Kiel-Greifswald plasma physics research centre once more extended

The picture shows the collective oscillation of a spherical plasma crystal in a complex plasma.
Copyright: CAU, Computer simulation: Dr. H. Kählert

The Collaborative Research Centre TRR 24 "Fundamentals of Complex Plasmas" has been granted a third funding period and new 6.5 million euros by the German Science Foundation (DFG). The DFG decision is based on the positive evaluation by a high-rank international review panel. The research projects have been extended until 2017. The TRR24 is a collaboration of the universities in Greifswald and Kiel and the Leibniz-Institute for Plasma Research and Technology e. V. Greifswald and was established in 2005.

Complex plasmas are ionized gases that contain particles of nanometer to micrometer size or negative ions and chemically reactive molecules. Such plasmas are of high relevance for a variety of systems ranging from plasmas in space to applications in nanotechnology. Correspondingly, the research programme is highly interdisciplinary. Participating scientists include not only plasma physicists but also astrophysicists and material scientists. The ques-tions of interest cover fundamental issues such as the emergence of plasma crystals, phase transitions and the influence of strong magnetic fields, as well as technologically relevant questions such as the growth of nanoparticles and the growth of nano-composite structures in a complex plasma environment.

The Kiel part of this research centre has grown in this period and now includes five experimental projects (principle investigators are Professor Alexander Piel, Professor Holger Kersten, Professor Franz Faupel, PD Dr. Dietmar Block, Dr. Franko Greiner and Dr. Thomas Strunskus) and three projects that develop theory and computer simulations (Professor Michael Bonitz, Professor Sebastian Wolf, Dr. Patrick Ludwig and Dr. Hanno Kählert). “The researchers from Kiel have won more than three million euros on grant money that cover the additional positions of twelve PhD students. Furthermore, former PhD students have now stepped up to become project leaders – another sign of our successful promotion of young scientists”, Michael Bonitz from the research centre’s board of directors is proud to say. Kiel University’s vice president Professor Frank Kempken congratulates his colleagues on having been granted a third funding period: “A huge success for Kiel University that strengthens its research focus Nano Science and Surface Research.”

The research activities in Kiel are coordinated by Professor Alexander Piel and Professor Michael Bonitz. Spokesperson of the entire TRR24 is Professor Jürgen Meichsner from the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University Greifswald.

Web page of the TRR24:


Kiel University

Atom- und Plasmaphysik, Prof. Dr. Alexander Piel

Tel: 0431/880-3835,

Kiel University

Statistische Physik, Prof. Dr. Michael Bonitz

Tel.: 0431/880-4122,