Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Studies of atoms, molecules and structures by photons and particles

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.02.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Physics   

Code Science Field
1.03  Natural Sciences  Physical sciences 
Atomic physics, molecular physics, ion beams, x-ray spectroscopy, x-ray absorption, sinchrotron light, free electron laser, surface physics, high-harmonic generation, Moessbauer spectroscopy, ion mass spectroscopy, electron spectroscopy, stimulated emission of extreme ultraviolet and x-ray light
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on February 20, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  965  21,766  18,374  19.04 
Scopus  973  23,800  20,311  20.87 
Researchers (25)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  57876  Rokaya Osama Abdelhamid Elfaramawy  Physics  Junior researcher  2023 - 2024 
2.  08387  PhD Iztok Arčon  Physics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  763 
3.  20244  PhD Klemen Bučar  Physics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  180 
4.  11546  PhD Dean Cvetko  Physics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  205 
5.  29437  PhD Giovanni De Ninno  Physics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  163 
6.  05958  PhD Darko Hanžel  Physics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  176 
7.  33772  PhD Robert Hauko  Physics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  38 
8.  39137  Mateja Hrast  Physics  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  17 
9.  37462  PhD Boštjan Jenčič  Physics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  47 
10.  15648  PhD Matjaž Kavčič  Physics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  241 
11.  37782  Mitja Kelemen    Technical associate  2022 - 2024  169 
12.  29515  PhD Gregor Kladnik  Physics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  77 
13.  02306  PhD Alojzij Franc Kodre  Physics  Retired researcher  2022 - 2024  536 
14.  52050  PhD Špela Krušič  Physics  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  22 
15.  02587  PhD Peter Kump  Physics  Retired researcher  2022 - 2024  240 
16.  22319  PhD Andrej Mihelič  Physics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  117 
17.  06892  PhD Jana Padežnik Gomilšek  Physics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  196 
18.  12314  PhD Primož Pelicon  Physics  Researcher  2022 - 2024  582 
19.  54703  Ava Rajh  Physics  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024 
20.  53631  Arun Ravindran  Physics  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024 
21.  35595  PhD Barbara Ressel  Physics  Researcher  2023 - 2024  56 
22.  18891  PhD Jurij Simčič  Physics  Researcher  2023 - 2024  136 
23.  57094  Janez Turnšek  Physics  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024 
24.  55804  Mirjana Vasić  Chemical engineering  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  23 
25.  11854  PhD Matjaž Žitnik  Physics  Head  2022 - 2024  316 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  89,948 
2.  0795  University ob Maribor, Faculty of mechanical engineering  Maribor  5089638010  23,840 
3.  1540  University of Nova Gorica  Nova Gorica  5920884000  13,876 
4.  1554  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics  Ljubljana  1627007  33,793 
The research program deals with interaction of Coulombic systems with photon, electron and ion beams characterized by energy exchange ranging from a few eV to a few tens of keV. This is enough to excite electronic degrees of freedom which subsequently relax through a number of decay channels characteristic for the system under study. The advanced spectroscopic (imaging) techniques are applied to study the structure of matter and its response to the external perturbations. We are interested in peculiarities of multielectron and multiatomic systems that are exposed to the sequence of basic interactions in specifically tailored environments. We are looking for new opportunities to employ the nontrivial (nonlinear) atomic response to increase the sensitivity and introduce new analytical techniques. We are optimizing and upgrading known standard techniques for analysis of matter, such as XANES, EXAFS, XES, PES AES, XRF, TRXS, PIXE, RBS, ERDA, NRA, PIGE, SIMS and Moessbauer, to reach higher spectral, spatial and/or temporal resolution. We are introducing advanced approaches for material studies (RIXS, XRS, MeVSIMS) and we link these techniques to a plethora of research fields and application needs. The elemental imaging with an ion microprobe is based on a standard x-ray spectroscopy and is recently being supplemented by the more selective chemical sensitivity. This is achieved by adding secondary ion mass spectrometry to the toolbox and by improving energy resolution with the wavelength dispersive x-ray spectroscopic methods. In our studies of low density matter (atoms, molecules, clusters) we are emphasizing approaches with new coherent light sources emitting in the XUV and X-ray energy region (intense free-electron laser, High-Harmonic-Generation sources, twisted light sources) and we are testing use of the charged probe beams with efficient approaches to electron spectroscopy (magnetic bottle time-of-flight spectrometer). We deal with in-situ and in-operando techniques for research of materials related to energy production and energy storage. In particular, we study functionalization of thin organic layers on metal surfaces and perform basic physical analysis of modern batteries. We continue to improve imaging of biological tissue slices for our research on topics such as plant hyperaccumulators, growth in austere conditions and nanotoxicology where we collaborate with biologists. We are developing efficient and simple XRF techniques for quick and portable analysis (food, metals, plastic). We maintain a good number of experimental stations for ion beam analysis to enable a competitive interest for experiments performed by foreign research groups. We actively participate in beamtime contests at large synchrotron facilities around the world, also bringing there our own experimental equipment (high resolution X-ray spectrometer) and participate as expert users.
