Markus Morgenstern Do Weak Topological Insulators Exist Outside Theoretical Mathematical Concepts?

Markus Morgenstern is Professor and Head of the Department of Physics at RWTH Aachen University. In 2009 he was the elected coordinating director at JARA, the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance. Morgenstern’s research looks at electro-systems on an atomic-scale. As such, Morgenstern is concerned with the theoretical aspects of mathematics and physics, and how these theoretical paradigms translate in reality.

Area of Research

Low Temperature Scanning Tunneling Spectroscopy, Low-Dimensional Semiconductors, Nanostructures, Novel Materials, Electronic Correlations, Magnetism and Spin Physics

Marcus Liebmann, Christian Rinaldi, Domenico Di Sante, Jens Kellner, Christian Pauly, Rui Ning Wang, Jos Emiel Boschker, Alessandro Giussani, Stefano Bertoli, Matteo Cantoni, Lorenzo Baldrati, Marco Asa, Ivana Vobornik et al. "Giant Rashba-Type Spin Splitting in Ferroelectric GeTe (111)." Advanced Materials 28 (2015): 560-565.  
Torge Mashoff, Marco Pratzer, Viktor Geringer, Tim J. Echtermeyer, Max C. Lemme, Marcus Liebmann and Markus Morgenstern. "Bistability and Oscillatory Motion of Natural Nanomembranes Appearing within Monolayer Graphene on Silicon Dioxide." Nano Letters 10 (2010): 461-465.  
Katsushi Hashimoto, Christoph Sohrmann, Jens Wiebe, Takeshi Inaoka, Fabian Meier, Yoshiro Hirayama, Rudolf A. Roemer, Roland Wiesendanger and Markus Morgenstern. "Quantum Hall Transition in Real Space: From Localized to Extended States." Physical Review Letters 101 (2008): 256802.  
André Wachowiak, Jens Wiebe, Matthias Bode, Oswald Pietzsch, Markus Morgenstern and Roland Wiesendanger. "Direct Observation of Internal Spin Structure of Magnetic Vortex Cores." Science 298 (2002): 577-580.  
Christian Saunus, Jan Raphael Bindel, Marco Pratzer and Markus Morgenstern. "Versatile Scanning Tunneling Microscopy with 120ps Time Resolution." Applied Physics Letters 102 (2013): 051601.  

since 2004

Full Professor

RWTH Aachen University (Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen) (more details)



RWTH Aachen University (Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen) (more details)

Department of Physics


Coordinating Director

JARA – Jülich Aachen Research Alliance



DFG Research Unit 912: "Spin Coherence and Relaxation"


Scientific Director



Postdoctoral Researcher

Université Paris VII



University of Hamburg (Universität Hamburg)

Thesis "Scanning Tunneling Spectroscopy of Low-Dimensional Electron Systems”


PhD in Physics

Forschungszentrum Jülich

Thesis "Scanning Tunneling Microscopy of Growth, Erosion and Adsorption on Pt(111)"


Diploma in Physics

Technical University of Berlin (Technische Universität Berlin)

Thesis "Photoemission Spectroscopy of GaAs(113)"


- Walter-Schottky-Prize of the German Physical Society (DPG) (2004)

© RWTH Aachen

RWTH Aachen University (Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen)

Aachen, Germany

"With its 260 institutes in nine faculties, RWTH Aachen is among the leading European scientific and research institutions."
"The Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments provided a huge boost to the further development of RWTH Aachen University. The institutional strategy on which the successful Excellence Initiative application was based has, in the meantime, been expanded to form a long-term strategy to strengthen all the areas of the University and enhance their profiles. In the process it has gained great momentum, which can be seen, among other things, in the extensive building activities. Visible evidence of this is the RWTH Aachen Campus that is being developed in close cooperation with industry and which is to form one of the largest research campuses in Europe. Students and employees of RWTH Aachen will benefit equally from these developments and are expressly invited to get involved in shaping the individual initiatives."

"RWTH Aachen has set for itself clearly defined goals. By the year 2020, it aims to be the best German University of technology and one of the top five in Europe as measured by academic output, by the quality of its graduates, and by external funding." (Source)


Recent research has shown that solid materials can be classified based on their electronic band structure using the abstract mathematical concept of topology. In this video MARKUS MORGENSTERN explains how interdisciplinary research found the first material of a topological type called “weak topological insulators” and how this might solve problems in the field of quantum computation.

LT Video Publication DOI:

Subnanometre-Wide Electron Channels Protected by Topology

  • Christian Pauly, Bertold Rasche, Klaus Koepernik, Marcus Liebmann, Marco Pratzer, Manuel Richter, Jens Kellner, Markus Eschbach, Bernhard Kaufmann, Lukasz Plucinski, Claus M. Schneider, Michael Ruck, Jeroen van den Brink et al
  • Nature Physics
  • Published in 2015
Christian Pauly, Bertold Rasche, Klaus Koepernik, Marcus Liebmann, Marco Pratzer, Manuel Richter, Jens Kellner, Markus Eschbach, Bernhard Kaufmann, Lukasz Plucinski, Claus M. Schneider, Michael Ruck, Jeroen van den Brink et al. "Subnanometre-Wide Electron Channels Protected by Topology." Nature Physics 11 (2015): 338-343.