Welcome to the Horn-von Hoegen Research Group

Artistic representation of a focused surface plasmon
Artistic representation of a focused surface plasmon


New Publication in „Science Advances“

It is not possible to focus light into an arbitrarily small spot. Even if one used enormously large lenses, a parallel beam of light would be focused into a “beam waist” instead of a point-like focal spot. The diameter of the beam waist depends on the wavelength of the light to be focused. In a collaboration with colleagues from Stuttgart and Haifa, the team of Prof. Dr. Frank-J. Meyer zu Heringdorf has now used a trick to nevertheless indirectly focus light into a small sport. The team used 800nm light to excite surface plasmon polaritons at the interface between an atomically smooth Gold platelet and a Silicon substrate. Such “short range” plasmons exhibit a wavelength of only 180nm. By forming a plasmonic focus and by using a transient standing wave field, the authors were able to create an electron-emission spot with a minimal dimension of only 60 nm.

You can read the paper here

Creator: Dr. Andreas Lücke, Universität Paderborn
(c) Dr. Andreas Lücke, Universität Paderborn


Read our Article in Nature

Using ultrafast electron diffraction, the dynamics of a structural phase transition driven by femtosecond laser pulses could be observed with atomic spatial and femtosecond-temporal resolution. With a time resolution of less than 350 fs (10-15 s), Dr. Tim Frigge succeeded in tracing the movement of the atoms for the first time. These ground-breaking results have been published in Nature, supplemented by the work of  the Bovensiepen group at the University of Duisburg-Essen and the work of the Schmidt group at the University of Paderborn.

You can read the paper here
You can read an article about it in Physics World here
You can read the University of Duisburg press release here: English Deutsch

Creator: Florian Sterl & Nikolai Strohfeldt, Universität Stuttgart
(c) Florian Sterl & Nikolai Strohfeldt, Universität Stuttgart


Read our Article in Science

In cooperation with scientists from the universities of Haifa (Israel), Kaiserslautern and Stuttgart, Professor Frank Meyer zu Heringdorf’s team published an article in Science magazine. Using time-resolved non-linear photoemission microscopy, surface plasmon polariton waves were observed with sub-femtosecond time-resolution to spiral to the center of an archimedean spiral. The spiral plasmon waves show an orbital angular momentum that was imprinted into the plasmon wave by using circularly polarized femtosecond laser pulses.

You can read the paper here.
You can read an interview about it here (in German).

SPA-LEED Workshop 2016


SPA-LEED Workshop 2016: A Great Success!

For almost two days, 50 participants presented and discussed their research results in the "Wolfsburg" in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Four high-ranking speakers (Claus Ropers (University of Göttingen), Stefan Kowarik (HU Berlin), Michael Tringides (Ames Lab, University of Iowa) and Michael Ramsey (University of Graz)). The workshop was financially supported by CENIDE, the SFB 1242, the FOR 1700 and the SPA-LEED manufacturer ScientaOmicron. The next SPA-LEED workshop will be organized by Professor Christian Kumpf of the Forschungszentrum Jülich in 2018.

DFG-Information Meeting 2016


DFG Information Meeting

At the next DFG information meeting, organized by the Science Support Center of the University of Duisburg Essen, Professor Michael Horn-von Hoegen will be giving advice for writing successful poposals. The meeting will be held at the Fraunhofer Haus 2 on November 15, 2016. After the general meeting, individual coaching will take place in workshops until 6 pm.

You can find more information here (in German).


Project in FOR1700 Is Funded

The DFG will support the project "Time-resolved diffraction of photo-induced phase transitions in 1D metal wires on semiconductor surfaces" within the FOR1700 research group, for 3 years.

Website FOR1700 - Atomic Wires

The Logo of the new CRC 1242


The Collaborative Research Centre 1242 Is Established

The DFG has established the SFB 1242, titled "Non-equilibrium dynamics of condensed matter in the time domain" in the Department of Physics. Starting on July 1, three projects in our workgroup will be funded with a total of four doctoral students and one postdoc, and these projects will examine the ultrafast structural and electronic dynamics of surfaces and thin films. In project C3 "Driven phase transitions on surfaces", a new apparatus for ultrafast electron diffraction will be built to break the current world record for the time resolution of 350 femtoseconds. With an improved time resolution of 200 femtoseconds the movement of atoms could be directly followed! In project B4, "Non-equilibrium dynamics of the phonon system", the generation, transformation and non-equilibrium of phonons in adsorbate systems and thin metal films is monitored by means of inelastic ultrafast electron diffraction after impulsive excitation. In project B6, the spatial-temporal separation of laser and plasmon pulses on the femtosecond time scale achieved in preliminary work is to be used in order to allow the targeted interaction of plasmon waves with one-particle electron excitations in nanostructures.

Dr. M. Petrovic


Humboldt Foundation Scholarship Awarded to Dr. Marin Petrovic

After completing his dissertation in Zagreb on the topic of graphene, Dr. Petrovic successfully competed for a coveted Alexander von Humboldt Foundation fellowship. In cooperation with his host, Professor Frank Meyer zu Heringdorf, Dr. Petrovic will use low-energy electron microscopy (LEEM) to examine the growth of hexabornite nitride (hBN) Layers on iridium as well as the formation of lateral graphene / hBN heterostructures (in-situ).

SPA-LEED Workshop 2016


SPA-LEED Workshop 2016

Spot Profile Analysis Low Energy Electron Diffraction, i.e., SPA-LEED, was developed at the University of Hannover in the 1980s, and has since then acquired a dedicated group of researchers who have applied the technique to a variety of surface science problems. Researchers who work actively with SPA-LEED meet every 1-2 years for an informal exchange of their research and to discuss the future of the method.

The last meeting was in Hannover on the occasion of Professor Martin Henzler’s 80th birthday; the next SPA-LEED workshop will be hosted by Professor Michael Horn-von Hoegen and Professor Frank Meyer zu Heringdorf from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.

You can register here.

Prof. Frank Meyer zu Heringdorf


Frank Meyer zu Heringdorf Appointed Associate Professor

Dr. Frank Meyer zu Heringdorf was appointed associated professor on August 12, 2015, with the three external experts on the recommendation panel praising his stellar performance in research and teaching. Professor Meyer zu Heringdorf will hold an introductary lecture addressing plasmon propagation in slow-motion as part of the physics colloquium on April 27th, 2016.

Best Presentation Award


Tim Frigge Wins Award at Japanese Symposium

At the "9th International Symposium on Ultrafast Surface Dynamics" in Lake Biwa, Japan, Tim Frigge won the "Best Presentation Award for Young Scientists" award for his lecture "Ultrafast Structural Dynamics of Photo Induced Phase Transitions on Surfaces Observed by fs-RHEED."

Invited Talk - DPG Spring Meeting


DPG Spring Meeting

The following invited talk will be presented at the Spring Meeting of German Physical Society in Berlin:

"1D Metal Wires at Surfaces: Preparation, Phase Transitions, and Ultrafast non Equilibrium Dynamics"

You can download the PDF-version here.