Upcoming events




April 24
Small group get-together
Do we really need a reason to come together with a group and enjoy each other's company? It was a wonderful time, especially with some new people joining us and catching up with old friends we haven't seen in a while. Plus, we got to try some Dutch food and beer for a new experience.

April 15-25
Visit of Dr. Serge Krasnokutski 

Dr. Serge Krasnokutski from Friedrich Schiller University Jena joined us to research the fascinating topic on the search of the carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands . This fruitful collaboration started in 2019 and has always been great for exploring more about astrochemistry and physics in the supercold helium environment! This time, together with Elisabeth, Lisa, and Florian, they performed UV-Vis spectroscopy of cationic carbon chains formed in superfluid helium droplets, simulating the cold cosmic environment. 

April 7
Mr.ToF is back! 
   2024.04.03_part2Some rearrangements were recently made in a large lab. The Multi-Reflection Time-of-Flight (Mr.ToF) system is back in action, now connected to the helium droplet source of TOFFY. We're gearing up to trap the helium droplets in the Mr.ToF and study their lifetime. Additionally, TOFFY has received a new electron impact source and is undergoing upgrades to a newer, improved version!

April 01

Elisabeth starts her Elise-Richter Project on "Messenger spectroscopy of C60 analogues"

At the end of 2023, Elisabeth Gruber was awarded a 3-year FWF-Elise-Richter grant to explore the spectroscopy of various C60 derivatives, which are regarded as promising candidates for the carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). These bands are lines in the spectrum of stars caused by the absorption of light by interstellar dust. The exact identity of the molecules causing these bands, and thus the chemical composition of interstellar dust, is still a major puzzle in observational astrochemistry. So far, only the ionized fullerene C60+ has been identified as a carrier. 

With her team, Elisabeth will use a novel and unique instrumental setup, which has been commissioned during her previous Hertha-Firnberg-Project at the University of Innsbruck,  to spectroscopically investigate singly and multiply charged complexes of C60 and other elements commonly found in space, such as hydrogen, carbon, iron, and magnesium. The results will help to identify new carriers of DIBs or to rule out potential candidates. 

 March 26
Closing out the tobogganing season at Praxmar
2024.03.26Let's cherish the final tobogganing runs as we bid farewell to the snowy season and embrace the blooming beauty of spring.

March 8
Happy International Women's Day from the heights of Lisenser Fernerkogel, Praxmar
On International Women's Day, we celebrate the remarkable contributions of women in science, whose intellect and passion fuel progress and innovation worldwide.

March 7
First signal on HYDRA
2024.03.07Meet HYDRA! Big congrats to Tomas, Mazoomeh, and Fabio for breathing new life into the Snowball setup with a complete redesign and upgrades. It's not just a tool for deposition anymore—it's so much more! And the first results are in: bismuth (Bi) clusters successfully deposited on the surface via soft landing of Bi-doped He nanodroplets.

February 29
Opening BBQ season
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We took advantage of the beautiful weather, on this special date which happens only once every four years, to gather together and enjoy a barbecue. This time, we were delighted to welcome many new faces, including new bachelor students and student assistants, joining us for the occasion.

February 22
Day of Physics
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The Annual Day of Physics was as exhilarating as ever. Students from across Austria visited our faculty, and we were delighted to showcase our labs and educational experiments. As always, our aim is to inspire young minds to pursue physics and hopefully welcome some of them back for their bachelor's studies in the future!
February 16
Welcome Dr. Shaimaa Habib
2024.02.16We are delighted to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Schaima Habib, a Post-doctoral researcher from Damanhour University, Egypt. Dr. Habib will be joining our team for five months. She has been awarded a Joint Excellence in Science and Humanities (JESH) grant by ÖAW to conduct experiments on TOFFY, focusing on the reactivity of Au clusters in catalytic CO2 activation.

