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

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!

  • Our paper about water adsorption on Fe3O4(001) has been published in PNAS. We are particularly proud of this work it was a very complex problem and it took the best of our capabilities in imaging, spectroscopy and theory to unravel. In the picture you see on of the structures formed in which water molecules adsorb on the surface Fe cations, with additional molecules bridging the gaps in a periodic fashion. Congratulations to all involved!

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

and the usual brilliant write up from Florian Aigner here: TU Webpage article. 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

  • Martin Setvin successfully defends his habilitation thesis. He soon will receive the 'venia legendi', the right to teach and to officially supervise students' bachelor, master, and PhD theses at TU Wien. Congratulations!

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), ORF.at, derStandard, futurezone.at

Reinforcement for our administrative team

2018-May-2 Guni Yasin

  • Since May 2, 2018 Mrs. Gunhild Yasin has joined our secretary team. Welcome to IAP!

Changed IP-ADDRESS NEW Poster Printer (Canon imagePROGRAF iPF785)

NEW Poster Printer (Canon imagePROGRAF iPF785) has now the IP-Addresss

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

  • We got a new Poster Printer. Location is the same like the old one but you need a new driver (see installation Guide)


  • Install the system compatible Canon printer drivers
  • type=drivers&language=&os=all
  • Choose your Betriebssystem, download and install it.
  • System Preferences… → Print & Fax
  • Click the '+' Symbol in the bottom left
  • Choose 'IP' in the tab bar.
  • Protocol: Line-Printer Daemon-LPD
  • Address: (Canon iPF785) - see above
  • Queue: leave empty
  • Name: Choose arbitrary name (e.g. Canon iPF785 5C)
  • Location: arbitrary
  • Print Using: Click on Choicebox, 'Select Printer Software…' Choose “Canon iPF785”
  • Click 'Add'


  • Go to Canon Drivers Page and select your operating system and download the driver.
  • Start→Drucker und Faxgeräte
  • Datei→Drucker hinzufügen
  • Lokaler Drucker (deselect Plug & Play-Drucker)
  • Einen neuen Anschluss erstellen→Standard TCP/IP Port
  • IP Adresse
  • Datenträger and choose the directory from above
  • Choose the Canon iPF785

DON'T use RAW format its not working

  • After the install right click on the printer symbol → Druckereigenschaften → Anschlüsse →Konfigurieren
  • change the Protocoll from RAW to LPR
  • LPR-EInstellungen → Warteschlangenname: Canon-Plotter

Vibration Isolation Patent

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

  • The Surface Physics Group has patented a device for suspending a load in a vibration-insulated manner, designed for high-resolution microscopy and nanotechnology. While other similar instruments are usually placed in the basement of a building in a quiet environment, the low-temperature non-contact AFM/STM at the IAP/TU Wien suspended according to the invention delivers excellent performance in spite of its place in the 5th floor of a building in downtown Vienna! The patented vibration isolation system also features accurate levelling even under changing load distribution during operation.

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

  • Gareth Parkinson is awarded the Gaede Prize at the Spring Meeting of the German Physical Society in Berlin, Germany. This prize is given out annually to a young scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the field of vacuum science and technology.


Avoiding the Polar Catastrophe

The labyrinth is the way out 2018-Feb-02

  • Ionic crystals - materials that are composed of positively and negatively charged ions - can be put into a highly unfavorable situation. When split in half along certain crystallographic directions the electrostatic energy diverges. To alleviate this so-called polar catastrophe, materials can react in a variety of ways. In a recent paper, Martin Setvin and co-workers from the Surface Physics group and from the University of Vienna show the surface of a KTaO3(001) single crystal after cleaving, heating, and exposure to water vapor. Six different mechanisms to compensate polarity are encountered. One of the most pretty solutions, a nano-labyrinth with 4-5 atom-wide walls, is shown in the image on the right.

