Laboratory of Nanostructures at Surfaces
Professor Harald Brune’s research program focuses on the exploration of the novel physical and chemical properties arising when metals shrink to the nanoscale. Starting from a detailed understanding of epitaxial growth, derived from variable temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) experiments compared with theoretical modeling, we use self-assembly to grow metallic nanostructures with the desired morphology, size, and spacing at single crystal surfaces. These samples are then investigated either by spatially integrating measurements, revealing the properties of the ensemble of nanostructures, or by addressing some of the properties of interest directly at the atomic scale by means of STM. We intend to identify the individual contributions of each of the differently coordinated constituent atoms with the ultimate goal to engineer nanostructures with desired properties, such as magnetic anisotropy energy and moment, spin-polarization at the Fermi level, chemical reactivity and selectivity.