Precision experiments with stored ions and antimatterMax Planck Institute for Nuclear PhysicsUniversity of HeidelbergEuropean Research Council
Ultracold Ions and Antimatter Research
Contakt Contact
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Alban Kellerbauer

Tel.: +49-6221-516-138
Fax: +41-22-7669185 (efax)

Visitor Address
Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics
Room Bo-124
Saupfercheckweg 1
69117 Heidelberg

Postal Address
Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics
P.O. Box 103980
69029 Heidelberg
Precision experiments with stored ions and antimatter
There is currently an open Ph.D. position. Please see Open positions for further details.


to the website of the group of Dr. Alban Kellerbauer. Our work centers around the measurement of ground state properties of exotic atoms and the study of antimatter systems. In order to allow such measurements and/or improve the achievable precisions, we study novel techniques for ion manipulation and cooling. Please use the navigation menu to discover our research projects.

Recent news


Welcome to new Ph.D. student Christian Zimmer

As of July 2016 a new Ph.D. student has joined our group. Christian Zimmer will be working at CERN full-time. His main project will be the demonstration of laser cooling of molecular anions. He will be part of the AEGIS-Borealis team at CERN headed by Sebastian Gerber.
Update: Christian has been honored as the 100th student to receive a Gentner stipend funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The stipend is awarded to students with an excellent academic record at the B.Sc. and M.Sc. level.

Christian Zimmer
Photo credit: CERN


First anions trapped in Penning trap

The trapping of anions in a Penning trap and their pre-cooling with electrons is an important milestone towards the demonstration of laser cooling of La-. Now the trapping of gold anions in our Penning trap has been achieved for the first time. The image shows the ions captured in the Penning trap, then ejected downstream onto a micro-channel plate detector with a phosphor screen. The cross indicates the center of the screen, the circle (radius in mm) provides a scale.

Trapped ions
MCP image of Au anions captured in a Penning trap


Successful completion of doctoral exam for Elena Jordan

Elena Jordan today passed her Ph.D. exam with straight "1.0" marks. Congratulations! From December on she will remain part of the group as a post-doc.

Doctoral exam Elena
Elena in front of the black board notes of her doctoral exam

Reference to thesis: E. Jordan, “High-resolution Doppler laser spectroscopy of the laser cooling candidate La-,” Ph.D. thesis, University of Heidelberg (2015).

Article on La- spectroscopy published

An article in which we describe recent spectroscopic results on La- has just been published. The measurements show that the potential laser cooling transition in this anion, which had been theoretically predicted and experimentally observed in a rough survey, does indeed exist. We were able to partially resolve the hyperfine structure, which is due to the non-vanishing nuclear spin of the only stable isotope of lanthanum. The observed spectra reveal that La- can be laser-cooled with only three laser frequencies slightly detuned with respect to each other. In the medium term, the technique will be used to create colder antihydrogen for precision antimatter experiments at CERN.

Hyperfine spectrum of La<sup>-</sup>
Absorption spectrum of the potential laser cooling transition in La- with resolved hyperfine structure

Reference: E. Jordan et al., “High-resolution spectroscopy on the laser-cooling candidate La-,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 115 (2015) 113001.