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Static and dynamic phenomena on solid surfaces, interfaces and in nanostructures

English title Static and dynamic phenomena on solid surfaces, interfaces and in nanostructures
Applicant Osterwalder Jürg
Number 116096
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Physik-Institut Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Condensed Matter Physics
Start/End 01.04.2007 - 31.03.2009
Approved amount 527'615.00
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Keywords (13)

electronic structure; surface states; surface magnetism; surface phase transition; nanostructures; surface phase transitions; molecular films; vicinal surfaces; photoemission; synchrotron radiation; scanning probes; femtosecond lasers; metal clusters

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
With the growing impact of nanoscience and -technology, surface and interface phenomena have to be understood at the atomic level. The surface physics laboratory of the University of Zürich is well equipped for the preparation and characterization of clean surfaces, metal and molecular monolayer films, as well as self-assembling nanostructures, all under ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) conditions. In this project we focus on two particular types of model interfaces: (i) hexagonal boron nitride nanotemplates for ferromagnetic metal cluster growth and (ii) the exploration of spin degrees of freedom in highly ordered molecular layers. Experimental techniques available to us include x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and diffraction (XPD), angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES), two-photon photoemission (2PPE) using femtosecond laser pulses, low-energy electron diffraction (LEED) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). In parallel to these studies, experimental methods are further developed and refined. At the nearby Swiss Light Source we have built a photoemission spectrometer for spin-resolved Fermi surface mapping. With this instrument we address issues related to spintronics - future electronics where new functionalities are introduced by manipulating the spins of electrons - by means of spin-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy. Systems with unbalanced spins are prepared and investigated using methods of surface science.
Materials to be studied include the heavy metals Au, Bi and Pb, either in the form of clean surfaces with and without step lattices, and as ultrathin films exhibiting quantum well states. Time-resolved two-photon photoemission (t-2PPE) will be used to study the electron dynamics in condensed matter near a phase transition, after the creation of a non-equilibrium electron distribution produced by the impulse of an amplified red laser pulse. The systems to be investigated include the ultrafast demagnetization dynamics in nickel and the dynamics of a one-dimensional charge density wave in In/Si(111).
A growing network of national and international collaborations expands this set of experimental techniques and provides us also with the necessary theoretical support.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
124691 Spin physics and electron dynamics at surfaces, interfaces and in ordered molecular layers 01.04.2009 Project funding (Div. I-III)
122703 Boron nitride nanomesh as a template for guided self-assembly of molecular arrays 01.10.2008 Sinergia
107783 Static and dynamic phenomena on solid surfaces, interfaces and in nanostructures 01.04.2005 Project funding (Div. I-III)