Anton Paar’s Award for Physics 2015
For Anton Paar it is very important to support research work in the field of science and technology. The science awards from Anton Paar already have a tradition. Every year we give two awards: one for physics and one for chemistry. The 2015 Award for Physics goes to Dr. Dominik Göbl.
Anton Paar awards the work of the young scientist in his PhD "Electronic stopping and charge exchange of slow light ions in metals and semiconductors", submitted to the Johannes Kepler University in Linz (Austria).
What is the focus of the prize-winning research work? The young physicist explains:
Dr. Dominik Göbl: "Everyday items such as the non-stick coating on a frying pan or catalytic converters in vehicles work because their surfaces consist of atoms and molecules which have certain properties. For many forward-looking technologies, such as new solar cells, special surfaces are required. To support developments in these fields, researchers need methods with which they can find out how a surface is composed.
One such method is low-energy ion scattering. The principle is simple: You take a helium ion (the projectile) and shoot it at a surface. It collides there with a surface atom and is deflected. This process is called scattering. Between the scattering processes the projectile gives energy to those electrons which are situated between the surface atoms. This is called electronic energy loss.
Helium ions are neutralized very quickly when they enter the surface. If you measure the helium ions which are scattered back, you get information about the outer atom layers. To evaluate the measurements correctly, it is important to know how well the ions are being neutralized on the surface and how much energy the projectiles are giving to the electrons. These two processes - the charge exchange and electronic energy loss - are the subject of my PhD. I was able to contribute to increased understanding in both areas.
The results of my work expand the understanding of the involved processes and lead to a higher accuracy in the analysis of measurements in low-energy ion scattering. These methods will be used to research new technologies for fuel cells, search for suitable materials for fusion reactors and to develop the next generation of computer chips."
Dr. Dominik Göbl attended college in Leonding before studying Technical Physics at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz (Austria). He received the Anton Paar Physics Award 2015 for his PhD.