The article in Science ⋅ 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

  • One week after recieving the Hannspeter Winter Award from TU Wien, Elisabeth Gruber was awarded the next prize: Elisabeth 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 under the guidance of Prof. Friedrich Aumayr; her thesis is entitled “Interaction of Ions with 3D and 2D materials”. Dr. Gruber is currently a post-doc at Aarhus University. Congratulations!

"JSPS 141st Committee Award" for Peter Varga

Peter Varga 2017-Dec-4

  • During the opening ceremony of the ALC'17 conference in Kauai/Hawaii today Peter Varga received the Award of the 141st Committee on Microbeam Analysis of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Sciences (JSPS) for (quote) ”… his distinguished contribution on the clarification of surface phenomena by atomic level investigation and the development of novel functional materials”! Congratulations, Peter!

Hannspeter Winter award 2017 for Elisabeth Gruber

Elisabeth Gruber 2017-Nov-13

  • 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.

Kardinal Innitzer Award for Gareth Parkinson

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

  • For his outstanding habilitation thesis, Gareth Parkinson is awarded the 'Förderpreis' of the Kardinal Innitzer Studienstiftung. The award ceremony took place at the formidable Episcopal Palace, located in the center of Vienna. Gareth's family came all the way from England to celebrate.

Markus Valtiner wins AVS Peter Mark Memorial Award

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

  • Each year the AVS awards one outstanding young scientist the 'Peter Mark Memorial Award, named for the Editor of the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology. This year our new professor, Markus Valtiner, has received this high recognition “For advancing understanding of physical and chemical mechanisms at molecular, nano- and microscales that impact adhesion and friction at electrified interfaces and for the development of novel stimuli-responsive materials”. Congratulations, Prof. Valtiner!

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!

Applied Interface Physics - a new research area at IAP

Valtiner group 2017-Oct-01

  • With the arrival of Professor Markus Valtiner and the first members of his team today, a new research area is being established at IAP. Welcome to Vienna and welcome to the IAP!

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

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. Experiments conducted by Atomic and Plasma Physics Group of Fritz Aumayr 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”. Their results have now been published in the journal “Physical Review Letters” and have been highlighted there as “editors' suggestion”.

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

Tenure for Gareth Parkinson

2017-September-01 Gareth and his research group

  • We are extremely pleased to learn that Gareth Parkinson has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. He will continue his highly-successful research into the surface science of heterogeneous catalysis together with his growing surface physics subgroup focused on iron oxides.

Habilitation for Stijn Mertens

2017-July-10 Stijn Mertens

  • Stijn Mertens successfully defends his habilitation thesis. This is the last step towards receiving the venia legendi, the right to teach and to officially supervise graduate students at TU Wien. Congratulations, Stijn!

Newly appointed Senior Scientist at IAP

Senior Scientist Dr. Mario Brameshuber


* 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

  • Mrs. Katharin Pois now supports our administrative team as part-time employee. Welcome to IAP!

Promotion "sub auspiciis" for Roland Bliem

2017-May-16 Dr. Roland Bliem

  • Roland Bliem 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, Roland is one of the selected few. A big day for Roland, the institute, and the surface physics group.

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

  • The oxygen molecule O2 is chemically inert (except at high temperatures), but becomes reactive when an additional electron gets added. This process happens in biology, catalysis and can be also triggered by light on some surfaces. Martin Setvin of the Surface Physics Group managed to switch oxygen molecules adsorbed at a titanium dioxide surface back and forth between the non-reactive (neutral) and reactive (O2-) state and examine them in detail using non-contact atomic-force microscopy (nc-AFM) with the tiny tip of a so-called qPlus sensor (image). The results were published in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS).

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

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

  • Neurotransmitter transporters are some of the most popular transport proteins in research as they play a major role in the processing of signals in the brain. A joint study by our biophysics group and the Medical University of Vienna has now successfully demonstrated for the first time the structural impact of membrane lipids on medically relevant serotonin transporters.

