Research Overview

Our research focuses on determining the electronic properties of surfaces, interfaces, ultrathin films and nanoscale structures using a number of experimental approaches. Our work spans a wide range of materials systems from simple metals to complex oxides. Current projects include studying fundamental aspects of organic molecule adsorption on crystalline oxide and metal surfaces for photovoltaics and organic electronics; probing the electronic structure and morphology of transition metal oxyfluorides for energy storage applications; investigating structure-reactivity relationships of gas-phase reactions catalized at nanofaceted surfaces; exploring the role of radiation-induced reactions in materials that are candidates for resists in extreme ultraviolet lithography; and exploring energy and momentum correlations between coincident pairs of photoemitted electrons. 

We use a variety of techniques to perform these studies including high-resolution and angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy, inverse photoemission spectroscopy using a newly developed grating spectrograph, the novel technique of Auger-photoelectron coincidence spectroscopy (APECS) with synchrotron radiation (which was developed in our labs), and a variety of scanning probe techniques including variable temperature STM and AFM.

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       Recent Highlight

Surface-mediated growth of covalently bonded 2D networks
When raised to elevated temperatures, Zinc tetraphenyl porphyrin molecules on the Ag(100) surface dehydrogenate, transform conformationally, and form new intramolecular covalent bonds. Importantly, further annealing results in INTERmolecular covalent bonding and the formation of covalently bonded networks as shown in figure at the left. These networks provide direct evidence that surface-mediated dehydrogenation can be used to form novel 2D materials, with unit cells based on organic or organometallic molecules. We are now working to control these surface-mediated mechanisms and trans-form the highly ordered arrays of self-assembled organic molecules into covalently bonded 2D materials. We are working to create self-assembled monolayers of organic molecules and convert them directly into a covalently bonded system. New 2D materials fabricated with this approach may exhibit exotic properties such as Dirac cones, topologically protected edge states, the quantum anomalous Hall effect, or high temperature ferromagnetism. (Learn more)

       Recent Publications