 January 28 - February 2
SASP 2024
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The biannual SASP meeting was, as always, a fantastic success. Most of our group had the pleasure of representing Innsbruck at this year's meeting in the beautiful Andalo. It was a great week filled with many informative talks, and in particular, Elisabeth, Stefan, and Florian represented our group by delivering nice presentations on the most recent research conducted in our labs. During the lively poster session, Jan, Olga, Lisa, and Matthias shared their research, with Olga's poster earning her the coveted poster prize—a box of delicious Italian food.

Beyond the scientific agenda, we made the most of our breaks by exploring the snow-covered mountains of Andalo on skis and snowboards or on foot. Evenings were spent in delightful conversations, engaging games, and even some musical moments with a guitar. Now, we eagerly look forward to the next SASP in 2026, this time in Obergurgl!

 January 25
Publication: Hydrogen absorption on alkali decorated PAHs

Also, a nice work from TOFFY has been published in International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (Impact factor 7.139). This joint experimental/theoretical study focuses on advanced hydrogen storage solutions, showing that alkali-decorated carbon materials reveal up to 25% enhanced hydrogen adsorption, and increase stability of the hydrogenated materials by more than 100%.

Experimental and theoretical assessment of the enhanced hydrogen adsorption on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons upon decoration with alkali metals
by Anna Maria Reider, Siegfried Kollotzek, Paul Scheier, Florent Calvo, Ersin Yurtsever, Fernando Pirani, Massimiliano Bartolomei, Marta I. Hernández, Tomás González-Lezana, José Campos-Martínez
Int. J. Hydrog. Energy, 58, 525-535 (2024)

 January 25
Publication: Electronic structure of phthalocyanine ions
The recent work from TOFFY2 on the electronic structure of Phthalocyanine Ions has been recently published in a prestigious Advanced Science journal (impact factor 15.1) and got the honor of being highlighted in the Newsletter of our University!
Gas-Phase Electronic Structure of Phthalocyanine Ions: A Study of Symmetry and Solvation Effects
by Stefan Bergmeister, Lisa Ganner, Milan Ončák, Elisabeth Gruber
Adv. Sci. 2307816 (2024) 

 January 9
Happy Birthday, Paul!


 December 18
Christmas dinner
As we bid farewell to the year, our institute came together for a wonderful gathering. It was a warm and welcoming atmosphere, filled with reflections on our achievements, introductions to new faces, and goodbyes to those taking new paths. Here's to an exciting year ahead! Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 December 14
PhD thesis defence of Miriam Kappe
On Thursday, December 14th, Miriam successfully defended her thesis titled: 'Helium Nanodroplet Action Spectroscopy and the Search for Carriers of Diffuse Interstellar Bands,' delving into astrochemical processes and our potential contributions to their discovery. Her talk captivated us, and the celebration that followed was equally delightful. We extend our heartfelt wishes for a bright future in her career and for all the exciting prospects ahead.

November 25
Beertesting in Tribaun
We were experts before, but now we can do it with style!
November 23
Fusionstag in Leoben
23.11.2023What an interesting meeting! We delved into the latest developments in fusion research in Austria, gaining multifaceted insights from various perspectives. See you all next year in Innsbruck!

October 20
Annual Törggelen
As with every year, the annual gathering of the Scheier's group was a resounding success! All past and new members of the group convened for the traditional Törggelen. With a gathering of over 70 people, we enjoyed the fresh harvest at a beautiful farm of Müssigang's family in Mühlau, exchanged the latest news and scientific insights, and enjoyed each other's company. We're already excited for next year's reunion!

October  10
Institute excursion to Munich
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Our excursion to Munich with the entire Ionian and Applied Physics Institute was a fantastic experience! A 2-hour drive brought us to the German technical museum, which is entirely dedicated to physics. The museum was truly impressive, and despite our existing knowledge of physics, our guides shared intriguing new facts. The day was capped off with a delightful dinner at a local brewery, where we enjoyed great food and a wonderful atmosphere. We eagerly anticipate next year's excursion, hoping for another equally enjoyable adventure.

October  9
Welcome back Dr. Masoomeh Mahmoodi-Darian!

