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Gerhard Ertl Young Investigator Award 2023

Wouter Jolie received the Gerhard Ertl Young Investigator Award 2023 for his outstanding work in the field of surface science and, especially, for the exploration of electron correlations in the one dimensional cavities formed by mirrow twin boundaries in monolayer MoS_2.

INNOMAG Dissertation Prize 2023

Nina del Ser received the INNOMAG Dissertation Prize 2023 of the magnetism section of the German Physical Society for her PhD Thesis "The Turn of the Screw and the Slide of the Skyrmion".

Max Delbrück award for junior researchers

We congratulate Dr. Ciarán Hickey on receiving this year's Max Delbrück award for junior researchers. The prize, one of five "future awards" of the University of Cologne, commends Ciarán for "the discovery of novel spin liquids in field-driven quantum matter". It recognizes his work on identifying a Higgs transition in the paradigmatic Kitaev model and providing theoretical guidance in the experimental observation of a planar half-quantized thermal Hall effect in the Kitaev material RuCl3.

Development of new technology

A research team with groups from Wuppertal, Oxford, Berlin, Tübingen and Düsseldorf in collaboration with Selina Olthof and Klaus Meerholz from the University of Cologne has developed a highly efficient tandem solar cell composed of perovskite and organic absorbers which can be produced at a lower cost than conventional solar cells made of silicon. The further development of this technology is expected to make solar energy even more sustainable.

The paper Perovskite–organic tandem solar cells with indium oxide interconnect has been published in Nature.

Bernhard Heß prize for Selina Olthof

Dr. Selina Olthof received the Bernhard Heß prize of the University of Regensburg. She will give a guest lecture on "Solar Energy Conversion" in the context of the prize.

Wolfram-Prandl-Prize 2020 for Dr. Sabrina Disch

Sabrina Disch is the winner of the Wolfram-Prandl-Prize 2020 for young scientists awarded  by the German Committee Research with Neutrons (KFN). Dr. Sabrina Disch receives the prize for her outstanding research results on the understanding of structure, spin structure and spin dynamics of magnetic nanoparticles  achieved with innovative neutron scattering methods. Congratulations!

Achim Rosch receives the Max Delbrück prize

Achim Rosch receives the Max Delbrück prize of the University of Cologne

Research Prizes 2020

Magnetic nanoparticles change their magnetic structure

In their publication Field-Dependence of Magnetic Disorder in Nanoparticle in Physical Review X, Sabrina Disch and her collaborators used polarized neutron scattering to explore how the internal magnetic structure of nanoparticles changes in moderate magnetic fields. More details can be found here.

Walter Schottky prize for Zhe Wang

Dr. Zhe Wang receives the Walter Schottky prize "For his pioneering work in the field of quantum magnetism, in particular for the experimental detection of so-called Bethe strings using THz spectroscopy at very high magnetic fields." Zhe Wang has been working since 2019 at the Institute of Physics II on the high-intensity THz experiments. Our congratulations to Dr. Wang for this outstanding recognition of his work!

press release


Klaus Liebrecht prize

Jan Masell receives the Klaus Liebrecht prize in 2019 for the PhD thesis "Magnetic Skyrmions and Topological Domain walls" where he investigated the properties of topological magnetic textures. He developed, for example, the theory of topological maghetic whirls in helical magnets and put forward new concepts for skyrmion-based magnetic memories. The Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Cologne awards the Klaus Liebrecht prize for the best thesis work.


Classic double-slit experiment in a new light

Young’s double-slit experiment is the prototype for any interference phenomenon based on elastic scattering. The discovery of a double-slit-type interference pattern in resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS) on Ba3CeIr2O9 confirms a prediction dating from 1994 and establishes a new versatile tool to measure the symmetry of excited states in the same way as elastic scattering does for the ground state. The two-beam interference of dimers is the simplest and most transparent example for such interference effects. In Ba3CeIr2O9, it reveals clear fingerprints of a dimerized valence bond solid with singlets built from spin-orbit-entangled j=1/2 pseudospins instead of simple spins, as reported in Science Advances.

Welt der Physik 
Physics World
Science Advances
press release

Humboldt Research Award

Prof. Tien-Cuong Dinh (National University of Singapore/University of Paris 6) received a Humboldt Research Award for his achievements in mathematics in the areas of several complex variables, pluripotential theory and complex dynamics. Tien-Cuong Dinh is a regular visitor of the Institute of Mathematics and of QM2 and will be our guest again with support by the Humboldt Research Award.

