Department of Applied Physics

Fusion and Plasma Physics

The Fusion and Plasma Physics group at Aalto University investigates experimentally and by computer simulations plasma phenomena in magnetically confined fusion plasma physics. The overall goal is to create a new, clean and virtually unlimited energy source.
Flux surface diagnostics: field line visualization in Wendelstein 7-X stellarator. Photo: Matthias Otte / IPP
Flux surface diagnostics: field line visualization in Wendelstein 7-X stellarator. Photo: Matthias Otte / IPP

The fusion process encompasses light elements, such as hydrogen and its isotopes deuterium and tritium, to merge to heavier elements, such as helium, thereby releasing large amounts of energy in form of MeV neutrons and protons. To harness this energy, a plasma needs to confined either magnetically or inertially, and heated to temperatures in excess of 100 million Kelvins. At these temperatures the fusion process becomes self-sustained by heating of the plasma via energetic by-products, such as helium. The fusion challenge consists in confining the plasma sufficiently long and controlling its interaction with the surrounding walls.

The group’s research activities concentrate on the tokamak concept. We participate in experiments at present fusion facilities, such as ASDEX Upgrade, DIII-D, and JET, develop and validate computational models for present and future, burning-plasma reactors, such as ITER, and develop diagnostics for fusion relevant experiments.

The group is part of FinnFusion, the domestic agency administrating fusion research within EUROfusion, and member of FuseNet, the European Fusion Education Network facilitating student exchange at Bachelor's, Master's and PhD level. The group is supported by the Academy of Finland and other funding agencies.

Mathias Groth

Group leader

Mathias Groth


The main research interests are listed below, including codes, experimental apparatuses and facilities, and major scientific results.

Codes used and developed by the Fusion and Plasma Physics group 

Experimental plasma-wall interaction research

Tile analysis at VTT Research Centre Finland

Collaboration with experimental research institutes

Plasma diagnostics development

Open positions

The following projects are posted for summer interns in 2021 (application deadline via by Jan 31, 2021:

  • Impact of neutral density and magnetic configuration on detachment in tokamaks
  • ERO2.0 modelling of medium-Z impurity sources in JET
  • Fluid neutral modeling and molecular model development for fusion plasmas
  • Scrape-off layer plasma reconstruction using the Onion-Skin Model approach
  • Scrape-off layer plasma analysis using the Onion-Skin Model and edge fluid code UEDGE
  • Database development for edge fluid and neutral Monte-Carlo codes
  • ELMFIRE simulations of isotope effect
  • Metriplectic integration of Coulomb collisions
  • Estimating fast-ion losses in ITER using reduced numerical model
  • Effect of charge exchange reactions on beam ions in the W7-X stellarator
  • Modelling neutrons from fusion reactions

An info session about the summer project proposals in the fusion and plasma physics group will be held on Thursday, January 28, 2021, at 12:00pm via the following Zoom link:

Latest publications

Comparison of a collisional-radiative fluid model of H2 in UEDGE to the kinetic neutral code EIRENE

A. Holm, P. Börner, T. D. Rognlien, W. H. Meyer, M. Groth 2021 Nuclear Materials and Energy

On the accuracy of the binary-collision algorithm in particle-in-cell simulations of magnetically confined fusion plasmas

Timo P. Kiviniemi, Eero Hirvijoki, Antti J. Virtanen 2021 Journal of Plasma Physics

Moment-preserving and mesh-adaptive reweighting method for rare-event sampling in Monte-Carlo algorithms

C. U. Schuster, T. Johnson, G. Papp, R. Bilato, S. Sipilä, J. Varje, M. Hasenöhrl 2021 Computer Physics Communications

Optimization-oriented modelling of neutral beam injection for EU pulsed DEMO

P. Vincenzi, P. Agostinetti, J. F. Artaud, T. Bolzonella, T. Kurki-Suonio, M. Mattei, M. Vallar, J. Varje 2021 Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

A comparative study of internal kink stability in EU DEMO designs with negative and positive triangularity

Lina Zhou, Yueqiang Liu, Mattia Siccinio, Emiliano Fable, Tingting Wu, Taina Kurki-Suonio, Jari Varje, Deyong Liu 2021 Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

Application of spatially hybrid fluid–kinetic neutral model on JET L-mode plasmas

N. Horsten, M. Groth, M. Blommaert, W. Dekeyser, I. Paradela Pérez, S. Wiesen 2021 Nuclear Materials and Energy

ASCOT simulations of 14 MeV neutron rates in W7-X

J. Kontula, J. P. Koschinsky, S. Akaslompolo, T. Kurki-Suonio 2021 Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

Pedestal structure, stability and scalings in JET-ILW

L. Frassinetti, S. Saarelma, G. Verdoolaege, M. Groth, J. C. Hillesheim, P. Bilkova, P. Bohm, M. Dunne, R. Fridström, E. Giovannozzi, F. Imbeaux, B. Labit, E. De La Luna, C. Maggi, M. Owsiak, R. Scannell 2021 Nuclear Fusion

Serpent neutronics model of Wendelstein 7-X for 14.1 MeV neutrons

Simppa Äkäslompolo, Jan Paul Koschinsky, Joona Kontula, Christoph Biedermann, Sergey Bozhenkov, Taina Kurki-Suonio, Jaakko Leppänen, Antti Snicker, Robert Wolf, Glen Wurden 2021 Fusion Engineering and Design
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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