Tim M. Schwarz wins E.W. Müller Outstanding Emerging Scientist Award

November 03, 2023

Tim M. Schwarz, PhD researcher in the Atom Probe Tomography (APT) group at the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung (MPIE), has been awarded the E.W. Müller Outstanding Emerging Scientist Award by the International Field Emission Society (IFES). The award honours his work on using APT for the study of frozen liquids and the ability to study liquid-solid interfaces at the atomic level. The award, named after the inventor of the field ion microscope and the atom probe, is the most prestigious honour given to emerging scientists in the field emission community. It is given for recent and original work on field emission and ionization, developments or innovative uses of APT. The award is highly competitive: participants present their research at the Atom Probe Tomography & Microscopy conference (APT&M) and have to answer in-depth and challenging questions by senior members of the society constituting the judging panel.

“I am honoured to receive this prestigious award and being appreciated by the atom probe community. Special thanks go to my mentor Baptiste Gault and Ingrid McCarroll from MPIE as well as Patrick Stender and Guido Schmitz from the University of Stuttgart for their support over the years”, says Schwarz.

Schwarz’s earlier work applied cryo-atom probe tomography to study liquids, aiming to improve the understanding of the field evaporation and fragmentation behaviour of frozen liquids and biomolecules. Now Schwarz aims to analyse reactive liquid-solid interfaces at the near-atomic level. Understanding the details of corrosion occurring at liquid-solid interfaces remains a formidable challenge, in part because of the difficulties in quantitative analytical imaging of the transient states of both the solid and the liquid. He introduced a novel approach to measure the local composition of both the solid and the liquid, and their quasi-in-situ evolution. In his awarded talk, Schwarz recounted his research on both aspects, opening with perspectives for future analysis and understanding of corrosion mechanisms, wet chemical and catalytic processes at the ultimate length scales.

The IFES is an international scientific society, that aims to promote high-field nano-science and field microscopy. One of the society's duties is to organize the APT&M conference every one or two years, taking place since 1952. The last symposium was held in Leuven, Belgium in September 2023.

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