The MIT Kavli Institute paves the way for new developments in space- & ground-based astrophysics. Our faculty, research staff, and students develop technology & instrumentation with a focus on an engineering and technical core.
Researchers at The Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research explore extreme and unusual phenomena found beyond the Earth including extrasolar planets, black holes, neutron stars, and distant galaxies and clusters of galaxies.
Associate Director, Space Nanotechnology LaboratoryPrincipal Research Scientist
Ralf Heilmann is a Principal Research Scientist at MKI and the Associate Director of the Space Nanotechnology Laboratory. His main interests are in the areas of x-ray and EUV optics, (with current emphasis on advanced diffraction gratings for space-based instruments and alternative methods for shaping light-weight x-ray mirrors), micro- and nanofabrication, advanced interference and optical lithography, and nanometrology.
He received his Diplom in physics from the Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany) with a thesis on Monte-Carlo simulations of a statistical spin system. He received his M.S. and his Ph.D. in physics from Carnegie Mellon University for his x-ray scattering studies of the growth dynamics of thin noble gas films.
Before joining MIT he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University, where he conducted research on the structure of Langmuir monolayers and liquid surfaces and interfaces via x-ray scattering at the National Synchrotron Light Source (Brookhaven National Laboratory).