News archive 2022


13.05.2022In the shadow of the earth - lunar eclipse on May 16th

When the Earth gets between the Sun and the Moon, spectacular images are created here. Astrophysicist Dr. Jonathan Kollmer explains in the video why we talk about the blood moon and why we have to wait a little longer in Central Europe.

Link to youtube video
© UDE/Henrik Myja

11.05.2022Success for the UDE - DFG funds two new research training groups

Materials science and medicine at UDE can further expand their research. The German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding two new Research Training Groups with a total of around 14 million euros for the next five years. The research subjects are the properties and production of two-dimensional materials and the effectiveness of radiation treatment for cancer.

Two-dimensional materials are extremely thin and in some cases consist of only a single layer of atoms. They are particularly interesting because they have unique electrical and optical properties and can be rolled, folded or stretched due to their high mechanical stability. The international research training group 2D-MATURE* (GRK 2803) at the Faculty of Engineering with participation from the Faculty of Physics will address two questions: How can two-dimensional materials be produced in large quantities and how do they behave when combined with other materials in such a way that they can be used in products?

The goal is to develop new methods and processes to enable industrial-scale applications, for example in light-emitting diodes or batteries. The college is headed by Prof. Gerd Bacher and is funded with around 7 million euros. The doctoral students conducting research at the Center for Nanointegration Duisburg-Essen (CENIDE) will collaborate with Canadian colleagues at the Waterloo Institute of Nanotechnology (WIN) at the University of Waterloo.

In the fight against cancer, radiation treatment remains one of the most effective therapies. Despite medical advances, only some particularly aggressive or extensive tumors can be effectively controlled by radiation while protecting normal tissue. Still, too little is known about why people respond differently to radiation therapy and why undesirable side effects occur.

In the new Research Training Group 2762 "Heterogeneity, Plasticity and Dynamics of the Response of Cancer Cells, Tumor and Normal Tissues to Therapeutic Radiation in Cancer", researchers from the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Biology are working together. They will further explore the mechanisms of individual radiosensitivity of different tumors and tissues. The collegium is headed by Prof. Verena Jendrossek. The DFG is funding the project with around 7 million euros.

* "Scalable 2D Material Architectures (2-D MATURE). Synthesis and processing, characterization and functionality, implementation and demonstration."

In the picture: two-dimensional materials in wafer size (diameter wafer: 5 cm), produced with a scalable gas phase process.

by Thomas Wittek

To the news release of the University Duisburg-Essen (german)
© zdi Centre DU.MINT Duisburg Lower Rhine/Reichert

10.05.2022zdi-robot competition

zdi - The joint initiative for the next generation of MINT students in NRW

RE-use RE-duce RE-cycle: These are the keywords to which pupils have programmed their robots for the circular economy - the PascalBots team from the Pascal Gymnasium in Grevenbroich won the local competition in Duisburg on 4 May 2022. With a very confident run, the 3 pupils beat the team J.-K.-Robots from Schwalmtal. Third place went to the girls' team Marienberg from Neuss - who were particularly enthusiastic about their success - photo opposite.

Dr Kirsten Dunkhorst is not only the head of the NanoSchollLab of the Faculty of Physics and the Faculty of Engineering, but also the head of the zdi centre DU.MINT Duisburg Niederrhein, where she organises robot competitions. The aim is to link schools, the University of Duisburg-Essen and industry and, last but not least, to attract talented pupils to study physics, energy science or nanoengineering.

To the home page of the zdi centre DU.MINT Duisburg Niederrhein

10.05.2022Graduation ceremony of the Faculty of Physics on Friday, 24 June 2022

The Faculty of Physics honours the achievements of Bachelor, Master and Diploma theses.
Did you graduate between May 2019 and April 2022?
Then you are cordially invited - see below for registration.
18:00 pm
Lecture hall LX 1205 Audimax, Lotharstraße 63a, 47057 Duisburg
Welcome by the Dean
Prof. Dr. Michael Schreckenberg

Presentation of the graduates and
Honouring of particularly outstanding work
by the Dean and the Dean of Studies
Prof. Dr. Hermann Nienhaus

20:00 pm
Champagne reception with snacks
in the foyer LX

Informationen und Anmeldung

04.05.2022Open video chat rooms of the Buddy System 2022

Are you thinking about studying physics, physics as a teaching profession or the Energy Science program, which is unique in Germany? You still have questions that you would like to have answered before making your decision? We will help you!

The open video chat rooms of the Buddy System of the Faculty of Physics start into a new season. Starting May 10, 2022, we will be available to help you on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, May 10th 2022, 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 19th 2022, 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 24th 2022, 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 02nd 2022, 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 07th 2022, 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 16th 2022, 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 21st 2022, 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 30th 2022, 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 5th 2022, 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 14th 2022, 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 19th 2022, 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 28th 2022, 5 p.m.

You can find the link and more information about the open video chat rooms at .

Study with us because only we offer a two-tier buddy system for the best start to your studies. Buddies are students from the lower years of study who are happy to pass on their first-hand experience to you. This means that you will receive comprehensive support in a first phase before you start your studies and in a second phase during the first two semesters and can begin your studies without worries.

