About us

The Helmholtz Young Investigators Group "Borderline Magnetism" started in 2014 and is funded by the Helmholtz association. Our research focusses on novel magnetic materials at the nanoscale. In particular we investigate the influence of surface modifications and tuned valencies to tailor the electronic and magnetic properties.

In addition to the common ferromagnetic materials like the 3d transition metals Fe, Co, Ni and their alloys and oxides, we explore the magnetism of the 4d metals, which are already at the border to ferromagnetism in the bulk material. Most of our experiments are performed at the synchrotron radiation source HZB-BESSY II.

Owing to close interdisciplinary collaborations with groups in chemistry, material science, and theoretical physics, we have the possibility to prepare nanoscale systems for various applications and understand their element-specific properties from a theoretical perspective which only recently have become possible using world-leading supercomputer architectures.

This combination may open new ways for a microscopic design of magnetic nanoparticles.

  • vacuum chamber
  • air plasma
  • beam guiding
  • building of BESSY II
  • hydrogen plasma
  • laser at HZB-BESSY II
  • preparation
  • storage ring
  • building swiss light source

Latest News

Editorial Board of Scientific Reports

Carolin Schmitz-Antoniak joined the Editorial Board of Scientific Reports. Scientific Reports launched in 2011 as a multidisciplinary, online-only, open access publication of the Nature Publishing Group covering all areas of the natural sciences. Carolin accepted the invitation to join the Editorial Board within the field of "Condensed Matter Physics" for two years.
>>Homepage of Scientific Reports

On-site visit at DELTA synchrotron

With 11 interested students (Physics and Energy Science) of the University of Duisburg-Essen we had a guided tour at the DELTA synchrotron in Dortmund. After an introductory talk by Prof. Weis, we had a tour through the experimental hall and were allowed to have also a close look behind the radiation protection walls. Thanks to all the friendly and very competent guides!
>>DELTA synchrotron

HZB User Committee

At the 7th Joined BER II and BESSY II user meeting in December 2015, Carolin Schmitz-Antoniak was re-elected for another 2 years to join the HZB User Committee.
>>HZB User Committee

Gottschalk-Diederich-Beadeker Prize

Gottschalk-Diederich-Beadeker Prize awarded to Carolin Schmitz-Antoniak. The prize is awarded annually for outstanding Habilitation or PhD theses at the faculties of science and engineering of the University of Duisburg-Essen. The prize carries a value of 5.000 €.
>>Press release of the University of Duisburg-Essen (German only)

RACIRI Summer School student

Nataliya Svechkina is invited to the RACIRI Summer School 2015. The RACIRI Summer School is a joint initiative by Russia, Sweden and Germany in the collaborative framework of the Röntgen-Angström-Cluster (RAC) and the Ioffe-Röntgen-Institute (IRI). Only 30 participants from all over Germany were chosen by a nomination committee. We are happy that Nataliya successfully applied and received an invitation to the Summer School.
>>RACIRI Summer School

Selected Articles

Scientific Reports:

Reversed ageing of Fe3O4 nanoparticles by hydrogen plasma

magnetite nanoparticles

Reports on Progress in Physics:

X-ray absorption spectroscopy on magnetic nanoscale systems for modern applications

magnetite nanoparticles

Scientific Reports:

The dipole moment of the spin density as a local indicator for phase transitions

magnetite nanoparticles

Nature Communications:

X-ray absorption spectroscopy on magnetic nanoscale systems for modern applications

magnetite nanoparticles

Nature Communications:

A guideline for atomistic design and understanding of ultrahard nanomagnets

magnetite nanoparticles


Our team


PD Dr. Carolin Schmitz-Antoniak

Principal Investigator

+49 30 8062 15063
     >>Profile on ResearchGate
     >>Short CV (PDF)


Dr. Alevtina Smekhova


+49 30 8062 14779
     >>Short CV (PDF)

no phto

Nataliya Svechkina

PhD student

+49 30 8062 14779

no phto

Seyedeh Fatemeh Shams

PhD student, FZJ fellow

+49 30 8062 14779



Bachelor and Master theses

Positions available: Are you intersted in starting to work as a bachelor or master student in our group at the synchrotron radiation source HZB-BESSY II in Berlin or at the University of Duisburg-Essen? Please do not hesitate to contact us: c.schmitz-antoniak(at)fz-juelich.de, carolin.antoniak(at)uni-due.de

PhD theses

Currently there are no positions available. However, funding may be obtained in the framework of a fellowship, e.g. from the DAAD for foreign applicants or Stipendium Plus for applicants who already have a permanent residence in Germany.

PostDoc positions

Currently there are no positions available. However, funding may be obtained in the framework of a fellowship, e.g. from the DAAD or the Alexander von Humboldt foundation for foreign applicants.

Last updated: 2016-12-14
PD Dr. Carolin Schmitz-Antoniak