Young researcher award


August 2018: Tobias Dornheim from the Statistical Physics group of Prof. Michael Bonitz (ITAP) wins the U30 Doctoral Scientist Award of the Plasma Physics Division of the Asian-Pacific Physical Society “for the invention of the permutation blocking path integral Monte Carlo method  for the ab initio simulation of the warm dense electron gas and constructing the key ingredient in warm dense matter physics”. The award is combined with combined with a talk at the annual meeting of the society, November 12-16 in Kanazawa, Japan.

Prediction of sub-10 nm skyrmion formation


Magnetic skyrmions are localized, stable magnetic whirls which could be used as bits to store information in future memory and logic devices. In a paper recently published in Physical Review B (Rapid Comm.) Prediction of sub-10 nm skyrmions in Pd/Fe bilayers on Rh(111) using first-principles calculations it is shown by Soumyajyoti Haldar, Stephan von Malottki, Sebastian Meyer and Stefan Heinze (CAU Kiel) in collaboration with Pavel Bessarab (Univ. of Iceland) that sub-10 nm size skyrmions can form in a new class of materials: 3d/4d transition-metal interfaces. By combining density functional theory and atomistic spin dynamics with the geodesic nudged elastic band method and transition state theory it is demonstrated that the lifetime of skyrmions with radii of 3 – 5 nm is up to an hour at temperatures of up to 40 K – significantly higher than experimentally observed for sub-10 nm skyrmions so far. The applied theoretical approach can guide future experimental efforts to explore skyrmions at novel interfaces.

Two "featured articles" in July issue of Physics of Plasmas for the Plasma Dynamics (Prof. Piel) and Experimental Plasma Physics (Prof. Benedikt) Groups


The articles of Oguz Han Asnaz Charging of an irregularly shaped particle in the sheath of an rf plasma"  and Hendrik Jung Experiments on wake structures behind a microparticle in a magnetized plasma flow" have been awarded "Featured Article" in the July issue of Physics of Plasmas. Furthermore, the cover page of the July issue features the article of Hendrik Jung presenting experiments and molecular dynamics simulations concerning the wake structure behind a particle in a magnetized flowing plasma.


Prof. Dr. Holger Kersten zum 1. Prodekan gewählt


Am 04.07.2018 wurde Prof. Dr. Holger Kersten (IEAP, AG Plasmatechnologie) vom Konvent der Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät zum 1. Prodekan gewählt. Die Fakultät wird geleitet von dem Dekan Prof. Dr.Frank Kempken, bei der Führung der Fakultätsgeschäfte wird er durch den ersten Prodekan Prof. Dr. Holger Kersten unterstützt. Der erste Prodekan vertritt den Dekan in allen Angelegenheiten, besonders bei Berufungsverfahren und Habilitationen. Der Dekan sowie die Prodekane wurden vom Fakultätskonvent aus dem Kreis der ihm angehörenden Mitglieder jeweils für die Dauer von zwei Jahren gewählt. Sie üben diese Ämter nebenamtlich aus. Siehe auch: https://www.mnf.uni-kiel.de/de/dekanat-1/dek-info

EPS Poster Award für Viktor Schneider


Auf der 45. Konferenz für Plasmaphysik der Europäischen Physikalischen Gesellschaft (EPS) (siehe https://eps2018.eli-beams.eu/en/), die vom 02. bis zum 06. Juli 2018 in Prag stattfand, hat Viktor Schneider aus der AG Plasmatechnologie den EPS/PPCF Posterpreis für seine Arbeit "An optically trapped microparticle as plasma probe" gewonnen.

In seinen experimentellen Untersuchungen geht es um die Verwendung von Mikropartikeln als elektrostatische Sonden in der Plasmarandschicht einer Hochfrequenzentladung. Die Testpartikel werden in einer optischen Falle (laser tweezers) eingefangen und im Plasma bzw. in der Randschicht verschoben. Aus der resultierenden Kräftebilanz kann über die Partikelladung der Verlauf des elektrischen Feldes in der Randschicht bestimmt werden. Darüberhinaus hat Herr Schneider die Partikel mittels UV-Strahlung bzw. in einem kleinen Plattenkondensator so manipuliert, dass er deren Restladungen bei ausgeschaltetem Plasma ermitteln konnte.