Homepage of the Buddy System

03.05.2022Conference on Magnetism and Superconductivity in Duisburg

12th International Conference on Magnetic and Superconducting Materials (MSM22) on 28 August – 02 September 2022 at the University of Duisburg-Essen  

In Duisburg, the 12th edition of the MSM conference will continue a series of meetings started in 1999 as an international conference aimed at strengthening scientific relations between scientific groups in the Middle East region and with the advanced scientific world community.
The MSM meetings will be held every two years in Asia, Africa and Europe, finally reaching the heart of Western Europe in 2022: Duisburg.
The MSM22 program includes a wide range of plenary lectures, invited talks, and contributed papers, covering the latest advances in basic and applied magnetism and superconductivity, as well as many related topics.

Link to the homepage of the conference

28.03.2022Radio advertising for Energy Science now on 1LIVE

Plus posters in Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne and Mannheim.
Sometimes you have to help luck along a bit. Just how important the topic of energy would become could probably only be guessed at the time the course was planned. To make sure that even more prospective students are aware of what a top offer the Energy Science program has at the start, we have stepped up our advertising.

Link to the radio spot (german)

Link to the study program
© UDE/Frank Preuß

10.03.2022"But there are also exceptions, true caretakers" Editor and photographer from Stern visiting the Faculty of Physics

"But there are also exceptions, true caretakers" Editor and photographer from Stern to guest in the Faculty of Physics
Under the title "STUDYING AND CORONA - They drop out or don't even enroll: Germany's young elite are losers of the pandemic" an article was published at Stern-Online. Overall, the Germany-wide résumé is rather sobering. However, under the subheading "There are exceptions, true caretakers", there are very good marks for our Faculty of Physics. The two visitors from the weekly magazine Stern are obviously impressed by the amount of technical equipment and the commitment Prof. Wucher shows in his lecture on experimental physics in order to give students the best possible understanding of diffraction at the grating, both on site and online.
"Everyone at the faculty makes it a point to nurture the next generation. No one should be lost - and as many as possible should be gained." Is the positive conclusion of editor Rolf-Herbert Peters for us.

Link to the Stern article (unfortunately only in the pay program)
© UDE/NanoSchoolLab

02.03.2022Digital equipment for nano school lab – When the microscope goes online

by Birte Vierjahn 08.03.2022

What the electron microscope shows looks like a drainage sieve - but it is actually a diatom just a few micrometers in size. Many young people have already had aha moments like this in the NanoSchoolLab at the UDE. Now it is receiving around 41,000 euros for digital equipment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Among other things, desktop computers, laptops and a video conferencing system are on the shopping list of Dr. Kirsten Dunkhorst, the head of the NanoSchoolLab. Connected to microscopes that young people would otherwise only get to know during their studies, modern learning stations are to be created that will allow students to see the fascinating images from the nanoskomos or participate in the measurements even from a distance. The improved equipment will also help young people practice using the instruments and learn about evaluation software and systems for 3D models.

"With the new infrastructure, we can strengthen the digital skills of young people and their teachers, while at the same time getting students excited about STEM subjects," Dunkhorst explains. "In this way, we can help close the gaps revealed by the pandemic."

Within the "NanoSchoolLab goes digital" project, a subject didactic concept is being developed to digitally expand and consolidate the structures already established in the pandemic. There will be both stationary and mobile solutions, which can thus be used at different locations.

The funding comes from the "zdi-REACT-EU" program of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which supports the development and expansion of the digital infrastructure of extracurricular places of learning.

The NanoSchoolLab at UDE was founded in 2009 by the Faculties of Engineering and Physics and the NanoEngineering program with the support of CENIDE as a zdi school lab. It is an extracurricular place of learning specializing in nanotechnology that introduces students to the principles of scientific and technical research.



02.03.2022Limits of the measurability of quantum jumps shifted

Correct counting determines our modern life - be it the bits in the computer with their two states, the number of positive coronatests or generally any system that has countable events. But the faster counting is done and the smaller the signals involved are, the more likely data can get lost in the noise. Theoretical physicist Eric Kleinherbers of SFB1242 and CENIDE now developed a new tool with Kolleg:innen that sheds more light on such data.

Counting statistics are particularly important in the quantum world. Modern measuring instruments are so sensitive that they can detect single quantum jumps. Limiting factors are the time resolution of the detector, the background noise, and the observation time. In addition, detection errors distort the measured information, leading to no or incorrect conclusions about the underlying quantum dynamics.

For their work, the researchers used so-called self-assembled quantum dots, which have similar properties to individual atoms, and employed a trick. The quantum dot is excited with a laser and radiates back light particles (photons) as long as it is "empty." If an additional electron enters the quantum dot, the light current breaks off. Thus, the photons can be used to record the electron occupation in real time, which can then be statistically analyzed.