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

  • With her first-author paper published today in Nature Communications, Elisabeth Gruber, PhD student in the Atomic and Plasma Physics Group of Fritz Aumayr, made the TU headlines already for the second time in this year (see the news from 2016-Aug-29 below). In her work, she demonstrated 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 Press release of HZDR (in German)

Habilitation Gareth Parkinson

Gareth Parkinson 2016-October-03

  • Gareth Parkinson successfully defends his habilitation and our institute gains a newly-minted 'Dozent'. Congratulations!

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

  • 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 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

  • We welcome Mr. Heinrich Zlabinger, who started working in our electronics workshop today.

The Pairing and Separation of Pt Atoms

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

  • Sintering - the aggregation of catalytically active, metallic nanoparticles into bigger clumps - is one of the major causes of catalyst de-activation. This is particularly important in the emerging field of single-atom catalysis, the main research topic of the START project of Gareth Parkinson. A detailed STM and DFT study, mainly conducted by Roland Bliem, and published in PNAS, shows how single Pt atoms on the Fe3O4(001) surface are made mobile by CO, and how they merge into bigger clusters. Interestingly, the smallest cluster, a Pt dimer, is stabilized by the CO molecules. When the sample is heated, and the CO desorbs, and the two Pt atoms separate again.

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

We welcome our new secretary!

2016-July-1 D. Harantova

  • Mrs. Dana Harantova has joined our administrative team today. Welcome to IAP!

Making it Stick on the Cover of Nature


  • The article "Switching stiction and adhesion of a liquid on a solid" by Stijn Mertens et al. is featured on this week's cover of Nature Magazine. The work describes dynamic contact angle measurements of a single drop of 0.1 M HClO4 on a single layer of BN supported on Rh(111). Friction can be changed reversibly by applying an appropriate electrochemical potential that leads to the intercalation of H between BN and the Rh.

Christian Doppler Award for Roland Bliem

2016-June-17 LR Martina Berthold, Daniel Rettenwander, Roland Bliem (http://service.salzburg.gv.at/lkorrj/Index?cmd=detail_ind&nachrid=56686)

  • Roland Bliem, a PhD student in our Institute, has received the Christian-Doppler-Preis 2015 in the category Physics for his work on metal adsorption on the magnetite (001) surface. The Christian-Doppler-Preis is the science award of Roland's home province Salzburg, awarded biennially to researchers under 40 years of age. It is named after the famous physicist Christian Doppler who was born in Salzburg in 1803.

Salzburger Nachrichten
Aktuelles TU Wien

Ille Gebeshuber 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!

Herbert Störi awarded with "Ehrenbürgerschaft der TU Wien"

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

  • Honoring his commitment and exemplary leadership in establishing the super computers “Vienna Scientific Cluster” (VSC1, VSC2, and VSC3), our rector awards Prof. Herbert Störi an honorary citizenship of TU Wien (Ehrenbürgerschaft der TU Wien). Congratulations Herbert!

TU Webnews (in German)

Zbynek Novotny receives Loschmidt Prize

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

  • Dr. Zbynek Novotny is one of two recipients of this year's Loschmidt Prize. This prize is awarded annually by the Austrian Chemical Physics Society for an outstanding PhD thesis. Zbynek received his doctorate in 2013 under the guidance of Prof. Ulrike Diebold; his thesis is entitled “The Fe3O4 Surface as an Adsorption Template”. He is currently a post-doc the Pacific Northwest National Lab in Washington State, U.S. Congratulations!

TU Webnews (in German)

Thank you Herbert!

Prof. Herbert Störi


  • After 9 years of service Prof. Herbert Störi ended his term as head (“Institutsvorstand”) of IAP as planned and handed over his office to Fritz Aumayr. From November 9th, 2006 until December 31st, 2015 he guided the institute through most difficult times and managed to expand the lab and office space of our institute considerably. During this period, two new Professors were hired and the measurable “output” of the institute increased tremendously both in quality and quantity. Herbert Störi will still continue his research work and teaching as a Professor.

