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 2022 (application deadline via by Jan 25, 2022:

  • Fluid neutral modeling and molecular model development for fusion plasmas

  • Deuterium line emission in AUG and JET divertor plasmas

  • Analysis of plasma flow patterns in the scrape-off layer

  • Fusion neutronics

  • ICRH heating of minority particles in ITER

  • Transport studies for the FT-2 tokamak

An info session about the summer project proposals in the fusion and plasma physics group will be held on Friday, January 21, 2022, at 10:00am in Vaaksa (Y338b) and via the following Zoom link:

Latest publications

Simulation of transport in the FT-2 tokamak up to the electron scale with GENE

Salomon Janhunen, Gabriele Merlo, Alexey Gurchenko, Evgeniy Gusakov, Frank Jenko, Timo Kiviniemi 2022 Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

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

Effect of the recycling profile on the SOL turbulence in the FT-2 Tokamak

Francis Albert Devasagayam, Laurent Chone, Timo Kiviniemi, Susan Leerink, A.D. Gurchenko, E.Z. Gusakov, M. Yu Kantor, S.I. Lashkul, S. Shatalin, O. A. Kaledina 2021

Use of the Culham He model He II atomic data in JET EDGE2D-EIRENE simulations

K. D. Lawson, M. Groth, D. Harting, S. Menmuir, D. Reiter, K. M. Aggarwal, S. Brezinsek, I. H. Coffey, G. Corrigan, F. P. Keenan, C. F. Maggi, A. G. Meigs, M. G. O'Mullane, J. Simpson, S. Wiesen 2021 Nuclear Materials and Energy

Towards understanding reactor relevant tokamak pedestals

C. J. Ham, A. Bokshi, D. Brunetti, G. B. Ramirez, B. Chapman, J. W. Connor, D. Dickinson, A. R. Field, L. Frassinetti, A. Gillgren, J. P. Graves, T. P. Kiviniemi, Susan Leerink, B. McMillan, S. Newton, S. Pamela, C. M. Roach, S. Saarelma, J. Simpson, S. F. Smith, E. R. Solano, P. Strand, A. J. Virtanen 2021 Nuclear Fusion

Simulating the impact of charge exchange on beam ions in MAST-U

Patrik Ollus, R.J. Akers, B. Colling, H. El-Haroun, D. Keeling, Taina Kurki-Suonio, R. Sharma, Antti Snicker, Jari Varje 2021 Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

Simulating beam ion charge exchange in MAST-U

P. Ollus, J. Varje, D. Keeling, R. Akers, R. Sharma, A. Snicker, T. Kurki-Suonio 2021

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

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

Nitrogen molecular break-up and transport simulations in the JET divertor

Roni Mäenpää, Henri Kumpulainen, Mathias Groth, Juri Romazanov, Bartosz Lomanowski 2021
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
  • Published:
  • Updated:
URL copied!