We are happy to welcome back Dr. Mahmoodi-Darian! She graduated with a BSc. in Applied Physics and an MSc. in Atomic-Molecular Physics Program (Top Student), both from Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran. She then obtained her PhD in Nano-Bio-Physics from the University of Innsbruck, Austria. In 2011, she continued her research and teaching at the Faculty of science, department of Physics (at Azad University, Karaj Branch, Karaj, Iran) as an assistant professor; where she had been employed before as an academic staff.

After her PhD, she never left her collaboration with Innsbruck University and joined some projects that were granted by Prof. Paul Scheier.

After 20 years working in home university, she resigned and decided to stay in Innsbruck University and continues her research as a (associate professor) senior researcher in a very pleasant atmosphere. She loves Innsbruck, Innsbruck University, working with students and sharing her knowledge and experiences (science and life) with them and of course learning many new things of them. Working with young generation is always full of excitement, joy, energy and of course unknown things. For the latter ones you have to try to understand them!

And she likes let everybody knows:

When situations were just not right,

When everything did not seem to be bright,

When I felt fright,

There was one word that kept me going,

It was hope, because it makes me strong, gives me the solution to the wrong.

And Paul kept my hope alive!

October  8
Mountain biking: Karwendelhaus

September  29
Impressing Vorarlberg School Kids with Physics
         29.09.2023  29.09.23_part2

Another fun day with school kids, this time we welcomed a group from the Vorarlberg! We began by showcasing our collection of educational experiments and then aimed to inspire them with our work. We hope they had as much fun as we did, and perhaps we've sparked a deeper interest in physics among the young minds!

 September  16 

Mountain biking: Brenner

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Another favorite summer activity of our group is mountain biking! One of our last trips was along an old military road close to the Austrian-Italian border on the Italian side. We started out at the Brenner/Brennero train station (at 1370 m above sea level) and cycled up to Sandjochmoos-Wechselkessel (at 2130 m above sea level). Besides enjoying stunning scenery and a great atmosphere, we were lucky to meet some marmots and mountain goats!

September  15 

DK ALM Summer School15.09.2023

Stefan and Anna Maria joined the DK ALM (Doctoral College - Atoms, Light, and Molecules) Summer School in the beautiful area of the Starnberger lake in Bavaria. The programme included exciting talks and lectures covering the full range of quantum physics, astrophysics, and (cold) ion physics, poster sessions, and good discussions with all the attendees. In between there was even some time for a (unfortunately rather rainy, but nevertheless fun) hike. 

 August  31 
Master thesis defense of Matthias Veternik

Matthias has successfully defended his master's thesis titled "Development of an MR Device for Multiply Charged Helium Nanodroplets." Following a well-deserved break, he will return to work with Mr. TOF, the apparatus he developed and tested during his master's journey, to conduct even more thrilling experiments as a Ph.D. student. We eagerly anticipate welcoming him in his new role within our group!

 August  17
Bidding farewell to Ethan Cunningham 
Though Ethan's time with us was brief, it was nice to have him in our group. As we say goodbye and wish Ethan all the luck in the world on their new London journey, we gathered for a heartwarming farewell BBQ party. The sun smiled upon us, allowing us to enjoy the delightful weather as we savoured delicious bites (including mushrooms from the last hunt) and celebrated the moments we shared together. 

 August  15
Favourite activity of the season: mushroom hunting!


Spending quality time with the group while hunting for mushrooms is our favorite summer activity, and enjoying a delightful meal made from our harvest makes it even better!

 July  28
PhD thesis defence of Siegfried Kollotzek


Cheers to Sigi's incredible achievement! This Friday, he presented his thesis on " How to dope multiply charged superfluid helium nanodroplets.". His journey through the PhD program has been nothing short of inspiring, turning him into a true TOFY master, adept at unravelling complex challenges. His work has led to a prolific publication record of over 10 papers. We wish him a Refreshing break and success in his future adventures. Exciting times ahead!

