The aim of our research group is to engineer and characterize quantum materials that are predicted to exhibit novel properties in order to improve and optimize device design and fabrication. And perhaps more importantly, to discover new and interesting physics for developing quantum electronic devices that function in an entirely new way.
Our current material of interest is a so-called d-layer. Similar to graphene, a d-layer is atomically thin, but rather uniquely it is buried within another host material such that the d-layer is unaffected by surface defects and/or interfaces that could be detrimental to the functioning of a quantum electronic device. Major technological breakthroughs involving d-layers have been made in the last few years. The world’s narrowest conducting wire (4 atoms wide) and the smallest (single atom) transistor have been fabricated from d-layers using the atomically accurate and precise method of scanning tunneling microscope lithography. Yet despite such remarkable technological successes in device fabrication, less is known about the materials themselves. To address these issues, we use a combination of scanning tunneling microscopy and angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy to investigate both the topography and band structure of these materials. The group is based at the synchrotron radiation source ASTRID2 at the Department of Physics, but our work often involves collaboration with groups at both the Department of Physics and iNANO, with strong links to other excellent international research groups.