Chaotic magnetic boundary that forms a stellarator divertor

Helicon Plasma Cell Prototype

Plasma operation at the AWAKE plasma cell

lab team

Spectroscopy at the MARIA helicon plasma device



This is the 3D-PSI group webpage for plasma edge physics and plasma surface interactions in the presence of three-dimensional (3D) plasma boundaries. This is a situation relevant to tokamak devices with resonant magnetic field perturbations applied and stellarators as inherently 3D systems.

We tackle cutting edge topics in the field on large-scale facilities and address important basic plasma science questions, such as the generation of high-density plasmas with helicon waves. The latter topic has become relevantxt-generation wakefield accelerators, recently for ne and we are a member of the AWAKE project at CERN.

We post the most recent developments in the group on this site – including recent scientific achievements, lab updates, and publication updates.

2024-29-02:  On March, 1st the 3D-PSI group at UW Madison celebrates its 10th anniversary. Much has happened since its inception when Prof. O. Schmitz and Senior Scientist Dr. H. Frerichs moved from the Juelich Research Center Germany to UW Madison to setup this group. Today, we celebrated this anniversary with the second generation of graduate students in this field and the post-docs and scientists supported by instrumentation engineering professionals and administrative expertise that form a comprehensive backbone for a positive student experience. The group conducts research at the leading magnetic confinement devices around the world,  is a member of the AWAKE particle accelerator pathfinder effort at CERN and involved into several startup and commercial activities around fusion energy and plasma science. The anniversary was celebrated by self-baked pastries and a commemorative gathering at the weekly group meeting.

10-Year Anniversary Celebration
Group Bike Trip Photo
Group Bike Trip Photo
Group Members in Germany
Group Members in Germany

Meet Professor Oliver Schmitz

Professor Schmitz is the Thomas and Suzanne Werner Professor in Engineering Physics and the Associate Dean for Research and the Director of the Grainger Institute of Engineering in the College of Engineering at UW Madison. Dr. Schmitz and his research group focus on the research of Plasma edge physics for fusion energy applications, development of state of the art numerical methods, with a particular focus on 3-D plasma edge transport and plasma-wall interaction. His particular interest is in the field of active spectroscopic methods to measure plasma parameters with non-invasive methods. As an associate member of the AWAKE project at CERN, he and his group is working on the development of reliable, and remotely operable plasma diagnostics based on spectroscopy to diagnose the high level of axial density homogeneity needed in this new accelerator concept. Dr. Schmitz has been active within physics professional societies, where he was the U.S. representative of International Tokamak Physics Activity (ITPA) in 2017, and the Co-chair of National Stellarator Coordinating Committee (NSCC) in  2018. In 2019, he was selected the Secretary Treasurer of American Physics Society in the Division of Plasma Physics.

View Schmitz CV, Publication List

Google Scholar PageORCID


Multiphysics Modeling of Impurity Transport for FNSF Startup Scenario with ERO2.0

Marcos X. Navarro, Tom Rognlien, Marvin Rensink, Juri Romazanov, Andreas Kirschner & Oliver Schmitz

Numerical error analysis of SOLPS-ITER simulations of EAST

Dieter Boeyaert, Stefano Carli, Kristel Ghoos, Wouter Dekeyser, Sven Wiesen, Martine Baelmans.

Direct measurement of the ionization source rate and closure of the particle balance in a helicon plasma using laser induced fluorescence

Jonathan Green, Oliver Schmitz, and Michael Zepp.

Enhanced helium exhaust during edge-localized mode suppression by resonant magnetic perturbations at DIII-D

E.T. Hinson, O. Schmitz, T. Abrams, A. Briesemeister, I. Bykov, C. Chrystal, C. Collins, T.E. Evans, H. Frerichs, B.A. Grierson, R.A. Moyer, C. Paz-Soldan, D. Thomas, E.A. Unterberg, and M. Wade.

Wisconsin In Situ Penning (WISP) gauge: A versatile neutral pressure gauge to measure partial pressures in strong magnetic fields

T. Kremeyer, K. Flesch, O. Schmitz, G. Schlisio, U. Wenzel, and W7-X Team.

More Publications>>

Interested? Contact us!

University of Wisconsin – Madison
1500 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706


Engineering Physics building