Youtube movie, article in Der Standard or the Feature in Nature on high-performance microscopy

Gaede-Prize for Gareth Parkinson

2018-March-13 Gareth receives the Gaede Prize


Avoiding the Polar Catastrophe

The labyrinth is the way out 2018-Feb-02

The article in ScienceAbstract with access to full text
TU Press release in English and German
Media coverage: die PresseAPAWelt der Physik

Loschmidt-Prize for Elisabeth Gruber

Award Ceremony at Univ. Wien 2018-Jan-23

"JSPS 141st Committee Award" for Peter Varga

Peter Varga 2017-Dec-4

Hannspeter Winter award 2017 for Elisabeth Gruber

Elisabeth Gruber 2017-Nov-13

Kardinal Innitzer Award for Gareth Parkinson

Gareth Parkinson at the Palace of the Austrian Arch Bishop 2017-Nov-11

Markus Valtiner wins AVS Peter Mark Memorial Award

Don Baer, Head of the AVS Award Committee with Awardee Markus Valtiner 2017-Nov-01

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

Ille Gebeshuber 2017-Sep-25

Applied Interface Physics - a new research area at IAP

Valtiner group 2017-Oct-01

A portrait of new professor (in German) can be found here

The solution to an old riddle

ICD 2017-Sep-08

Link to original publication in PRL
Press release of TU Wien in German, in English
media coverage: Der Standard,

Tenure for Gareth Parkinson

2017-September-01 Gareth and his research group

Habilitation for Stijn Mertens

2017-July-10 Stijn Mertens

Newly appointed Senior Scientist at IAP

Senior Scientist Dr. Mario Brameshuber

2017-July-1 * Since July 1st, 2017 Dr. Mario Brameshuber supports the Biophysics Research Area as Senior Scientist.

"Best Lecture Award 2017" in physics goes to Fritz Aumayr, Martin Müller and Wolfgang Werner

Best Lecture Award 2017 logo


* 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 and honors excellence in teaching.

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

Florian Laggner leaves for Princeton

(c) die Presse 2017-May-20

* After finishing his PhD in the Atomic and Plasma Physics Group Florian Laggner is now heading for Princeton (New Jersey - USA) to start his PostDoc in Fusion research on June 1, 2017 at the prestigeous Princeton University. But before he left, he gave an interview to the Austrian Newspaper Die Presse (in German).

A new face in our administrative team!

Katharina Pois 2017-May-17

Promotion "sub auspiciis" for Roland Bliem

2017-May-16 Dr. Roland Bliem

TU press release (in German) der standard Tiroler Tageszeitung

Switching Oxygen Molecules On and Off

2017-March-14 The qPlus sensor with the tip at the left

Publication in PNAS
TU Press Release in English and German
Media Coverage: APA · Der Standard · ORF · MyScience ·

Eva Sevcsik receives Elise Richter Fellowship

Dr. Eva Sevcsik


* The Elise Richter Fellowship by the FWF provides research funds to support the academic career of highly qualified female scientists and scholars and to enhance their university career. Dr. Eva Sevcsik was officially awarded the fellowship by the president of the FWF, Klement Tockner, and the department head of the Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Barbara Weitgruber, earlier this year. The project titled “Lipid Interactions of the T-Cell Receptor Complex” was started in April 2017 in the Biophysics group of Prof. Gerhard Schütz and in close collaboration with the Medical University of Vienna.

Molecule flash mob

CSM flashmob 2017-Jan-19

Link to original publication in Nature Communications, Press release of TU Wien (in German), Press release of TU Wien (in English), Press release of MedUni Wien (in German)

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

Elisabeth Gruber 2016-Dec-21

Link to original publication in Nature Communications, Press release of TU Wien (in German), Press release of TU Wien (in English),, Der Standard, APA Press release of HZDR (in German)

Habilitation Gareth Parkinson

Gareth Parkinson 2016-October-03

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

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

Meteorite Impact on a Nano Scale

HCI-surface interaction 2016-August-29

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 researchers from the IAP Atomic and Plasma Physics Group have 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. Press release of the TU Wien (in German), Press release of the TU Wien (in English), ORF, APA article Der Standard

We welcome our new electronics technician!

2016-Aug-16 H. Zlabinger

The Pairing and Separation of Pt Atoms

2016-July-28 A Pt dimer at the Fe<sub>3</sub>O<sub>4</sub> surface

Original Publication
TU press release APA (subscribers only) der Standard Tiroler Tageszeitung

We welcome our new secretary!

2016-July-1 D. Harantova

Making it Stick on the Cover of Nature


Christian Doppler Award for Roland Bliem

2016-June-17 LR Martina Berthold, Daniel Rettenwander, Roland Bliem (

Salzburger Nachrichten
Aktuelles TU Wien

Ille Gebeshuber returns from Malaysia

2016-April-1 Prof. Ille C. Gebeshuber

Herbert Störi awarded with "Ehrenbürgerschaft der TU Wien"

Herbert Störi awared with "honorary citicenship of TU Wien" 2016-March-1

TU Webnews (in German)

Zbynek Novotny receives Loschmidt Prize

Zybnek Novotny (4th from left 2016-January-19

TU Webnews (in German)

Archive of Previous IAP News (2006-2015)