Our research is focused on low dimensional physics and correlated electron systems. Current scientific projects include i) Understanding the interplay between ordered electronic phases and superconductivity; ii) The fabrication of a truly one dimensional model system; iii) Probing the exotic electronic quantum properties emerging in reduced dimensionalities (1D and 2D). These questions are investigated on dichalcogenides, cuprates, iron pnictides, self-assembled single atom wires on silicon, graphitic materials and specifically designed functional electronic systems.
The prime experimental techniques are scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and spectroscopy (STS) in combination with atomic force microscopy (AFM). We are operating two commercial instruments combining STM and AFM in ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) and variable temperature. The Omicron LT-STM is equipped with RHEED, LEED, XPS, a dedicated hydrogen cracker, an ion gun and a range of deposition sources. The SPECS JT-STM has 3 Tesla magnetic field and is equipped with a dedicated hydrogen cracker, an ion gun and a range of deposition sources. A third UHV variable temperature system with magnetic field, specifically designed for spin polarized studies, is under development.
We are also actively developing the scanning probe technique itself, building a scan head with increased functionalities, a novel scheme to detect the spin polarization of the tunneling electrons by STM and an all electric cantilever deflection sensors.