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).