Herbert, we all are very grateful for your work! Thank you very much!

Pole dancing water molecules - Paper in Nature Materials

A pole dancing water molecule (Animation, click twice)


  • Our research on strontium ruthenate surfaces shows how water dissociates and strips off one hydrogen atom upon adsorption. Although the hydrogen atom and the remaining OH group are physically separated, the pieces continue to interact through a weak hydrogen bond. This interaction leads to an interesting dynamic behavior, where the OH group circles the stripped off hydrogen atom. The result were published in Nature Materials. Click twice on the animation and watch the water dance.

The paper
TU press release in English or German
APA der Standard

Fritz Aumayr - Full Professor of Ion and Plasma Physics

Prof. Friedrich Aumayr 2015-Dec-1

  • Effective of Dec 1st, 2015 Fritz Aumayr was appointed as a full professor of ion and plasma physics. He joined our institute in 1982. In addition to his highly successful research work Fritz Aumayr is since several years the head of research unit of the Austrian research program on nuclear fusion. To our students he is well known for his excellent introductory physics lectures.

Curriculum Vitae
Research Group of Fritz Aumayr

"Follow me around" video of the faculty of physics

The Catalytic Cycle 2015-Nov-2

  • In a short video the research activities of our faculty are introduced to a broader public.

"Follow me around video" (in German)

Blaise Pascal Medal

Prof. Nick Serpone awards the metal to Ulrike Diebold 2015-Oct-28

  • The European Academy of Sciences established the Blaise Pascal Medal in 2003 to recognize an outstanding and demonstrated personal contribution to science and technology and the promotion of excellence in research and education. Up to six medals may be awarded in any one year. This year Ulrike Diebold was honored with the Blaise Pascal Metal in Materials Science.

Platinum Catalysts: Better with Support

The Catalytic Cycle 2015-September-10

  • Researchers of the IAP surface physics group nicely show how a prototype catalytic reaction works. They have studied a supported catalyst, platinum on magnetite (Fe3O4), and demonstrate the important role of the oxide support. CO oxidation eats the oxygen from the magnetite support, and platinum helps to oxidize the support again. They could also investigate in detail what happens if hydrogen is oxidized with the help of the catalyst. These results were published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition and provide the groundwork for improving catalysts.

The paper
TU press release in English or German · APA release · "Die Presse" newspaper article

Hertha Firnberg Award for Margareta Wagner

Margareta Wagner 2015-June-30

  • Margareta Wagner of the Surface Physics Group received a Hertha Firnberg Award for her research programme “Organic Molecules on Transparent Conductive Oxides: Fundamental studies”. The Hertha Firnberg programme of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) aims at boosting the career of extremely well qualified female scientists.

START Prize awarded to Gareth Parkinson

Gareth Parkinson 2015-June-08

  • Gareth Parkinson of the surface Physics Group has received the START Prize, the highest Austrian award for outstanding young researchers. Congratulations! The prize money will enable him to pursue research on single-atom catalysis during the next six years. With now three START awardees and one Wittgenstein laureate, Gareth also makes our institute one of the most successful institutions in this respect!

TU press release (German)

No Molecular Rafts in Membranes of Living Cells

Eva Sevcsik in the Biophysics Lab 2015-April-21

  • Since almost two decades, it was widely believed that tiny structures made of lipid molecules and proteins wander within the membrane of a cell. These so-called molecular rafts would be important for cellular processes. Now a team of researchers around Eva Sevcsik and Gerhard Schütz of the IAP biophysics group could show that it's all different! The results have been published in Nature Communications.

Article in Nature Communications
TU press release in English and German
Media coverage: Austrian Press Agency (APA) · der Standard

Ulrike Diebold Elected to Membership in the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina


  • Founded in 1652, the Leopoldina is one of the oldest academies of science in the world. In the March 2015 elections the class of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Engineering elected 11 new members, one of them is Ulrike Diebold.

