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
P002  Natural sciences and mathematics  Physics 

Code Science Field
1.03  Natural Sciences  Physical sciences 
spectroscopy, electron, ion, absorption, X-rays, high resolution, ion microbeam, imaging, time-of-flight, synchrotron light, nonlinear phenomena, Auger decay, surface physics, hydrogen retention, resonant Raman scattering, coincidence measurement, Moessbauer, aerosols, plant tissue
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (27)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  08387  PhD Iztok Arčon  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  763 
2.  38195  PhD Žiga Barba  Physics  Junior researcher  2015 - 2019  18 
3.  33312  PhD Rok Bohinc  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2016  21 
4.  20244  PhD Klemen Bučar  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  180 
5.  11546  PhD Dean Cvetko  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  205 
6.  20219  PhD Iztok Čadež  Physics  Researcher  2015  228 
7.  37519  PhD Tihana Čižmar  Physics  Junior researcher  2015 - 2018  13 
8.  29437  PhD Giovanni De Ninno  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  163 
9.  05958  PhD Darko Hanžel  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  176 
10.  39137  Mateja Hrast  Physics  Junior researcher  2016 - 2021  17 
11.  37462  PhD Boštjan Jenčič  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  47 
12.  34586  PhD Luka Jeromel  Physics  Researcher  2015  48 
13.  15648  PhD Matjaž Kavčič  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  241 
14.  29515  PhD Gregor Kladnik  Physics  Technical associate  2015 - 2020  77 
15.  02306  PhD Alojzij Franc Kodre  Physics  Retired researcher  2015 - 2021  536 
16.  52050  PhD Špela Krušič  Physics  Junior researcher  2018 - 2021  22 
17.  02587  PhD Peter Kump  Physics  Retired researcher  2015 - 2021  240 
18.  25624  PhD Sabina Markelj  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2018  233 
19.  22319  PhD Andrej Mihelič  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  117 
20.  33262  PhD Iuliia Mikulska  Physics  Junior doctor with subsidized salary  2015 - 2016  14 
21.  06892  PhD Jana Padežnik Gomilšek  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  196 
22.  50505  PhD Matic Pečovnik  Mathematics  Junior researcher  2017 - 2019  42 
23.  12314  PhD Primož Pelicon  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  582 
24.  54703  Ava Rajh  Physics  Junior researcher  2020 - 2021 
25.  53631  Arun Ravindran  Physics  Junior researcher  2020 - 2021 
26.  35487  PhD Anže Založnik  Physics  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  47 
27.  11854  PhD Matjaž Žitnik  Physics  Head  2015 - 2021  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 
This research programme deals with an interaction of Coulombic systems with light, electron and ion beams characterized by energy exchange in ranging from a few eV to a few tens of keV. This is high enough to excite electronic degrees of freedom which then relax through a number of decay channels triggering specific system evolution. 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 special environments and we are looking for new opportunities to use their nontrivial (nonlinear) response to increase the sensitivity of analytical techniques. We are optimizing applications of known standard techniques for analysis of matter (XANES, EXAFS, XES, PES AES, XRF, TRXS, PIXE, RBS, ERDA, NRA, PIGE, SIMS, Moessbauer) to higher spatial and/or temporal resolution, we are introducing advanced approaches for material studies (RIXS, XRS, MeVSIMS) and we link all this techniques to other fields of research and application. The elemental imaging with an ion microprobe which is based on a standard x-ray spectroscopy is being supplemented by the more selective chemical sensitivity. This is achieved by adding in the secondary ion mass spectrometry 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 intense and coherent new light sources (free-electron laser, High-Harmonic-Generation sources) and we are testing the use of ion 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 will study functionalization of thin organic layers on metal surfaces, hydrogen interaction with materials that are relevant for energetic, and with physical analysis of chemical reactor compounds (solar cells, walls of the fusion reactor, batteries). We continue to improve imaging of biological tissue slices for our research on topics such as hyperaccumulators, growth in austere conditions and nanotoxicology. 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 assure a competitive interest for experiments performed by foreign research groups and we actively participate in beamtime contests at large synchrotron facilities around the world, also bringing in  our own (large) experimental equipment (high resolution X-ray spectrometer).
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 second case is based on adjustment, combination and introduction of new experimental techniques that offer a fresh or a 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 have found an expertise in 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 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) well as mass spectrometry. For these molecules we plan to investigate the formation of a double KL core by the magnetic bottle spectrometer (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 CHC method for ultrafast charge backtransport to acceptor molecules promises to become a powerful tool in studying electronic structure at hybrid interfaces. The obtained results will allow a 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 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 in a development of a digital processing electronics. 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 2009-2014 period we have performed with collaborators altogether 81 officially assigned synchrotron projects and have hosted 23 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, the access to the foreign knowledge and indirectly, a generation of a positive image of Slovenia. The experimental research group from one lab collaborates with a group of theoreticians from the 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, from pedagogical point of view also a regular access to the synchrotron and ion accelerator beamlines is important 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. 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 and CO NOT new nanostructured cathode materials for Li-sulphur  batteries have been developed. Li-S batteries (EUROLIS – FP7 EU project) are most promising for electric cars, since they are expected to provide the car autonomy of 500 km. 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 with setting up a fusion reactor and in the 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. We will concentrate on studying the possibilities
Most important scientific results Annual report 2015, interim report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2015, interim report
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