Gaede Prize of the German Physics Society awarded to Dr. Selina Olthof

Dr. Selina Olthof will be awarded the “Gaede Prize” of the German Physics Society for her outstanding research in the field of photoelectron spectroscopy. She investigates novel semiconducting materials, organics as well as hybrid perovskites, focussing on the influence the energy level alignment at internal interfaces might have on the performance of optoelectronic devices. The award ceremony will take place at the DPG annual meeting in Regensburg on April 2nd 2019.

After her PhD at the TU Dresden and a postdoc stay at Princeton University, Selina Olthof joined the group of Prof. Meerholz at the Chemistry Department at the University of Cologne in 2012, where she currently holds a position as Junior Group Leader. Our congratulations to Dr. Olthoff for this outstanding recognition of her work!

Cluster of Excellence: Matter and Light for Quantum Computing

On the 27th of September, the project  “Matter and Light for Quantum Computing” (ML4Q) was selected for funding as a Cluster of Excellence within the Excellence Strategy of the German Governments. ML4Q is a joint initiative by the universities of Cologne, Aachen, and Bonn, as well as the Research Center Jülich, coordinated by its speaker, Yoichi Ando (Cologne). The aim of the cluster is to develop robust components for quantum computing and networking. The generous funding for the cluster will help to build a major center for these future key technologies. ML4Q is the culmination of a strategic focus on quantum technologies by the four partner institutions,  building  in the case of Cologne on QM2.We congratulate all cluster members for this spectacular success.

For popular presentation of the planned research within ML4Q, see the following article by the newspaper Welt am Sonntag and the press release of the University of Cologne (both in German).


Zala Lenarčič featured on the Nature blog

As the recipient of a Nature Reviews Physics poster prize, the work of Zala Lenarčič has been featured on the physics blog of the Nature journals. Zala's work showed how temperature fluctuations can be used to detect signatures of many-body localization in solids. She just moved from Cologne to the University of California, Berkeley.

APS fellowship for Yoichi Ando

Yoichi Ando joined the University of Cologne as a professor in 2015 and works at the Institute of Physics II as an experimental physicist. His research focuses on topological insulators and superconductors, aiming at the creation of topological Majorana states as building blocks for future quantum computers.


Article on Quantum Computing

The newspaper Welt am Sonntag published an article
based on interviews with Yoichi Ando and Alexander Altland
on our collaborative plans in the field of quantum computing.

Prof. Ando listed as a "Highly Cited Researcher"

Yoichi Ando has been listed as a "Highly Cited Researcher in 2017" in the field of physics. This ranking, conducted by the company Clarivate Analytics, lists the top 1% of highly cited and most influential scientists in a given field.

Yoichi Ando joined the University of Cologne as a professor in 2015 and works at the Institute of Physics II as an experimental physicist. His research focuses on topological insulators and superconductors, aiming at the creation of topological Majorana states as building blocks for future quantum computers. 

Long-term QM2 guest Prof. Valery Pokrovsky receives Landau Gold Medal 2018 of Russian Academy of Science

© Texas A&M University

The Landau Gold Medal is the highest prize in theoretical physics awarded by the Russian Academy of Sciences. It was established in 1971 and is named after Soviet physicist and Nobel Laureate Lev Landau.
It is awarded only every 5 years. Valery Pokrovsky, since 20 years regular visitor of the institute of theoretical physics and, since its founding, also of QM2, is the only person who received the prize twice, in 1982 (together with Patashinsky) and in 2018.

Dr. Zala Lenarčič receives Jožef Stefan Golden Emblem Prize

Dr. Zala Lenarčič received the Jožef Stefan Golden Emblem Prize for her Ph.D. thesis "Nonequilibrium properties of Mott insulators" at the University of Ljubljana. She is presently working as a postdoc in the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Cologne.

Selina Olthof receives Eleonore Trefftz professorship

Dr. Selina Olthof has been selected by the Eleonore Trefftz programm to become a visiting professor in Dresden. She will work and teach from January to June 2018 at Dresden University. Dr. Olthof graduated from Dresden University in 2010. After two years as a postdoc at Princeton University (USA), she joined the Institute for Physical Chemistry in 2012. In her work she is exploring the potential of novel organic semiconductors and hybrid perovskites for, e.g., pho­to­vol­taics.