TU press release (German)

Superresolution Microscopy of Mitochondria

Gerhard Schütz at the Laser of the Superresolution Microscope 2014-December-22

  • Mitochondria are essential for our cells, they produce the energy carrier ATP. Unfortunately, mitochondria are too small for scrutiny by conventional light microscopy. Using superresolution microscopy techniques, the IAP biophysics group has determined where the relevant proteins are located in mitochondria, which provides important insights into how mitochondria work. These results are published in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

Article in PNAS
TU press release (German)
Media coverage: APA · der Standard

Surface Structure of an Iron Oxide Unraveled

Magnetite crystal structure 2014-December-05

  • A team around Gareth Parkinson of the Surface Physics group has solved a long-standing mystery: No one could explain why the magnetite Fe3O4(001) surface behaves differently than all other oxides. It turned out that this surface has a very peculiar crystal structure, which requires a new way of thinking about oxide surfaces in general. The results have been published in the prestigious journal Science.

Article in Science
TU press release
Media coverage: ORF Science · Die Presse · der Standard · Salzburger Nachrichten

Two Awards for Ulrike Diebold

Eminent Visitor Award Scroll 2014-November-21

TU press release.

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.
Press release of the TU Wien (in German), Der Standard

Austrian National Academy of Sciences Elects Ulrike Diebold as Full Member


  • The Austrian Academy of Sciences ÖAW has different levels of membership. Ulrike Diebold has been a 'corresponding member' since 2012, and was elected a 'full member' in April 2014.

List of all new ÖAW members.
der Standard

Stop! In the Name of Carbon

HCI-surface interaction 2014-April-18

  • A bullet fired through a block of wood will slow down. In a similar way, ions are decelerated when they pass through a solid material: the thicker the material, the larger the energy loss will be. However, this picture breaks down in ultra-thin target materials, which only consist of a few layers of atoms. This was recently demonstrated by Fritz Aumayr and his group in collaboration with the Helmholtzzentrum Dresden-Rossendorf. The results are reported in the latest issue of Physical Review Letters

Link to original publication.
TU press release (in German), TU press release (in English), HZDR press release
APA article ORF.at Der Standard Silicon Saxony

A Two-dimensional Electron Gas

Stefan, Bernhard and Zhiming at Bessy


  • The SrTiO3(110) surface forms a reconstruction that consists of a monolayer TiO2, but in a special, rather unreactive - tetrahedrally coordinated - form. When oxygen vacancies are created in this layer, they move to the SrTiO3 interface, where the resulting excess electrons form a two-dimensional gas (2DEG). Zhiming Wang, Stefan Gerhold and Bernhard Stöger from the surface physics group have measured the electronic structure of this electron gas at the synchrotron Bessy in Berlin. (There they also took the happy photo at the right.) Different from other, known 2DEG's, this system shows a pronounced anisotropy that is depends on the doping level. The experimental results are complemented by theoretical calculations by Zhicheng Zhong and Karsten Held at the Institute of Solid State Physics, and Xianfeng Hao and Cesare Franchini, Computational Materials Physics, University of Vienna.

The results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Link to original publication
TU press release APA article der standard die Presse

Portrait of Professor Gerhard Schütz

Gerhard Schütz 2014-Jan-31

Lise Meitner Lecture

Lise Meitner Lecture Flyer 2013-Nov-08

Vacancies Marching to the Top

STM image of oxygen on an anatase surface 2013-Sep-02

  • Anatase, a form of titanium dioxide (TiO2) is used in (photo)catalysis and many other applications. The interaction of oxygen molecules with this material is of central importance. How this happens on the atomic scale was investigated in experiments by Martin Setvin of the Surface Physics group and calculations by Annabella Selloni (Princeton University) and coworkers. It was found that O2 interacts with oxygen vacancies in the material, resulting in O2 (peroxo) molecules incorporated in the surface.
    These results were published in the prestigious journal Science.

