We study fundamental ion-surface interactions, in particular the impact of slow highly charged ions on surfaces leading to the formation of exotic "hollow atoms". The use of highly charged ions as a tool for controlled surface modification via potential sputtering is being investigated in view of possible practical applications (e.g., nanostructuring of insulator surfaces).

Our current research projects include:

  • Interaction of highly charged ions with 2D materials, such as the semimetal graphene, the semiconductor MoS2, or the insulator hBN.
  • Perforation of van-der-Waals Heterostructures using slow highly charged ions
  • Deexcitation of hollow atoms via emission of electrons and x-rays
  • Energy and charge transfer of light, singly charged ions transmitted through 2D materials
  • Creation of nanometer-sized surface modifications by irradiation with slow highly charged ions
  • Erosion of fusion-relevant surfaces using slow light ions (c.f., Fusion Research)
  • Erosion of planetary analog materials (Moon, Mercury) as well as Lunar soil using solar-wind-relevant ions (cf., Space Weathering)