ASSLAR, GERMANY — The Justus Liebig University Giessen awarded its Röntgen Prize this year to Dr. Markus Schöffler. The Röntgen Prize is awarded each year at an academic award ceremony at the JLU for outstanding work on basic research into radiation physics and radiation biology. It is named in memory of Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, who was a professor in Giessen from 1879 to 1888. The award primarily distinguishes the work of young scientists.

Half of the prize of € 15,000 is donated by Pfeiffer Vacuum and the Dr. Erich Pfeiffer Foundation, and the other half by the Ludwig Schunk Foundation.

This year’s award winner, Dr. Schöffler, is research associate at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. He is receiving the award for his research into the interaction of X-rays with atoms and molecules. Of particular note are Dr. Schöffler’s experiments to understand the structure of chiral molecules. This is a field that is of particular importance for pharmaceuticals. These investigations were conducted as part of the ELCH research cluster (Electron Dynamics of Chiral Systems) of the LOEWE program. LOEWE is a research program funded by the German federal state of Hesse. An important basis for the research conducted by Dr. Schöffler is the use of radiation sources such as synchrotron radiation or X-rays. Ultra-high vacuum is needed for both the sources of radiation and the detectors required for these investigations.

Dr. Schöffler studied physics at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, and received his doctorate degree with honors there in 2006. After several research fellowships at other universities and research institutes, he has been team leader at the Frankfurt University since 2011. In 2014, he was awarded the Adolf Messer Foundation prize for his research work. Dr. Schöffler is spokesman for an international collaboration at the SOLEIL synchrotron radiation facility in France.

On Nov. 24, the day before the prize was awarded at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Dr. Schöffler visited the sponsoring company Pfeiffer Vacuum and reported on the results of this research.

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