Wallenberg academy fellowship for Dr. Maria Hermanns

Dr. Maria Hermanns, who has only recently left the Institute for Theoretical Physics for a junior faculty position at the University of Gothenburg, has been awarded a prestigious Wallenberg academy fellowship. Upon accepting the Wallenberg fellowship Maria will relocate her expanding group to the University of Stockholm. We very much congratulate Maria!

Wallenberg  Foundation

Sophie Germain Prize for Xiaonan Ma

Prof. Xiaonan Ma (University Denis Diderot-Paris 7 and International Faculty in Cologne) received the Sophie Germain Prize of the French Academy of Sciences. 

The prize was awarded to Xiaonan Ma for its work on global analysis, analytic torsion, Bergman kernel and geometric quantization. Prof. Ma joined the International Faculty of the University of Cologne in 2013. Together with the QM2 member George Marinescu, he is the author of a reference book on the Bergman kernel. With Weiping Zhang, he proved a conjecture by Michèle Vergne on geometric quantification for non-compact varieties. Finally, his recent work with Klevtsov, Marinescu and Wiegman shows a surprising link between the Bergman kernel and the quantum Hall effect.

Sabrina Disch receives Max Delbrück prize for junior researcher

Sabrina Disch receives the prize for her for her comprehensive investigations of magnetism innanostructures  using an innovative combination of different  X-ray and neutronscattering techniques. Her work includes the application of new time-resolved techniquesto investigate the magnetic dynamics in anisotropic nanostructures.

Sab­ri­na Disch did her PhD in Jü­lich and Aa­chen Uni­ver­si­ty, where she gra­dua­ted in 2010. As a post­doc she was at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ore­gon, the Uni­ver­sité Libre de Bru­xel­les, and the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble, be­fo­re she be­ca­me a group lea­der in Co­lo­gne in 2014. Since 2015 she is hea­ding an Em­my-Noe­ther re­se­arch group. Our con­gra­tu­la­ti­ons to Sab­ri­na Disch for this rego­gni­ti­on of her work!

Press release



ERC advanced grant for Yoichi Ando


Yoichi Ando has been awar­ded with the ERC Advanced Grant of the Eu­ropean Re­se­arch Coun­cil for his pro­ject "Majorana Fermions in Topological Insulator Platforms". The ERC Advanced Grant is the most prestigious and competitive grant in Europe.

With the grant Prof. Ando aims to realize and explore exotic particles, known as Majorana Fermion, using the peculiar properties of topological insulators. In these materials the structure of the quantum-mechanical wave function enforces the presence of conducting surface states. Using the coupling of these surface states to superconductors, Yoichi Ando plans to engineer Majorana quantum states which allows for new ways to encode quantum information and perform computations in future quantum computers.

Yoichi Ando joined the University of Cologne as a professor in 2015. The ERC Advanced Grant will provide funding from 2017 to 2022.

Our con­gra­tu­la­ti­ons to Yoichi Ando for this im­portant prize!

press release


Spring School on Topological Matter

The Reseach Center Jülich  organizes together with members of QM2 the spring school Topological Matter - Topological Insulators, Skyrmions and Majoranas taking place from 27 March – 07 April 2017 in Jülich.Around 290 early career researchers from  all over the world will learnabout the most recent developments in the field of topological matter.

Sabrina Disch becomes member of the "Junges Kolleg" of the Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts


Dr. Sabrina Disch (Department of Chemistry) was elected as a member of the "Junges Kolleg" of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academyof Sciences, Humanities and the Arts. Beeing a member of this group is a high distinction for young scientists in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Press releases:

University of Cologne

North Rhine-Westphalian Academyof Sciences, Humanities and the Arts



New Collaborative Research Center in Mathematics approved

On November 18th 2016 the DFG approved a new Collaborative Research Center (CRC) which is an integral part of the research program of QM2. The CRC Symplectic Structures and Techniques in Geometry, Algebra and Dynamics (speaker Hansjörg Geiges, Cologne) joins the forces of, on the one hand, mathematicians who have beensocialized in symplectic geometry and, on the other, scientists working in areas that have proved important for the cross-fertilization of ideas with symplectic geometry, notably dynamics and algebra.
In addition, the CRC intends to explore connections with fields where, so far, the potential of the symplectic viewpoint has not been fully realized or, conversely, which can contribute new methodology to the study of symplectic questions (e.g. optimization, computer science).
A group from Bochum and two further researchers from Münster join this QM2 initiative.

