Nanosciences from Kiel honour solid state physicist Claus Ropers

CAU’s Priority Research Area KiNSIS awards Diels Planck Medal and doctoral prizes 2022

Solid state physicist Professor Claus Ropers from the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences and the Georg-August-University Göttingen receives this year's Diels-Planck-Medal from the research focus KiNSIS. The interdisciplinary network "Kiel Nano, Surface and Interface Science" of the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU) honors outstanding international scientists in the nanosciences and surface research.

Ropers is being honoured for his pioneering experimental work in the field of ultrafast structural and electronic dynamics. He developed methods to understand the complex properties of materials and to directly investigate processes occurring in them on the time scale of femtoseconds. The award ceremony took place yesterday evening (Thursday, 30 June) as part of the scientific conference "International Intelligent Materials 2022", which ends today in Kiel. In addition, the best dissertations of the research focus KiNSIS were honoured and poster prizes of the conference were awarded.

Experimental physicist Claus Ropers investigates the structural, electronic and magnetic dynamics in solids, nanostructures and surfaces. For his research, he uses ultrafast electron microscopy, which he combines with methods of quantum optics. "With his methods, Claus Ropers has decisively shaped this field and is one of the world's leading scientists here. His extremely creative and original work has won several awards and been published in high-ranking scientific journals," said Nahid Talebi, Professor of Nanooptics at CAU, in her laudation.

In addition, the best dissertations from the departments of nano and surface research in Kiel were awarded on this evening. "We need such talented young scientists and their outstanding contributions. Much of their work was created in the Collaborative Research Centres and Research Training Groups, which we as KiNSIS want to enable and promote as a kind of incubator," said Professor Kai Rossnagel. Together with Professor Regina Scherließ he presented the prizes on behalf of the entire KiNSIS speaker group. Each prize category is endowed with 1,000 euros.

The doctoral award winners2022:

  • Dr Jannick Jacobsen (Chemistry) produced metal organic frameworks (MOFs) and investigated their applicability for more effective car exhaust catalysis.
  • Dr.-Ing. Benjamin Spetzler (Engineering) investigated novel magnetic field sensors for the detection of biomagnetic signals and developed theoretical principles to improve them.
  • Dr.-Ing. Prasanth Velvaluri (Engineering) worked on the development of novel implants for the treatment of aneurysms. Patient-specific designs should reduce complications in the treatment of vascular anomalies.
  • Dr. Marie Hellfritzsch (Life Science) worked on zinc oxide as a potential adjuvant in vaccines that are not administered by injection but can be inhaled in powder form.
  • Dr.-Ing. Mariya Pravdivtseva (Life Science) produced patient-specific models of human vessels for 3D printing processes. This can be used to test and develop new treatments for vascular diseases.
  • Dr Silja Flenner (Physics) worked on improving X-ray nanotomography at the large-scale research facility PETRA III at the Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron DESY. In particular, she developed phase-contrast methods that can be used to study biological materials particularly well.
  • Dr. Torben Jasper-Tönnies (Physics) used a scanning tunnelling microscope to examine and modify individual molecules on metal surfaces. Control over such structures could enable undreamed-of new kinds of technical developments in the future.

About Claus Ropers:

After studying physics at the University of Göttingen and the University of California, Berkeley (USA), Claus Ropers worked at the Max Born Institute in Berlin and received his doctorate from the Humboldt University in Berlin in 2007. From 2008, he conducted research at the University of Göttingen as head of the Nano-Optics and Ultrafast Dynamics group and was appointed professor in 2011. Since 2013 he has held the professorship for Experimental Solid State Physics and has headed the IV Institute of Physics - Solid State and Nanostructures since 2014. He is director and scientific member at the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences. Claus Ropers has received many awards for his work, including the Carl Ramsauer Prize of the Physical Society of Berlin, the Walter Schottky Prize of the German Physical Society, the Klung Wilhelmy Science Prize, the Ernst Ruska Prize and the Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG).


About the Diels-Planck-Lecture

Since 2014, the members of the KiNSIS research focus annually award internationally renowned researchers in the nano and surface sciences. At a keynote lecture, the Diels-Planck-Lecture, the award winners give insights into their research and come into exchange with young up-and-coming researchers from Kiel. The name of the lecture series honours the founders of the nanosciences in Kiel, the Nobel laureates Max Planck and Otto Diels.

Max Planck, born in Kiel in 1858, was appointed professor of theoretical physics at Kiel University in 1885. In 1918, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his groundbreaking work in quantum physics, which forms the basis for the description of nanostructures. Otto Diels was professor of chemistry in Kiel until his retirement in 1945. Together with his doctoral student Kurt Alder, he discovered and developed a class of chemical reactions that are among the most important methods for producing chemical compounds and nanomaterials. In 1950 Diels received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.


A man giving a lecture

Professor Claus Ropers from the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences and the Georg August University Göttingen gave this year's Diels Planck Lecture on current developments in ultrafast electron microscopy.

Group picture
© Julia Siekmann, Uni Kiel

Professor Kai Rossnagel (outside left) and Professor Regina Scherließ (outside right) awarded the best dissertations of the past year on behalf of the KiNSIS speaker group. The award winners are Dr.-Ing. Prasanth Velvaluri (from left), Dr.-Ing. Benjamin Spetzler, Dr. Torben Jasper-Tönnies, Dr.-Ing. Mariya Pravdivtseva, Dr. Marie Hellfritzsch, Dr. Silja Flenner and Dr. Jannick Jacobsen.

Two speaker
© Julia Siekmann, Uni Kiel

In addition, the KiNSIS speaker group awarded the best posters of the "International Intelligent Materials" conference. The winners are Florian Diekmann, Sven Malte Krümpelmann and Felix Steinke.

Referee in front of an audience
© Julia Siekmann, Uni Kiel

In his welcoming address, Professor Eckhard Quandt, Vice President for Research at CAU, emphasised the importance of scientific exchange between disciplines in order to develop new ideas and research collaborations. For this evenings and conferences like these and research focuses like KiNSIS are important platforms, he said.

A woman gives a speech
© Julia Siekmann, Uni Kiel

Nahid Talebi, Professor of Nanooptics at the CAU, gave the laudatory speech for the award winner Claus Ropers.

Handing over a medal
© Julia Siekmann, Uni Kiel

Professor Kai Rossnagel handed the Diels-Planck Medal over to Claus Ropers on behalf of the KiNSIS speaker group. It is made from a silicon wafer in the clean room of the Faculty of Engineering.