Physikalisches Institut (PHI)

Research Group Willke

***We are scaling up: If you are interested in joining our striving and novel field of research, if you are motivated and if you like atoms, please do not hesitate to contact us. Open master, PhD and PostDoc positions can be found under "JOBS".***
P. Willke

Dr. Philip Willke (Independent Emmy-Noether Research Group)

Fields of research

We believe that the next generation of problems in science, technology and society need to be solved on the most fundamental length scale of matter, the atomic scale. We do that by imaging and manipulating atoms and molecules using a scanning tunneling microscope. In this way, we can investigate and control their quantum properties with ultimate precision. At the heart our research focuses on the quantum coherent control of new atomic-scale spin systems.

We use in particular scanning tunneling microscopy in combination with electron spin resonance to resolve and control quantum systems on a microscopic scale and atom by atom. This novel combination of experimental methods allowed us to use single atoms as highly precise magnetic sensors, it allowed us to detect and control the nuclear spin inside a single atom and we could also perform the worlds smallest magnetic resonance image of just a single atom. Ultimately, we want to create a new solid-state architecture for magnetic sensing and quantum information processing operating on the atomic scale.

Learn here more about our different areas of research.


2020: Emmy Noether Junior Research Group Leader
2020: YIG Prep pro fellow of the KIT
2018-2020: Postdoctoral researcher, Center for Quantum Nanoscience, Ewha Womans University, South Korea
2017-2018: Postdoctoral researcher, IBM Almaden Research Center, California, USA
2013-2017: PhD, University of Göttingen, Germany
2011-2013: Master degree: Physics, University of Göttingen, Germany


Key Publications

  1. Hyperfine interaction of individual atoms on a surface
    P. Willke, Y. Bae, K. Yang, J. L. Lado, A. Ferrón, T. Choi, A. Ardavan, J. Fernández-Rossier, A. J. Heinrich, and C. P. Lutz
    Science 362, 336–339 (2018) doi:10.1126/science.aat7047

  2. Magnetic resonance imaging of single atoms on a surface
    P. Willke, K. Yang, Y. Bae, A. J. Heinrich and C. P. Lutz
    Nature Physics 15, 1005–1010 (2019), doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0573-x

  3. Electrically controlled nuclear polarization of individual atoms
    K. Yang, P. Willke, Y. Bae, A. Ferrón, J. L. Lado, A. Ardavan, J. Fernández-Rossier, A. J. Heinrich, C. P. Lutz
    Nature Nanotechnology 13, 1120–1125 (2018), doi:10.1038/s41565-018-0296-7

  4. Probing quantum coherence in single atom electron spin resonance
    P. Willke, W. Paul, F. D. Natterer, K. Yang, Y. Bae, T. Choi, J. Fernández-Rossier, A. J. Heinrich, C. P. Lutz
    Science Advances 4, eaaq1543 (2018), doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaq1543

  5. Reading and writing single atom magnets
    F. D. Natterer, K. Yang, W. Paul, P. Willke, T. Choi, T. Greber, A. J. Heinrich and C. F. Lutz
    Nature 543, 226-228 (2017), doi: 10.1038/nature21371





Prof. Wolfgang Wernsdorfer, KIT

Prof. Sebastian Loth, U STUTT

Prof. Mario Ruben, KIT

Dr. Christoph Sürgers, KIT


Physikalisches Institut
Wolfgang-Gaede-Str. 1
Raum 2.05
D-76131 Karlsruhe, Germany

mail: philip.willke∂

twitter: @willkephilip