3.3 Transient Structures and Imaging with X-rays

Project coordinators: M. Woerner, B. Pfau

Recent Highlights

Carl-Ramsauer Award for Lisa-Marie Kern

For her outstanding PhD thesis, Dr. Lisa-Marie Kern receives the 2023 Carl Ramsauer Award of the Berlin Physical Society. Each year, the Berlin Physical Society bestows the award to a maximum of four PhD students from Berlin and Brandenburg universities.

Kern carried out her PhD research at MBI, studying the controlled manipulation of tiny swirls of magnetization, called skyrmions. Such magnetic skyrmions can exist in ferromagnetic thin films and they have captured the interest of researchers for two primary reasons: their dynamics depends on their non-trivial topology, and they may be used in future data storage and processing concepts as bits encoding “0” and “1”. Magnetic skyrmions can be generated by single impulses of laser light or electrical current. Kern developed an approach that allows to control and to predefine - with a precision of 20 nanometers - exactly where a skyrmion is formed by such a pulse. Furthermore, she developed a “nanometer rails system with stops” which enables the controlled motion of skyrmions along a guiding path using current pulses, bringing them to well-defined stops. These capabilities are essential for both fundamental studies on skyrmion dynamics as well as to realize applications in future devices. In fact, she could realize the very first pump-probe imaging experiments on the current- and the laser-induced skyrmion nucleation, unveiling intricate details on how a skyrmion comes into existence and responds on ultrashort timescales. “In my PhD research at MBI, I could combine expertise in laser technology, x-ray imaging and nanofabrication to drive my research forward” says Dr. Kern, “and I am truly grateful for the opportunities that came with being part of a great team and having access to the unique technical resources.”

We congratulate Dr. Lisa-Marie Kern to the 2023 Carl Ramsauer Award!

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