News & Events

Wolf Prize in Physics for Anne L’Huillier

HELIOS principal investigator Anne L’Huillier at Lund University won the Wolf Prize – one of the most prestigious award in physics after the Nobel Prize.

She shares the prize with professors Paul Corkum at the University of Ottawa in Canada and Ferenc Krausz at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Germany. They were selected for their pioneering contributions to ultrafast laser science and attosecond physics.

It started in 1988, when Anne L’Huillier and her colleagues at CEA Saclay in France discovered high-order harmonics of light which was generated in a gas exposed to an intense laser field: “It was a bit of a coincidence. Our intention was to study fluorescence in the gas, but instead we saw these high-order harmonics. I found it very fascinating and really got stuck in exploring this new phenomenon, which is an interesting combination of atomic physics, more precisely the response of an atom to a strong laser field and non-linear optics.”

She moved to Lund University in 1995 where she became a full professor in 1997. In 2004 she was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Her research group carries out, among other things, time-resolved spectroscopy experiments of quantum systems to provide a new fundamental scientific understanding of the dynamics inside atoms.


HALOS HELIOS Workshop - 20 April 2022

The Hanseatic League of Science (HALOS) and the Helmholtz-Lund International Graduate School (HELIOS) is holding their first joint Knowledge Exchange Workshop on 20 April 2022. The event will connect life scientists and physicists from the Baltic Sea region to exchange expertise and find common interests. The workshop is the first initiative to develop potential collaborations for future funding proposals and HALOS activities.

25th March 2022 - Open PhD Positions

Two PhD positions are available in Attosecond Physics, Ultrafast Optics and Ultrafast Dynamics at Lund University. A full description of the projects, admission requirements and application procedure can be found here:

Attosecond Physics and Ultrafast Optics:
Ultrafast dynamics of elementary processes in small quantum systems:


23rd March 2022

Congratulations to HELIOS PI Christoph Heyl for being named 'Emerging Leader' by JPhys Photonics in recognition of his contribution to the field of photonics. In the journal’s 'Emerging leader‘ special issue, Christoph’s invited paper ‘High-energy bow tie multi-pass cells for nonlinear spectral broadening applications' discusses pulse energy limitations of standard multi-pass cells (MPCs) considering basic geometrical scaling principles and introduce a novel energy scaling method using a MPC arranged in a bow tie geometry.


PIER Graduate Week

The PIER Graduate Week is taking place on 21-24 February 2022. The graduate week's main objective is to introduce PhD students to the neighbouring PIER research fields of Particle & Astroparticle Physics, Nanoscience, Photon Science, Infection & Structural Biology. Both national and international experts offer stimulating lectures, discussion and workshops. Early career scientists, including PhD and MSc students and postdocs on Bahrenfeld campus will have the opportunity to broaden their interdisciplinary understanding and interchange with their colleagues from other research fields.

On 25 February 2022 our HELIOS PhD students will attend an extra training day with lectures that are specifically aligned with the HELIOS curriculum.

7th February 2022

Congratulations to HELIOS PhD student Smita Ganguly and HELIOS PI Mathieu Gisselbrecht for publishing the paper "The origin of enhanced O2+ production from photoionized CO2 clusters" in Communications Chemistry. The paper investigates the photoreactions of CO2 clusters (≤2 nm) induced by soft X-ray ionisation and demonstrates that the photochemistry of small clusters/particles will likely have a strong influence on the ion balance in atmospheres.


12th January 2022

What have particle physics and Formular 1 racing in common? PhD student Alexander Ekman answers this question in the latest HELIOS blog post.


4th January 2022

In our latest HELIOS blog post "Moore’s Law and the potential of polymers in nanotechnology" PhD student Alexander Meinhardt writes about how Moore’s Law has shaped our computerised world and how polymers and nanotechnology might do in the future.


20th December 2021

Have you ever wondered if you can warm up food with a terawatt laser? You can find out in the latest HELIOS blog post "Can I fry a Schnitzel using a terawatt laser?" by PhD student Marius Plach.