Abstract with link to full text
TU press releasePrinceton press releaseyoutube video
Articles in the media: Article in Chemical & Engineering Newsder Standard (German)ORF (German)

Visit by Minister Töchterle

Group photo with Minister Töchterle 2013-Jul-04

  • The Surface Physics group was honored by a visit of the Austrian Federal Minister for Science and Research, Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Töchterle. He visited the labs and discussed ongoing and planned research with group members.

TU press release

Wittgenstein Prize for Ulrike Diebold

Press Conference with Minister Töchterle 2013-Jun-17

  • Ulrike Diebold is awarded this year's Wittgenstein Prize, the highest science prize of Austria. The 1.5-million EUR prize is awarded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and sometimes referred to as “Austria's Nobel Prize”. The prize money will boost research in the IAP Surface Physics group.

Press releases: FWF englishgerman
Media coverage: ORFder Standarddie PresseKurierWiener Zeitung

The Dance of the Atoms

The Fe3O4 experts at the STM 2013-Jun-10

  • Metals such as gold or palladium are often used as catalysts to speed up certain chemical reactions. When the atoms ball together, most of them do not get into contact with the surrounding gas any more and the catalytic effect diminishes drastically. The mechanism of clustering is not well understood, however. In an article published in the prestigious journal Nature Materials, Gareth Parkinson and co-workers report on a detailed study of this issue; they have followed the fate of each surface atom and analyze how they are affected by different gas atmospheres. They find carbon monoxide to bind strongly to palladium atoms, helping them to move across the surface.

The article in Nature Materials (subscription required)
TU press release englishgermanyoutube video
Media coverage: ORFChemie.de

Ulrike Diebold receives Adamson Award from the American Chemical Society

Adamson Medal


  • Ulrike Diebold was awarded the 2013 Arthur W. Adamson Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Surface Chemistry from the American Chemical Society (ACS) for “significantly advancing the fundamental understanding of the surface chemistry of metal oxides, in particular TiO2, through excellent research, writing, and lecturing.” She received the award during the 245th National ACS Meeting in New Orleans, USA, April 7-11, 2013. At the meeting, a five-session symposium was held in her honor, with contributions from more than 40 scientists from the US, Europe, and Asia.

Adamson Award · TU press release (in German)

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

Fritz Aumayr 2013-Jan-16

Stijn Mertens joins the Surface Physics Group

Stijn 2012-November-01

  • We extend a warm welcome to Dr. Stijn Mertens, who joins us from the KU Leuven. He will spearhead our new efforts in electrochemical STM.

This week's cover story in the PROFIL magazine

PROFIL 08.10.2012 2012-Oct-08

  • Research activities of the Atomic and Plasma Physics Group of IAP in the field of nuclear fusion are prominently mentioned in this week's cover story of the Austrian weekly magazine PROFIL. Read the full story (in German).

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

  • IAP graduate student Katharina Dobes (AG-Aumayr) and her QCM experiment are featured as “Picture of the Week” on the Top Page of the EFDA website. Read the full story on "The Physicist and the Pea"

Zbynek Novotny attends Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates


  • From 1 to 6 July 2012, more than 25 Nobel Laureates and more than 580 young researchers from all over the world met at Lindau, Germany, to exchange ideas, discuss projects and build international networks. IAP graduate student Zbynek Novotny was selected to attend this meeting, which was dedicated to physics.

Click here for more information about the Lindau meetings

Ulrike Diebold elected to the Austrian Academy of Sciences


  • The Austrian Academey of Sciences elected Ulrike Diebold as a 'corresponding member' in the class of natural sciences,exact sciences, and medicine.

Press release of the ÖAW
Press release of the TU Wien

Single Gold Atoms

STM image of gold on magnetite

  • In the latest issue of Physical Review Letters [Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 216103 (2012)], Zbyněk Novotný and colleagues describe the discovery of highly stable single gold atoms on a magnetite (Fe3O4) surface. This observation is expected to facilitate catalysis research: On the other substrates studied so far, gold atoms don't stay alone but easily form large clusters, which are considered less active catalysts than single atoms.