press release

Charlotte Herbig receives the 2016 Wayne B. Nottingham Prize

Charlotte Herbig (II. Physikalisches Institut) received this year's Nottingham Prize at the 76th Physical Electronics Conference (PEC) that took place June 20-23 at University of Arkansas, USA. The Nottingham Prize has been first awarded in 1966 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in honor of Professor Wayne B. Nottingham. Since then, it awards the best research paper of a junior scientist in the field of surface and interface science based on work done for a PhD. The winner is elected by a jury after a full day of contest, where 20 preselected contestants present their research in scientific talks.

Charlotte Herbig won the prize for her work on ion irradiation of two-dimensional (2D) materials. She discovered that 2D materials like graphene act as a one-way valve for energetic particles leading to highly pressurized blisters that do not release the trapped gas up to extremely high temperatures. 

Charlotte Herbig received her Master's at the University of Cologne, is a member of the Bonn-Cologne Graduate School of Physics and Astronomy and currently a PhD student in the group of Prof. Michely.

press release

“PeroBOOST” project researches development of solar cells from perovskites

QM2 member Klaus Meerholz and his group

have started the “PeroBOOST” project together with AIXTRON SE, Enerthing GmbH, Lunovu GmbH, SOLUXX GmbH, the Center for Organic Electronics Cologne (ZOEK) gGmbH, the Fraunhofer ISE Laboratory and Service Center Gelsenkirchen, and Duisburg-Essen University.

The basis for this three-year project (03/2016-02/2019) is the recent discovery of the superb properties of organo-perovskite materials for efficient solar cells. 
“PeroBOOST” is being supported with funds from the European Regional Development Fund  (ERDF) 2014-2020. 

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Achim Rosch receives the 2016 Europhysics Prize

Achim Rosch (Institute for Theoretical Physics) receives the 2016 Europhysics Prize of the European Physical Society for his theoretical work on skyrmion physics in MnSi. The award is shared with his experimental colleagues C. Pfleider und P. Böni (TU Munich) as well as theoreticians A.N. Bogdanov (IFW Dresden) and A. Vishwanath (UC Berkeley). Skyrmions are magnetic whirls which can lead to a novel magnetic state of topological nature: a magnetic skyrmion crystal. Such a skyrmion crystal was first observed in MnSi by neutron scattering experiments in Munich in close collaboration with Achim Rosch’s theory group in Cologne. Interest in such novel spin textures has been driven as skyrmions give rise to a topological Hall effect and can be moved by currents much smaller than those required to displace domain walls thus opening the door to applications in data storage.

Since 1975 the Europhysics Prize is awarded every 2 years by the Condensed Matter Division of the European Physical Society for outstanding achievement in condensed matter physics. The official announcement of the European Physical Society can be found at 2016 Europhysics Prize.

Our congratulations to Achim Rosch for this well deserved recognition.

Two collaborative reasearch centers approved

On May 25th 2016 the DFG approved two Collaborative Research Centers (CRC) which are an important part of the research program of QM2.

The CRC Dynamics and Control of Quantum Materials: Topology, Spin-orbit Coupling and Correlations (speaker Paul van Loosdrecht, Cologne) investigates how spin-orbit coupling induces new states of matter, often with special topological properties. Two groups from Bonn and Jülich join this QM2 initiative.

The CRC Entangled States of Matter (speaker Alexander Altland) is a collaboration of scientists from Cologne, Berlin, Copenhagen, and the Weizmann institute in Israel. Combining concepts from quantum information theory, topology and solid state physics the CRC investigates new concept to realize quantum entanglement in novel quantum device.

Maria Hermanns receives Max Delbrück prize for junior researcher

The QM2 member Dr. Maria Hermanns (Institute for Theoretical Physics) receives the Max Delbrück prize for junior researchers for the year 2016.The Max Delbrück Prize for junior researchers is a research prize of the University of Cologne honoring outstanding research in the life and natural sciences performed within the last two years.

