Max Auwärter Preis

The MAX AUWÄRTER AWARD for students and young researchers is offered bi-annually by the Max Auwärter Foundation in Balzers, Principality of Liechtenstein. It is open to university and research institution-based scientists of up to 35 years of age who have published significant work in the fields of surface physics, surface chemistry, or organic and inorganic thin films. In the case of a multi-author publication, the significant role of the applicant should be emphasized in a separate statement. The award includes a certificate and a prize of EUR 10.000.— 


The Prize will be awarded at the annual meeting of the Austrian Physical Society.

Dr. Manish Garg

Winner 2022

To better understand (and possibly control) fast chemical reactions, it is necessary to study the behaviour of electrons as precisely as possible – in both space and time. However, up to now, microscopy methods have delivered only either spatially or temporally sharp images. By cleverly combining established techniques of tunnelling microscopy and laser spectroscopy, Manish Garg and his team have overcome these obstacles. Utilizing their quantum microscope its now possible to directly map the dynamics of electrons in molecules – how they jump from one orbital to another – for the first time, with simultaneous temporal resolution of 200 attoseconds and sub-Ångstrom spatial resolution. This basic technology provides completely new possibilities for directly observing quantum mechanical processes such as bond breaking/formation and charge transfer in individual molecules.