Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Mathematisch-Naturwissen­schaft­liche Fakultät - Nanoscale Processes - Time-resolved X-ray scattering

Nanoscale processes and growth - Time-resolved X-ray scattering


new contact details:

Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie

Karl-Franzens Universität Graz

Heinrichstraße 28/IV

8010 Graz


phone: +43 (0)316 380 - 5464
stefan.kowarik @


new website:



contact details at HU Berlin:




Stefan Kowarik, short CV:
- Physik Diplom, LMU München (2002)

- PhD, Oxford University (2003-2006)

- Postdoc: Univ. Tübingen, Cornell Univ. (2007), UC Berkeley (2008 - 2009)

- HU Berlin (since Dec 2009)





Our group (headed by Prof. Dr. Stefan Kowarik) unravels nanoscale processes by measuring atomic or molecular kinetics with time-resolved X-ray scattering and optical methods. We study the non-equilibrium dynamics of self-assembly, growth and phase transitions, investigate ways to control and tailor nanostructure formation, and explore the nanoscale movements in switchable molecules. To this end we advance X-ray techniques towards ultimate spatial, (continuous) temporal resolution and maximum sensitivity and information content. An understanding of these atomic scale processes will lead to optimized smart materials, molecular optoelectronic devices, and (bio-)sensors. We offer interested students countless opportunities to take part in exciting projects.


Evolution of an x-ray diffraction pattern during molecular self-assembly



Recent publication highlights:
  • L. Pithan, P. Beyer, L. Bogula, A. Zykov, P. Schäfer, J. Rawle, C. Nicklin, A. Opitz, and S. Kowarik, "Direct Photoalignment and Optical Patterning of Molecular Thin Films", Advanced Materials, 29, 1521 (2017).

  • C. Weber, T. Liebig, M. Gensler, A. Zykov, L. Pithan, J. P. Rabe, S. Hecht, D. Bléger and S. Kowarik, "Cooperative Switching in Nanofibers of Azobenzene Oligomers", Scientific Reports, 6, 25605 (2016). 

  • S. Bommel, N. Kleppmann, C. Weber, H. Spranger, P. Schäfer, J. Novak, S.V. Roth, F. Schreiber, S.H.L. Klapp, S. Kowarik, “Unravelling the multilayer growth of the fullerene C60 in real-time” 
    Nature Communications, 5, 5388 (2014).


Congratulations to Laura Bogula who won a PGzB & Siemens AG prize for her studies and master thesis in our group.

PhysikStudienpreis17_17.jpg  PhysikStudienpreis17_05.jpg