Maria Hermanns received the prize for her theoretical analysis of magnetic moment fractionalization arising from the interplay of frustration, topology and correlations in the context of condensed matter physics.
She has developed a family of microscopic models that allow to analytically track this fractionalization of elementary quantum degrees of freedom and to establish a rigorous connection between emergent spin liquid physics and Majorana metals.
Maria received her PhD from Stockholm University, held a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University, and since 2012 is a member of the Institute of Theoretical Physics where she currently leads an Emmy-Noether research group.

Universität eröffnet das COPT.ZENTRUM für Organische Elektronik

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Emmy Noether Grant for Sabrina Disch

Sabrina Disch (Institute of Physical Chemistry) was awarded an Emmy Noether Grant by the DFG. This highly prestigious prize will allow her to build up an independent research group. In the five-year project "Dynamics of magnetization reversal and directional anisotropies in magnetic nanostructures", her group will investigate time- and spatially resolved magnetization effects in magnetic nanostructures using time-resolved, polarized neutron scattering techniques. A particular emphasis of the project will be on assemblies of orientationally aligned nanoparticles. Due to their small size, such tiny magnets obtain new dynamical properties.

Dr. Disch joined the Chemistry Department of the University of Cologne in 2014 as a junior group leader after postdoctoral stays at the University of Oregon, USA, and the Insitute Laue-Langevin in Grenoble, France. She has been a member of QM2 since 2015.

Our congratulations to Sabrina Disch!

ERC grant for Alexander Grüneis

Alexander Grüneis was awarded an ERC Consolidator grant of the European Research Council for his project "Many-body physics andsuperconductivity in 2D materials. He is a member of QM2 since April2014. The ERC grant (~2M Eur) will be used to design and apply novelspectroscopy instrumentation that allows for a combined investigation ofthe spectral function, the Raman spectrum and transport properties offunctional 2D materials. The expected duration is from 1.6.2015 - 31.5.2020.

Our congratulations to Alexander Grüneis for this important prize!

Unified theory for skyrmion-materials

    T. Schwarze, J. Waizner, M. Garst, A. Bauer, I. Stasinopoulos, H. Berger, C. Pfleiderer & D. Grundler

The taming of magnetic vortices

Magnetic vortex structures, so-called skyrmions, could in future store and process information very efficiently. They could also be the basis for high-frequency components. For the first time, a team of physicists succeeded in characterizing the electromagnetic properties of insulating, semiconducting and conducting skyrmion-materials and developed a unified theoretical description of their behavior. This lays the foundation for future electronic components with purpose-designed properties ... (read more)

Press Releases University of Cologne

Nature online

Semyon Klevtsov receives Max Delbrück prize for junior researcher


The QM2 member Dr. Semyon Klevtsov (Mathematical Institute) receives the Max Delbrück prize for junior researcher for the year 2015.The Max Delbrück Prize for junior researchers honors outstanding research in the life and natural sciences performed within the last two years. 

Semyon Kletsov received the prize  for the development of the random Kähler approach building new links between mathematics and physics. He devolped Kähler quantum gravity as a competitor to Liouville quantum gravity. A central role in this approach is played by the Yau-Tian-Donaldson program in Kähler geometry. He received his Master’s at Moscow State University and his PhD in physics at Rutgers University. He is currently Humboldt Fellow at the institute of Mathematics of the University of Cologne.

Prof. Meerholz has been listed as the "Highly Cited Researcher"


Klaus Meerholz has been listed as "Highly Cited Researcher in 2014" in the field of materials science. This award is given to researchers ranking among the top 1% of highly cited scientists in a given field. In recognition of his work he has also been listed as one of "The world's Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014"

Prof. Klaus Meerholz works in the field of organic nanoelectronics at the Institute for Physical Chemistry of the University of Cologne. He is director of the Center of Organic Production Technologies (COPT) in NRW e.V and vice-speaker of QM2.

Prof. Grüneis receives the Austrian START Prize in 2014


Prof. Grüneis is one of the recipients of the START Prize in 2014. The START Prize is the most prestigious prize for  young scientists in Austria. 
Prof. Grüneis studied in Vienna and received 2004 his PhD from the Tohoku University in Japan. He started as a junior professor in Cologne in April 2014. He receives the prize for his project on the "Quasiparticle Dynamics and Optical Properties of Designer van-der-Waals Solids". Within this project he plans to prepare novel layered materials and investigate their properties using spectroscopy. 

Our congratulations to Prof. Grüneis.