From Excited Atoms to Functionality – ERC Advanced Grant Awarded to Alexander Föhlisch

Alexander Föhlisch is head of the HZB Institute Methods and Instrumentation for Synchrotron Radiation Research and holds a professorship at University Potsdam. © HZB

Under the EU Horizon 2020 Programme for Research and Innovation, Alexander Föhlisch has been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant. The physicists is holding a joint appointment at the Institute for Physics and Astronomy of the University of Potsdam and at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie. He is to receive a total of 2.5 million Euros over a five-year period to support his work on highly selective methods of detection using synchrotron light and X-ray lasers.

The European Research Council (ERC) promotes unconventional, trailblazing research and supports outstanding researchers. Leading scientists at the University of Potsdam are presently carrying out work under six other ERC grants.

The new research project is named “Excited-State Dynamics from Anti-Stokes and Non-Linear Resonant Inelastic X-Ray Scattering” (EDAX). Under this programme, Prof. Föhlisch will study how chemical reaction pathways and phase-transition behaviour can be probed using novel X-ray spectrographic methods. These will serve as a foundation for efficient energy conversion and future energy-efficient information technologies. The University of Potsdam is pushing ahead with cutting-edge research through the EDAX project and consolidating the rising success of the University in EU research programmes.

Alexander Föhlisch studied physics at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen and received his German Diplom degree from the University of Hamburg and Master’s degree in physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook (SUNY). Prior to completing his research and teaching responsibilities for his professorial qualification in Experimental Physics at the University of Hamburg, he conducted his doctoral research at the Advanced Light Source of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and received his doctoral degree from Uppsala University in Sweden. As a jointly appointed Professor at the University of Potsdam and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, he is determining the electronic structure and ultrafast dynamics of atomic entities using innovative X-ray methods. Fundamental properties of materials – such as molecular dynamics at boundaries, switching processes in solids and chemical bonding at active centres – can be determined this way.

Uni Potsdam/HZB