Press release of the TU Wien
APS Physics article
Chemical&Engineering News article
Articles in the media: ORF Science, Wiener Zeitung, der Standard, Deutschlandradio, phys.org, nanowerk, …

ERC Advanced Grant for Ulrike Diebold

ERC logo

  • Ulrike Diebold has received a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant for her project OxideSurfaces, which will be funded with up to 2.5M Euro, and will run over 5 years. The project focuses on metal oxides. These materials have an extremely wide range of physical and chemical properties, and are used in catalysis, solar cells, batteries, gas sensors, and many other technical areas. Research topics are the interaction between bulk and surface defects, complex oxides, and she will also aim at scanning probe microscopy of oxides with atomic resolution in an aqueous solution.

Press release of the TU Wien
Newspaper article in "Der Standard"
Newspaper article in "Die Presse"
Further online article

Ulrike Diebold Divisional Associate Editor of PRL

Ulrike Diebold. Photo (C): Matthias Heisler, WIT Projekt TU Wien 2012-Jan-13

  • Ulrike Diebold received an invitation to join the editorial board of Physical Review Letters (PRL). She will act as an associate editor for the Material Physics Division from 2012 - 2014. PRL reports on the 'hottest and newest' in all of physics, from high-energy to solid state to astrophysics. It is the most highly-respected journal in physics, and serving on its board is a true honor.

New Doctoral College'SolidFun'


  • The Austrian Fund for (FWF) has approved a new doctoral program 'Building Solids for Function' 'SolidFun'. The program will be providing students with the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary research. Groups from chemistry, physics, and electrical engineering departments at the TU are participating. The Surface Physics Group at IAP, headed by Ulrike Diebold, will also be part of this new doctoral program. The application process will start this Spring.

Post-Prof. Peter Varga

Post-Professor Peter Varga 2011-Sep-30

Ulrike on stage at the opera

Ulrike Diebold giving a plenary talk at the ECOSS-28 in Wrocław 2011-Sep-01

  • In an unusual location, the Opera House of Wrocław, Poland, Professor Ulrike Diebold gave a plenary talk at Europe's largest conference on surface science, ECOSS-28. The topic of Ulrike's talk was the Surface Science of Metal Oxides; she discussed recent progress, challenges, and opportunities in this area. The ECOSS-28 conference was attended by more than 650 participants, including IAP members Michael Schmid, Zbyněk Novotný, Philipp Scheiber, Gareth Parkinson, Peter Jacobson, and Sameena Shah Zaman, who also gave presentations on their recent research.

Newly appointed professor of biophysics

Professor Gerhard J. Schütz 2011-Jul-01

  • Professor Gerhard J. Schütz, formerly at the University of Linz, has been appointed professor of biophysics. He will establish a biophysics group at our institute. Due to technical and space limitations, for the time being, his labs will be in the building of the chemistry department.

New research program on oxides

Research topics in the SFB 2011-Mar-15

  • Today is the official start of the Sonderforschungsbereich (SFB) “Functional Oxide Surfaces and Interfaces”. Results of this four-million-Euro research program are expected to have an impact on applications in catalysis, gas sensing, fuel cells and microelectronics. The SFB unites researchers from the TU Wien and the Universities of Vienna, Innsbruck and Siegen (Germany). Three of the ten project leaders in the SFB are members of our institute! Ulrike Diebold will work on pervoskites, Josef Redinger leads the theory part and Michael Schmid will study ultrathin zirconia films. See the TU Wien press release (in German) and the abstract of the SFB for more details.

Archive of Previous IAP News (2006-2010)

news/index.1531169154.txt.gz · Last modified: 2018-07-09 22:45 by Friedrich Aumayr