Molecular interactions on surfaces and the formation of molecular surface nanostructures are central to many application areas within nanotechnology and also constitute idealized model systems for many important processes in nature. We strive to obtain detailed microscopic insights into the fundamental principles underlying molecular self-assembly, reactions and dynamics on surfaces and apply these towards the synthesis of new types of structures.
Our research is based on an ultra-high vacuum surface science platform employing high-resolution variable temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) as the main technique. We use this platform to study supra-molecular self-assembly on surfaces, including biomolecular adsorption and surface chirality. Dynamic surface processes such as molecular diffusion and conformational changes are visualized at the submolecular level by fast-scanning STM movies. A key focus is to develop advanced and robust surface functionalization, e.g. in the form of 2D metal-organic coordination networks or covalently interlinked molecular nanostructures formed by on-surface synthesis
Our work often involves collaboration with groups within organic synthesis and theoretical modeling, both at iNANO and internationally. We have formed part of several European Ph.D. training networks and integrated projects.