Relais satellite for Chinese Chang'E4 lunar mission successfully launched


The relais satellite for the Chinese lunar mission Chang'E4 was successfully launched on May 21, 2018. Chang'E4 itself is foreseen to be launched in December this year and then fly to and land on the far side of the Moon. The relais satellite is needed for communication with the lander and its scientific payload. The Extraterrestrial Physics Division developed and built a radiation monitor which is part of the payload and is currently being tested together with the lander in Beijing.

There's a short article about it in Nature:

and a youtube video:

Earth moon satellite relation
(picture credit: LESEC)

Discovery of a novel spin structure


Today the interplay of exchange and Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI) at transition-metal interfaces is a focus of research in condensed matter physics since it can lead to topologically non-trivial spin structures such as skyrmions and antiskyrmions which are promising for spintronic applications. Higher-order exchange interactions beyond pairwise Heisenberg exchange have received much less attention. The groups of Prof. Roland Wiesendanger (University of Hamburg) and of Prof. Stefan Heinze (CAU Kiel) now demonstrate based on spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy and density functional theory that higher-order exchange interactions can play a decisive role in transition-metal trilayers and that their competition with DMI can lead to novel types of spin structures (see figure). Their work recently published in Physical Review Letters "Competition of Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya and higher-order exchange interactions in Rh/Fe atomic bilayers on Ir(111)" also demonstrates that higher-order exchange needs to be taken into account in the search for novel transition-metal interfaces potentially promising for complex spin structures such as skyrmions.

Skyrmion research in Top 100 Scientific Reports Physics papers in 2017


The publication on Enhanced skyrmion stability due to exchange frustration from Stephan von Malottki, Bertrand Dupé, and Stefan Heinze (CAU Kiel) in collaboration with Pavel Bessarab (University of Iceland) and Anna Delin (KTH Stockholm) has been selected as one of the top 100 papers of more than 3000 articles in physics published in Scientific Reports in 2017. The work shows that the frustration of long range exchange interactions – a typical feature in itinerant electron magnets – is a route towards enhanced skyrmion stability which is essential for future applications in spintronic devices.

Plasma Germany tagte in Kiel


Das deutsche Kompetenznetz für Plasmatechnologie „Plasma Germany“ traf sich am 17. und 18. April 2018 an der Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU) zur Frühjahrssitzung. Rund 30 Expertinnen und Experten aus Wissenschaft und Industrie tauschten sich über aktuelle Themen der Plasmatechnik aus. Unter anderem diskutierten sie, wie sich plasmabasierte Beschichtungsprozesse für Anwendungen von Industrie 4.0 verbessern lassen. Plasmatechnologie ist für viele Prozesse der Halbleiter-, Dünnschicht- oder Optikindustrie sowie für die Medizintechnik relevant. http://www.uni-kiel.de/pressemeldungen/index.php?pmid=2018-109-plasmagermany

Fast CMEs Continue to Decelerate in the Outer Heliosphere


Most fast coronal mass ejections will be decelerated into ambient solar wind quickly in the inner heliosphere, but some of them continue the deceleration with an even larger amplitude beyond 1 AU.


Interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) are the major drivers of severe space weather near Earth and other planets. Freiherr von Forstner et al. [2018] provide multi-spacecraft observations of a set of ICMEs, associated shocks and resultant decreases of the flux of cosmic rays between the orbits of Earth and Mars. A new technique is developed to assess the kinematic evolution of ICMEs beyond 1 AU, which is then supported by modeling techniques. Stronger continuous deceleration between 1 AU and Mars is found for some events, indicating further complexity of the interaction of ICMEs with ambient solar wind in the outer heliosphere. This work advances our understanding of the kinematic evolution of ICMEs beyond 1 AU. Future observations by Solar Orbiter and Parker Solar Probe will complement the improving global picture of ICME evolution throughout the heliosphere.

Citation: Freiherr von Forstner J.L. et al., [2018], Using Forbush decreases to derive the transit time of ICMEs propagating from 1 AU to Mars, Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 123, http://doi.org/10.1002/2017JA024700