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Wolfram-Prandl-Prize 2020 Goes to Former JCNS PhD Student

16 December 2020

With contributions from Dr. Karin Griewatsch /KFN

Sabrina-DischDr. Sabrina Disch
Copyright: Ellen Bornkessel, Portraitfotografie für Unternehmen

Dr. Sabrina Disch is the winner of the Wolfram-Prandl-Prize 2020 for young scientists. The prize was awarded by the Committee Research with Neutrons (KFN) on 9 December at the German Neutron Scattering Conference (DN2020).

Sabrina Disch completed her doctoral thesis at the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS) and RWTH Aachen University, and has been a Group Leader at the University of Cologne since 2004. She receives the €2,500 prize “for her outstanding research results on understanding the structure, spin structure and spin dynamics of magnetic nanoparticles, their self-organization and the resulting structures, achieved using innovative neutron scattering methods”, says KFN Chair Dr. Astrid Schneidewind, in her laudatory statement.

Prandl-PrizeScreen shot of the lecture given by Sabrina Disch on accepting her award at the virtual DN2020 on 9 December.
Copyright: Dr. Karin Griewatsch / KFN

The Wolfram-Prandl-Prize 2020 is awarded in recognition of her research results on magnetic nanoparticles. This field is highly topical: on the one hand, it addresses fundamental challenges in the synthesis and understanding of magnetism on the nanometre scale; on the other, magnetic nanoparticles have a high application potential, for example in magnetic sensor technology, in catalysis or in medical diagnostics and therapy. Through an extremely successful combination of preparative work, macroscopic characterisation, X-ray and neutron scattering, she has achieved impressive breakthroughs in the understanding of the structure, spin structure and spin dynamics of magnetic particles, their self-organization and the resulting structures on all characteristic length scales – from atomic, to nanoscopic, through to mesoscopic. These studies are a prime example of the complementary application of synchrotron X-ray scattering and neutron methods for the most sophisticated method development in research with neutrons as well as for interdisciplinary work at the interface between chemistry, physics, crystallography and material sciences.

To achieve her results, Sabrina Disch conducted highly innovative method development, such as small- and wide-angle scattering on nanomaterials with polarisation analysis, scattering with a time resolution in the sub-millisecond range, and the development of in-situ magneto-rheological small-angle scattering. She conducted her experiments on neutron scattering instruments at the JCNS, as well as at other sites.

The Wolfram-Prandl-Prize and the KFN

By naming the prize after him, the KFN pays tribute to one of the pioneers of neutron scattering in Germany, Prof. Wolfram Prandl, an experimental physicist and crystallographer whose work was characterized by an unusual depth of analysis. With his meticulous scientific approach, Prandl inspired and shaped many generations of young scientists.

The Committee Research with Neutrons represents all scientists in the Federal Republic of Germany who work with neutrons or who are affiliated to research using neutrons. It consists of seven members along with permanent guests. The permanent guests are representatives of neutron research sources and representatives of the BMBF, the DFG and the project management organization “Condensed Matter”. The aim is to promote neutron research.

Further information

Committee  Research with Neutrons (KFN)

 Dr. Sabrina Disch’s webpage