Surface Structure Prize
The Surface Structure Prize is awarded to one (or jointly two or three) scientist(s), for an outstanding body of work in the field of surface and interface structure. For joint awards, the bodies of work must be closely related, such as in close collaborations or competing developments. The selected work is presented by the awardee(s) as an invited lecture at the ICSOS meeting.
Surface Structure Prize 2023
The ICSOS Surface Structure Prize for 2023 was awarded to Prof. Dr. Michael Schmid, Technical University of Vienna, Austria, for his outstanding achievements in the development and application of methods to elucidate the structure of the surfaces of metal alloys, surface oxides, bulk oxides and single atom catalysts using scanning probe microscopies and complementary DFT and quantitative LEED methods.
Michael Schmid was born and raised near Vienna, Austria. He graduated from TU Wien in engineering physics in 1985 and continued pursuing a PhD degree at the Institute of Applied Physics at the same university. During his PhD thesis, he worked on perfecting quartz crystals for deposition control and layered piezoelectric resonators. His dissertation and the stellar grades during his studies earned him a graduation ‚sub-auspiciis Praesidentis rei publicae’ in 1989, the highest honor a PhD student in Austria can achieve.
After absolving his mandatory civil service, Schmid joined the surface physics group (led by Peter Varga) in 1990 as an assistant professor. Initially, he worked on ion-surface interactions. A low-noise UHV STM apparatus he designed and built became the focus of his further research. In 1994 he spent a year as a guest researcher in the group of Jens Nørskov at the Danish Technical University (DTU). In 1997 he achieved his habilitation and was promoted to associate professor. A “START prize” awarded by the Austrian Science Fund allowed him to extend his studies to low-temperature STM. In the following years, he applied STM studies, quantitative low-energy electron diffraction, and surface spectroscopies to resolve surface structures, often in collaboration with theoretical colleagues.
His close to 300 scientific publications cover a large variety of systems, from ultrathin NaCl layers to segregation phenomena in alloys and complex reconstructions to ultrathin oxide films. In recent years, he has dedicated his efforts to the development of the ViPErLEED package (together with the University of Erlangen) to make this powerful quantitative surface structure technique accessible to a broader scientific community.
Schmid is also an excellent teacher, as a recent “TU Wien best teaching award” can attest. His other hobbies are astronomy and mountaineering; when the weather is good, there is a chance one can encounter him in the Alps rather than in the lab.
Young Scientist Prize
The ICSOS Young Scientist Prize is awarded to an applicant who has recently (within the last three years) received a doctoral degree, or a current doctoral student who is expecting to finish his/her degree within one year after the current ICSOS, in the field of surface and interface structure.
Young Scientist Prize 2023
For the Young Scientist Prize 2023, five candidates had been preselected from numerous nominations. The Prize Committee selected the prize winner based on the nomination and the oral presentations given by the candidates in a specific session during the conference. The preselected candidates were (in alphabetical order):
Pietro Biasin, University of Trieste, Italy
Iulia Cojocariu, Jülich Research Center, Germany and Elettra Synchrotron, Trieste, Italy
Giada Franceschi, Technical University of Vienna, Austria
Anja Haags, University of Bonn, Germany
Carolina A. Marques, University of St. Andrews, UK and University of Zurich, Switzerland
During the conference, the Selection Committee awarded the ICSOS Young Scientist Prize 2023 to Mrs. Anja Haags, University of Bonn, Germany, for her excellent PhD thesis, which she presented in a talk entitled “Orbital imaging for chemical analysis”. We heartfeltly congratulate her for winning this prestigious prize.