July  13
Master thesis defence of Pascal Weh

After working with us for a year, Pascal defended his thesis last week in front of a committee of professors from our university and the group. His thesis focused on the ion extraction efficiency of different materials and angles. During his master, he successfully designed and build a setup that allowed him to measure the differences between those settings. Even though we would be glad to see him as a PhD student in our group, we wish him all the best in his new job in the private sector. Congratulations, Pascal!

June  23
Annual Suckling Pig Dinner  

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The Scheiers group had their yearly gathering where former and current members came together. We caught up on life, innovations in the lab, new research lines, and shared anecdotes, all while enjoying the traditional suckling pig and its vegetarian alternative. Despite the rain, we had a great time laughing, reminiscing, and discussing scientific topics. As the day ended, we left with stronger connections and excitement for future meetings, grateful for the fun-filled moments that the weather couldn't dampen.

 June 16
Visit ELI beamline


Elisabeth Gruber and Miriam Kappe have participated in the COST COSY workshop on He nanodroplets, where they got the chance to exchange their knowledge with other experts in this field. They also visited ELI Beamline facility, where the group of Maria Krikunova explores the dynamics of nanoplasma in He nanodroplets.

 June 11-14
IMAMPC conference

IMAMPC 2023, the 12th International Meeting on Atomic and Molecular Physics and Chemistry, led by Milan Oncak together with the organizing committee, which included three of our group members (Anna Maria Reider, Ethan Cunningham, Olga Lushchikova), was a standout event. Our group was actively involved, presenting hot-topic talks and posters. Moreover, we had the privilege of showcasing our lab during a lab tour, immersing attendees in our research.The conference was a resounding success, featuring engaging discussions, groundbreaking research presentations, and valuable networking opportunities. We extend our gratitude to all the enthusiastic participants who made IMAMPC 2023 truly exceptional.

May 31-June 5
Measurements at European XFEL
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During our five-day expedition at EuXFEL, measuring day and night, we conducted an extensive study on the emergence of nanoplasmas in superfluid He nanodroplets. By meticulously recording diffraction images of neutral and charged droplets, both pristine and doped with Xe, during a pump-probe experiment with varying laser parameters, we amassed a massive dataset of terabytes of data from nearly 400 runs. Now back at our home base, we are excited to analyze this wealth of information and gain valuable insights into the processes induced by the IR laser within the droplets.

May 31
Innsbruck delegation arrived at European XFEL
Stefan, Matthias and Jan did a great job helping set up the experiment. Now the rest of our group has arrived! We join experts from all over the world (LBNL, USC, U. Innsbruck, ETH, EuXFEL) in experiments discovering the unique nature of the superfluid He nanodroplets. 

May 17
Saying goodbye to Iansessa Stromberg
After an Erasmus year in our group, doing multiple ionization experiments of rare gases on TOFFY2 she successfully defended her master's thesis. It was a great pleasure to host her in our group and learn so much about the English culture. We wish her a lot of success in her future endeavours.

May 2
Breaking gender barriers together
We are proud to say that our group is a place where women are valued equally, and no one is left out or made to feel like a minority. Let's work towards a world where everyone is respected and has equal opportunities.

April 27
Ariane Kronthaler's farewell party 

We're thrilled to announce that our former PhD student Ariane has landed her dream job as a medical physicist at the University Hospital Innsbruck! Although we'll miss her, we're so proud of her and wish her all the luck and success in her new role. Wishing Ariane all the best in her new position!

April 19
Gaming night


Board games might not be our area of expertise, but we sure had a lot of laughs playing together. What a great way to unwind after a long day in the lab!

April 12
Olga Lushchikova visited the lab of Prof. Peter Armentrout (STSM from COST COSY) 


Olga just returned from the short-term scientific mission supported by COST COSY. She spent two weeks in the group of Prof. Peter Armentrout at the University of Utah, where she learned how to experimentally determine accurate bond dissociation energies using collision-induced dissociation. In the near future, several upgrades are planned for TOFFY, providing even more information about the systems we breed in superfluid helium nanodroplets.

