Prof. Dr. Susanne Mertens


Dark Matter



Academic Career and Research Areas

Prof. Mertens field of research is the area of Astroparticle Physics. The neutrino is the most abundant known matter particle in the universe. Yet, some of its fundamental properties are still uknown. What is the mass of the neutrino? Is is its own antiparticle? Are there more neutrino types? The answer to these questions will help to better understand our universe and its smallest constituents. Prof. Mertens is working on laboratory-based experiments to discover these neutrino properties. 

Prof. Mertens studied at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, where she also did her PhD. Following her graduation she spend 4 years in the US at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as a postdoc. Since 2016 Prof. Mertens is leading an independent Max Planck Research Group. Since the same time she worked as tenure track professer at TUM and since 2021 she was appointed Assistant Professor at TUM. Prof. Mertens was appointed university professor in May 2022.


    • 2019 ERC Starting Grant
    • 2018 Teaching award of TUM
    • 2017 Teaching award “Goldene Kreide”
    • 2012 Erna Scheffler award
    • 2012 Springer Thesis award

    Katrin Collaboration: “An improved upper limit on the neutrino mass from a direct kinematic method by KATRIN”. Phys. Rev. Lett.. 2020; 123: 221802.


    S. Mertens et al: “A novel detector system for KATRIN to search for keV-scale sterile neutrinos”. Journal of Physics G. 2019; 46.


    Majorana Collaboration: “Search for neutrinoless double beta decay in 76Ge with the Majorana Demonstrator”. Phys. Rev. Lett.. 2018; 120: 132502.


    “A white paper on keV sterile neutrino dark matter”. Journal of Cosmology and Particle Physics. 2017; no.01: 025.


    S. Mertens et al: “Sensitivity of Next-Generation Tritium-Beta-Decay Experiments for keV-scale sterile neutrinos”. JCAP. 2015; no.02, 020.