Fakultät für NW


Professur Ionenphysik (1994 - 2009)



Prof. Dr. Dieter Gerlich

Former coworker




Prague ISORI


Prague AB-22PT


invited talks

Selected conferences

On 01. Feb. 1994 Prof. D. Gerlich took over the group Gasentladungs- and Ionenphysik. In addition to the traditional studies of discharges (e.g. polymerization, etching) various fundamental laboratory studies have been started. The aim was to understand in detail all kind of plasmas, ranging from technical applications to astrochemistry. Developing innovative ion guides and low temperature ion traps and combining them with lasers, molecular beams, sophisticated detectors etc., many unique experimental studies became possible.


Since his retirement (30.09.2009), Prof. D. Gerlich is actively engaged in several laboratories in Prague, Basel, Köln and other universities. Of central importance are applications of new cryogenic traps in reaction dynamics and spectroscopy.

Research activities

IOTA Ion Traps for Tomorrows Applications

ITS LEIF Low Energy Ion Beam Facilities

The Chemical Cosmos

FGLA Laboratory astrophysics


Cryogenic 22-pole ion trap:
unique tool for astrochemistry

Using a low temperature 22-pole ion trap in Basel, we have shown that ionized Buckminsterfullerene (C60+) is present in space and that it is responsible for two Diffuse Interstellar Bands.


E.K. Campbell, M. Holz, D. Gerlich, J.P. Maier

Laboratory confirmation of C60+ as the carrier of two diffuse interstellar bands.

Nature, 523 (2015) 322 DOI: 10.1038/nature14566


See also News & Views by Ehrenfreund & Foing


Dieter Gerlich 17.07.2015