Research portfolio and further development
Research at the IIM has historically been strongly oriented toward ion beam applications for thin film modification and analysis, and is reflected in the operation of the Ion Beam Center (IBC) as a user facility. In addition, the IIM is also responsible for supporting users of the free-electron laser at ELBE. The materials studied, often in the form of nanostructures, cover a broad spectrum, mostly characterized by their relevance for future applications in information technology.
Among the established scientific foci at IIM are:
- Ion-assisted synthesis and modification of semiconductor structures for nano- and optoelectronics
- Interaction of (highly) charged, low-energy or focused ion beams with solid surfaces including atomistic simulations
- Short-time and THz spectroscopy of low-energy excitations in semiconductors and quantum materials, in particular using the free-electron laser at ELBE.
However, the worldwide scientific developments in the past decade require an expansion of these focal points, which the IIM implements, among other things, through active personnel recruitment. In this context, we have succeeded in attracting outstanding young scientists and established research personalities to the institute through various programs of the German Research Foundation (Emmy Noether Program), the Helmholtz Association (Recruitment Initiative, Junior Research Groups, Post-Doctoral Fellows) and the HZDR (High Potential Program). This was accompanied by a strong quantitative and qualitative growth of all parameters (personnel, publications, third-party funding), although some research activities were also reduced or terminated (e.g. materials research laboratory at HZDR beamline ROBL in Grenoble). Consequently, an adaptation and further development of the IIM's strategy is now reasonable and necessary.
These new focal points are the following research areas:
- Structural and electronic properties of 2D materials.
- Hybrid quantum systems as a link between photonics, electronics and magnonics.
- Magnon- and optospintronics: new hardware concepts for neuromorphic computing.
In addition, the establishment and expansion of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) will also open up interdisciplinary research areas.