April 5
Tulip Summer VIII School Success:Stefan Bergmeister shows outstanding performance in presentation and racing 


Congratulations to Stefan for his excellent performance during Tulip Summer VIII School. He represented our group with style and flair. Out of over fifty candidates, he was one of only four students selected to present his work - a remarkable achievement in itself. But Stefan didn't stop there - he also showcased his exceptional driving skills and won a silver medal in the carting race with his team. If there was an individual rating, he would undoubtedly take the gold!

March 3
Mr.ToF trapped the first ions
        01.03.23_part 2  01.03.23_part1

A historical moment! The first ions have been trapped with the new multi-reflectron instrument (Mr.ToF). Matthias and Luis did a great job in a record-breaking short time! Let's wish them good luck with the optimization!

February 28
Master thesis defence of Ariane Kronthaler   
Ariane successfully defended her "Low Power DC Magnetron Sputtering: Production and Characterization of Ti and TiO2 Thin Films" thesis. She gave a very nice and clear presentation, followed by a lively discussion.  We wish her all possible luck in her further career! 

February 27
Farewell to Rector Tilmann Märk, laudation by Paul Scheier

28.02.2023After more than 60 years of dedicated service to the University of Innsbruck, Prof. Dr. Tilmann Märk has retired, and a retirement ceremony was held to celebrate his distinguished career. Among the guests was Prof. Dr. Paul Scheier, who had been a student of Prof. Dr. Märk's and had since become a professor of our department himself. In a heartfelt and personal speech, Paul Scheier gave a wonderful laudation to Prof. Dr. Märk, sharing anecdotes and expressing gratitude. The ceremony also featured other speeches, music, and honors, making it a fitting tribute to Prof. Dr. Märk's enduring contributions to the university. For this very special moment, Paul even put on a suit!

February 23
Day of physics

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Doing cool science is only part of the job! It is also essential to share your knowledge and educate the following generations. Today on the "day of physics" we have shown our work to many high-school students and hopefully could motivate them to choose physics. And who knows, maybe we will see some of them again in the near future...

February 17-19
Retreat weekend in Dornbirn

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Coming together in an informal atmosphere is the best way to relax and improve the group spirit. We spend the weekend in Dornbirn chatting, hiking, cooking, eating and even enjoying Carnaval. Thanks to Felix and Johanna for their enormous hospitality!!!  

February 16
Front cover PCCP


 The paper measured at TOFFY with our collaborator Jaroslav Kočišek entitled "Non-ergodic fragmentation upon collision-induced activation of cysteine–water cluster cations" got the front cover in PPCP! You can find the paper under DOI: 10.1039/D2CP04172C

February 14
Day tobogganing Praxmar



Enjoying (probably) the last tobogganing opportunity of this season with the group during a very sunny lunch break. Luckily there is still a lot of snow for a lovely ride.

February 9

Olga Lushchikova got STSM grant from COST

Olga got a short-term scientific mission grant from COST COSY (CA21101) to visit the lab of Prof. P. Armentrout in the Department of Chemistry, University of Utah to learn how to perform CID measurements at the quantitative level in order to obtain bond dissociation energies of the desired molecules or complexes. After her visit, she will integrate this technique into TOFFY to study the binding energy of CO2 to metal clusters. 

February 6

End of sabbatical stay Prof. Masoomeh Mahmoodi Darian

Working with Prof. Mahmoodi Darian during the winter semester was a great pleasure! 

February 3

Defensio Felix Duensing

Recently Felix successfully defended his thesis entitled "From fusion relevant ion surface collisions to a Database and Viewer of multi-dimensional mass spectra". Next to the fusion experiments on SURFTOF, he took data digitization to the next level! We are all very grateful for the updates on the lab journal he made. Congratulations Dr. Duensing!!!

January 30

Elisabeth Gruber got grant from Tiroler Wissenschaftsförderung

Congratulations to Elisabeth for getting a Tiroler Wissenschaftsförderung grant to pursue her research on Spectroscopy of He-tagged photoactive (metal)organic molecules" in the next year!

 January 27

Night tobogganing Maria Waldrast


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