13th December 2021

In the latest HELIOS blog post "How small the world can be?", PhD student Nelia Zaiats explains what nanowires are, how they are made and what they can be used for.


6th December 2021

In the latest HELIOS blog post “Finding the Weird Blade of Grass in the Haystack”, PhD student Jonas Neundorf explains how physicists identify new particles at the Large Hadron Collider.


29th November 2021

This week on our HELIOS blog, PhD student Smita Ganguly reflects on the challenges of PhD life and meeting deadlines.


22th November 2021

In our latest HELIOS blog post, doctoral candidate Arthur Schoenberg explores whether nuclear fusion can be used as an energy source in the future. Nuclear fusion – the future power source?


15th November 2021

Our HELIOS PhD students wrote some HELIOS blog posts as part of their science communication training. We are going to roll out the individual posts on a weekly basis. First up is Helen Edström, who wrote a post about "The Quest for the Low-Active Surface" for catalysts that purify the exhaust gas in automotive engines.


12th November 2021


Congratulations to HELIOS PhD student Tim Erichlandwehr and HELIOS PI Irene Fernandez-Cuesta for receiving the third open-innovation Bio4Comp Award with their winning idea "Exploiting molecular motor propelled filaments for selective, ultrasensitive detection in a Lab-on-a-Chip”. You can read more about the award and Tim's and Irene's idea on the Bio4Comp website.

11th November 2021

PhD position at Lund University available - Experimental studies of dynamics in molecules

A PhD position is available in the Physics Department at Lund University, which will be associated with HELIOS. The PhD project focuses on experiments on imaging molecules using the reaction microscope at MAX IV, and spectroscopic techniques to understand the photoresponse of molecules. The application deadline is 30 November 2021.

8th November 2021

Congratulations to HELIOS PhD student Robert Gleissner and HELIOS PI Adreas Stierle for publishing their paper "Copper Nanoparticles with High Index Facets on Basal and Vicinal ZnO Surfaces" in The Journal of Physical Chemistry. The paper investigates the the orientation and morphology of Cu nanoparticles grown under ultrahigh-vacuum conditions on various ZnO surfaces.


2nd November 2021

Congratulations to HELIOS PhD student Helen Edström and HELIOS PI Johan Gustafson who coauthored on the paper "Oxygen induced faceting of Cu(911)". The paper invesitgates the oxidation of the vicinal Cu(911) surface by O2 with in-situ Surface X-ray Diffraction. It has been published in Surface Science.


4-8th October 2021

We held the first online Lund retreat training week for our PhD students. The focus this year was instrumentation and detection. We created an exciting programme that included inspirational talks from Anne L’Huillier, Sverker Werin, Stefano Cabrini and Heiner Linke. Throughout the week leading experts from across Europe and the US gave lectures on different topics in laser, accelerator and particle physics as well as nano sciences. The afternoons were reserved for more applied training. The students learnt how to write science blogs for a public audience and how to run simulations using COMSOL. The science blogs will be published later this year. Watch our News section for the announcement.

The training week concluded with a BBQ at the DESY campus in Hamburg and a dinner at a golf club in Lund. This gave the students and academics the chance to meet in person at least once. We would like to thank all of the lecturers, speakers and our PhD students for making our first training week a great success.

19th January 2021

HELIOS held its official virtual launch event. In the morning, directors Francesca Calegari and Mathieu Gisselbrecht introduced HELIOS to our first cohort of PhD students. This was followed by a number of talks about the instrumentation and analytical challenges in the fields of atomic, laser, particle and nano physics. In the afternoon, our students introduced their PhD projects, which vary from searching for dark matter to on-chip DNA analyses. The students also helped shaping the development of the HELIOS programme, by highlighting what skills and experiences they would like to gain during their PhD.

The event was a great success. We are very proud to have assembled this talented team with such a wide range of expertise, and it will continue to grow. We are looking forward to working together over the coming years and supporting and preparing our students for their future careers.