Significance for science
The scientific importance (relevance) of the programme research results is twofold: direct and indirect. In the first case we deal with explicit studies of atomic and molecular behavior in the presence of intense and coherent EUV light (resonant multiphoton absorption, superfluorescence) and with the observations and characterization of weak (rare) transitions which reveal correlation mechanisms that are of interest for a few body physics of Coulomb systems (multielectron transitions, fragment rearrangement in molecular dissociation). The indirect influence is based on adjustment, combination and introduction of new experimental techniques that offer a fresh or completely new look on a specific problem in the field of material analysis. The data set obtained that way, especially if taken in the in-situ or in-operando mode, can be of fundamental importance for people synthesizing or using the material. With bright synchrotron light sources we have recently obtained excellent results with our high resolution X-ray spectrometer. The emerging results are important for development of the science since they enable an insight into the fundamental physical phenomena (separation of doubly excited states, nonlinear Raman and interference effects, Radiative Raman effect) with so far the sharpest spectroscopic images. Another advantage is wide selection of synchrotron and ion-beam techniques that are handled by expert members of our research programme. This allows for the ''total'' study of a certain problematics as shown, for example by our research on chlorohydrocarbon's response to creation of an inner core hole: for a group of such compounds we have measured the chlorine K-shell photoabsorption and RIXS signal (ESRF) and the HAXPES signal (SOLEIL). We have also measured L-VV Auger spectra, the total ion yield and the mass spectra upon L-shell formation as a function of excitation energy (MAXLAB2) and also ionic fragments in coincidence with the Auger electrons (MAXLAB) doing the mass spectrometry. For these molecules we have also investigated a special type of nonradiative decay of a double L hole (TEOE) with emission of a single Auger electron (SOLEIL). Systematic measurements of charge transfer (CT) dynamics in different molecule/substrate systems, are expected to identify relevant molecule-substrate coupling parameters such as adsorption geometry (angle, distance), adsorption energy, energy level alignment, from the substrate transport characteristics which determine the rate and direction of electron transfer through the hybrid interfaces. In addition to studying static CT to acceptor molecules via hybridization and charge dipole formation at the hybrid interfaces, the expected results on dynamic backtransfer will provide additional insight on molecular capabilities to transport electrons over empty molecular orbitals. The possibility to exploit core-hole-clock method for ultrafast charge backtransport to acceptor molecules promises to become a powerful tool in studying electronic structure at hybrid interfaces. The results will allow better understanding of fundamental electronic properties of molecular nanoassemblies that will lead to a better, knowledge-based design of novel organic based components for organic electronics. X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) with EXAFS and XANES techniques is indispensable tool for development of new functional (nano) materials with desired properties. An example is in-operando characterization of atomic structure and electrochemical processes in cathode materials of Li-ion or Li-sulphur battery during charging and discharging. Obtained results are crucial for development of new cathode materials with higher energy density and long term stability. Similar goals are followed in the ''in-situ'' EXAFS and XANES research of catalytic properties of different micro and mesoporous catalysts and zeolites, where crucial structural and chemical parameters of incorporated metal cations (site of incorporation, valence state, local structure) are monitored.
Significance for the country
Our expertise with x-rays (EXAFS, XANES, RIXS, potentially XRS) and ion beam methods (PIXE, RBS, ERDA, NRA, PIGE and SIMS) together with their micro- versions allows Slovenian and foreign laboratories working in the field of material research, geology, chemical synthesis, pharmacology, biology, vacuum technology, environmental research, cultural heritage preservation, etc, to approach modern analytical methods with synchrotron light and ion beams. Our application-oriented measurements were and will be performed at synchrotron research centers like ELETTRA, ESRF, DESY, PETRA, SOLEIL and at the ion beam facility Mikroanalitical Center JSI where mostly our own instrumentation is being used. We participated in the development of several technologically important materials, such as batteries, microporous catalysts, superconducting and ferroelectric ceramics, surfactants, thin layer and self-cleaning coatings and some pharmaceutical molecules, and we helped developing a digital processing electronics tailored to our spectroscopic needs. We are active in solving the environmental problems due to pollution with heavy metals, pesticides and biological agents, and in preservation of the cultural heritage. Our intensive presence at European synchrotron centers and successful visits of researchers from abroad at MIC IJS are strengthening the international scientific collaboration. In 2015-2021 period we have performed with our collaborators around 90 officially approved synchrotron research projects and have hosted several TNA (Trans-National-Access) projects at ion accelerator centre MIC JSI. Our presence in the international research centers, at international workshops and conferences allows for a research work of an enduring quality, enables access to the foreign knowledge and indirectly generates a positive image of Slovenia. The experimental research group from one lab collaborates with a group of theoreticians from other institute, or, material synthesized by one group is characterized by several other groups using different techniques: such an international division of work is constantly met at our work. Besides direct teaching duties that our researchers are executing at different faculties, our regular access to the synchrotron and ion accelerator beamlines serves to demonstrate to students a wealth of existing experimental approaches. These techniques are also presented in a number of academic programs at the undergraduate or graduate level, for which we are also providing the basic literature. The students can gain knowledge about modern analytical techniques with synchrotron light and ion beams by direct involvement in our experiments or/and by participation in the data analysis. The program equally provides an opportunity for Slovene scientists to gain experience in the surface and material sciences and transfer the high-technology know-how to the research and industrial labs. The development of ferroelectric thin layers, catalysts, new battery materials, and self-cleaning coatings are just a few examples of economically interesting, market-oriented applications. In a particularly fruitful, long term collaboration with Institute of Chemistry, new nanostructured cathode materials for Li-sulphur batteries have been developed. The XAS analysis of valence and atomic neighborhood of sulphur during battery operation shed light into the electrochemical dynamics and helped to optimize the capacity. Our involvement in free-electron-laser related research allows, in principle, the contact with the most advanced technologies, which, in the next phase, will be commercialized offering an opportunity for the spin-off activities. We are actively collaborating in finding the solutions for the environment reconstruction due to the heavy metal and dust pollution. Our recent studies in the field of aerosol pollution of inner spaces were suplemented by a dust pollution studies in the gym where the exposure is much larger than average and by inspecting the capabilities of low-cost optical dust monitors in comparison to the expensive professional equipment.
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