Felix Sturm receives Stefan Hell Prize for best Bachelor degree in the nanosciences

Felix Sturm, a Master student in the MPSD research group Ultrafast Transport in Quantum Materials, has been honored for obtaining the best Bachelor degree in Nanosciences at the University of Hamburg 2021/22. He was awarded the Stefan Hell Prize at a ceremony organized by the Department of Physics and the Chemistry Friends’ and Supporters’ Association at the University.

Felix wrote his Bachelor thesis at the MPSD. He investigated the electronic transport of MoTe2 (Molybdenum ditelluride), a Weyl semimetal, and focused on the nonlinear Hall effect. In this material, the electrons travel not just in one direction but also sideways to the direction of the applied current, even without a magnetic field.

“If you increase the electrical current, you would expect that the electrons which are going sideways would also increase proportional to the change of the main electron flow,” explains Felix. “In MoTe2, however, the sideways electron flow changes in a nonlinear fashion, hence the name. The electron current to the sides increases quadratically compared to the main current.

“We investigated how this phenomenon scales with temperature to get an insight into how the material behaves and to better understand the mechanisms involved. These materials could be the basis for future transistors and communication technologies.”

Felix is now writing his Master thesis in the group, which is led by James McIver, concentrating on the light-matter interaction of MoTe2.

He feels honoured to receive the award for his Bachelor degree, stressing that it would not have been possible without the support of his family, friends and the members of the Ultrafast Transport in Quantum Materials research group: “I want to thank all of them, and especially Dr. James McIver, P.D. Dr. Guido Meier and Prof. Dr. Henning Moritz who made it possible for me to write my bachelor thesis at the Max-Planck institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter.”

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