Dr. Gregor Birkenmeier

Helmholtz Young Investigator Group

Non-linear dynamics and structure formation at the edge of high temperature plasmas

Plasma Surface and Divertor Physics

Academic Career and Research Areas

Gregor Birkenmeier studied physics from 2002-2008 in Freiburg and Stuttgart. He got his PhD 2012 from Stuttgart University. Since he was a PostDoc at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (2012-2014) and at the TU Munich (2014-2017), he investigated the physics of the plasma edge at the fusion experiment ASDEX Upgrade. At the same facility, his group develops a special particle beam probe allowing for improved measurements of the structure formation at the plasma edge.  


The research of Gregor Birkenmeier (b. 1981) focuses on the formation of self-organized structures in high temperature plasmas. Modern fusion experiments confine a high temperature plasma by means of toroidal magnetic fields, in order to produce energy from nuclear fusion of hydrogen. Self-organized flows and filaments at the edge of the plasma can facilitate or hamper the operation of a future fusion power plant. Therefore, the young investigator group aims at a better understanding of the physics of the structure formation at the plasma edge.


    • Head of Helmholtz Young Investigator Group (2018)
    • Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society (2012)
    • PhD awarded with ‘summa cum laude’, University of Stuttgart (2012)
    • Itoh Project Prize in Plasma Turbulence (2010) 

    Key Publications

    Birkenmeier G et al.: „Magnetic structure and frequency scaling of limit-cycle oscillations close to L- to H-mode transitions“. Nuclear Fusion. 2016; 56: 086009.


    Birkenmeier G et al.: “Filament transport, warm ions and erosion in ASDEX Upgrade L-modes”. Nuclear Fusion. 2015; 55: 033018.


    Birkenmeier G et al.: “Magnetic field dependence of the blob dynamics in the edge of ASDEX Upgrade L-mode plasmas”. Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion. 2014; 56: 075019.


    Birkenmeier G, Ramisch M, Schmid B, Stroth U: „Experimental evidence of turbulent transport regulation by zonal flows“. Physical Review Letters. 2013; 110: 145004.


    Birkenmeier G, Ramisch M, Manz P, Nold B, Stroth U: „Experimental Investigation of the Magnetic Configuration Dependence of Turbulent Transport”. Physical Review Letters. 2011; 107: 025001.