Our research is aimed at understanding and controlling the electronic and chemical properties of carbonaceous surfaces at the atomic level and to use this understanding for the development of new materials for electronics, anti-corrosive coatings and models for interstellar chemistry. Our present activities are specifically aimed at the development of a new family of graphene coated nanoparticles with tunable electronic, chemical and optical properties.
We synthesize and study high quality graphene, a single layer of graphite, on metal surfaces and investigate how the electronic properties of graphene can be controlled by chemical functionalization. Furthermore, we explore the use of graphene and functionalized graphene as an anti-corrosive coating material. We also study the catalytic properties of carbonaceous systems with specific emphasis on interstellar chemical reactions. Under a recent EU grant (GRANN) we also investigate how these methods can be used to synthesize graphene coated metal nanoparticles with tunable electronic, chemical and optical properties.
We use a broad range of surface science techniques to gain deep insight into the physics and chemistry of the systems we study. In particular, we use scanning tunneling microscopy to obtain atomic level information on surfaces and functionalization structures.
Many of our projects have an applied focus and involve collaboration with academic and industrial partners. These projects include: Synthesis of high-quality graphene films (DA-GATE) and development of anti-corrosive graphene coatings (NIAGRA).