To test how robust the new evaluation algorithm is, data was intentionally deleted from the original data set, simulating a faulty measurement. "These were typical experimental errors: signals that are too fast for the detector and are therefore "missed" or a spike in the noise that fakes a signal" explains Eric Kleinherbers, lead author of the study. By comparing the original readings with the erroneous data, the researchers were able to demonstrate that the new method of analysis is much more error-tolerant than the standard methods of statistical analysis used previously. This makes the actual behavior of electrons and photons more visible, shedding light on the quantum world. "It's a bit like trying to put a screw in the wall with an improper screwdriver until now," Kleinherbers explains. "It works, but it's not pretty. Now we have the right tool for analyzing the data."

Counting statistics are everywhere: in the evaluation of nerve signals as well as in radioactive decay, in microelectronics as well as in magnetism. While experimental physicists are constantly coming up with new measurement techniques and experiments, theorists are also pushing the boundaries of feasibility with new evaluation methods. The developed method is not only interesting for new measurement results - existing data can now also be examined more closely, as Kleinherbers says. "We are in close exchange with colleagues who now want to see what else might be hidden in their data."

The results were published in the journal Physical Review Letters on March 23, 2022.

© UDE/Christoph Mecking

02.03.2022freestyle-physics on campus – The water rockets are rising again!

Finally, the time has come: after two years as a video competition, freestyle physics at UDE is taking off again. The grand finale, where all students present their creative and clever solutions to physics puzzles, will take place from June 7 to 10 at the Duisburg campus.

"We have already ordered the big tent and are looking forward to around 1,500 students," says physicist Dr. Andreas Reichert, who organizes the student competition together with the competition's inventor, Prof. Dr. Axel Lorke, and two colleagues. "We've also already received a relatively large number of inquiries about the details of the tasks - obviously, classes and teachers are intensively engaged with the tasks."

And that's what it's all about:

Submersible boat
The aim of the task is to construct a boat that, without remote control, placed on the water, first submerges to the bottom of a 40 cm deep pool, stays on the bottom for 1 - 3 minutes and then resurfaces independently.
Mousetrap catapult
Which catapult will shoot a ping-pong ball as far as possible? But be careful when building the machine: Only the mechanical energy of the spring of a cocked mousetrap may be used for propulsion.
Paper bridge
In this task, participants can show how to build a bridge with a minimum of its own weight using only paper, string and glue. The bridge can span a distance of 1 meter and carry a 700 g cylinder.
Water rocket
The classic competition may not be missing this year: The goal of the task is to design and build a water rocket that stays in the air as long as possible.

The results of three months of challenging thinking, planning and constructing will be judged live by a jury of professors and doctoral students at the grand finale. The first three places in each competition are awarded prizes, and there are also special prizes.

by Cathrin Becker 28.02.2022

22.02.2022How do you take two-dimensional materials from the lab to the fab?

International graduate college has been peer-reviewed

A German-Canadian consortium of the Universities of Duisburg-Essen and Waterloo wants to address this highly topical issue and thus provide ideal training conditions for young researchers.  After intensive preparation, a proposal "Scalable 2D-Materials Architectures (2D-MATURE): Synthesis and Processing, Characterization and Functionality, Implementation and Demonstration" (designated speakers: G. Bacher, M. Pope) was submitted for an International Graduate School in 2021. This month the time had come: A team of 20 German and Canadian scientists, 6 of them from the Faculty of Physics, answered the questions of the DFG review team. Unfortunately, the inspection had to take place online, but was very positive overall. Now the Canadian evaluation is still pending and the final decision at the DFG in May this year. With a bit of luck, the first young scientists will be able to start as early as October - fingers crossed!

Tobias Steinpilz et al 2020 New J. Phys. 22 093025

17.01.2022Heraeus-Seminar: Mesoscopic Triboelectricity - from Patches to Particles to Planets

It's all about dust and triboelectricity at the current Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Seminar - hosted by Dr. Jonathan Kollmer and Dr. Jens Teiser from our Physics Department and by Dr. Philip Born from DLR Cologne - from January 17-21, 2022.

Dust mobility on planetary objects, either with atmospheres or air-less bodies such as asteroids or the moon, and the formation of planets itselves seem to rely on mechanisms related to triboelectricity.


Link to the homepage of the seminar

03.01.2022buddy@school 2022 - Information for students interested in studying Energy Science or Physics

An important decision will soon be made for all those who are graduating from school this year: the decision for or against studying and the choice of a course of study.

The Faculty of Physics at the University of Duisburg-Essen is happy to provide support, information and assistance. We will present the possibilities of studying (Energy Science, Physics and Physics Teaching) in our faculty via video conference on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, January 18th 2022, 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 03rd 2022, 1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 15th 2022, 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 02nd 2022, 5 p.m.

Afterwards, questions can be asked in a relaxed round. Contact persons are at least two students from different study programs and one full-time faculty member. The students are part of our buddy system. Within the Buddy System, we offer all-round advice for future students before and during the introductory phase of their studies. Further information about the Buddy System can be found on the Buddy System homepage (in German) and in the flyer (in German).

If you would like to take advantage of this offer (buddy@school 2022), we ask you for a simple and short registration (at least one week before the desired date) via online form (in German). Of course, the offer is also available to those who will only graduate from school in the coming years, but would like to find out more today.

We are looking forward to meeting you!

Registration for buddy@school 2022 (in German)