Christian Wäckerlin


Assistant Professor at EPFL, Project Leader at PSI

Paul Scherrer Institut
Forschungsstrasse 111
5232 Villigen PSI


  • Nanoscientist by training with research interests in experimental basic science at the intersection of materials science, chemistry and physics at the nanoscale
  • Degrees in Nanoscience from the University of Basel (the oldest university in Switzerland), including a PhD with distinction summa cum laude
  • Academic Career
    • PostDoc and then Scientist at Empa, Laboratory for Surface Science & Coating Technologies, with Prof. Karl-Heinz Ernst
      On surface synthesis of surface-adsorbed organic and metal-organic molecules. Established in-situ ToF-SIMS for surface science studies. Unraveling the roles of atomic
      hydrogen in covalent on-surface synthesis.
    • SNF Fellowship at the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, hosted by Dr. Pavel Jelínek (intermittent to stay at Empa)
      Electronic transport through single suspended metal-organic wires, high-resolution imaging by non-contact atomic force microscopy.
    • Postdoc at EPFL, Laboratory of Nanostructures at Surfaces, with Prof. Harald Brune and Dr. Jan Dreiser
      Magnetism of metal-organic molecules, single-molecule and single-atom magnets on ultrathin insulating layers.
    • Doctoral Student at PSI, Laboratory for Micro and Nanotechnology, (PhD degree from the University of Basel), with Prof. Thomas Jung
      Controlling the spin in metal-organic complexes at ferromagnetic substrates by coordination with gaseous ligands.
    • MSc level academic work at the University of Basel
      Computational chemistry (Prof. Markus Meuwly), Reactive magnetron sputtering (Prof. Peter Oelhafen) and surface science (Prof. Thomas A. Jung and Prof. Peter Oelhafen)

Selected Publications

For an extensive overview please refer the profiles on ResearcherID and Google Scholar or to the complete list of publications.

C. Wäckerlin*, D. Chylarecka*, A. Kleibert, K. Müller, C. Iacovita, F. Nolting, T. A. Jung, N. Ballav, * equal contributions
Controlling spins in adsorbed molecules by a chemical switch
Nature Communications 1, 61 (2010)

C. Wäckerlin, K. Tarafder, J. Girovsky, J. Nowakowski, T. Hählen, A. Shchyrba, D. Siewert, A. Kleibert, F. Nolting, P. M. Oppeneer, T. A. Jung, N. Ballav
Ammonia Coordination Introducing a Magnetic Moment in On-Surface Low-Spin Porphyrin
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 52, 4568−4571 (2013)

C. Wäckerlin, F. Donati, A. Singha, R. Baltic, S. Rusponi, K. Diller, F. Patthey, M. Pivetta, Y. Lan, S. Klyatskaya, M. Ruben, H. Brune, J. Dreiser
Giant Hysteresis of Single-Molecule Magnets Adsorbed on a Nonmagnetic Insulator
Advanced Materials 28, 5195−5199 (2016)

A. Rieger, S. Schnidrig, B. Probst, K.-H. Ernst, C. Wäckerlin
Ranking the Stability of Transition Metal Complexes by On-Surface Atom Exchange
The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 8, 6193−6198 (2017)

V. Santhini*, C. Wäckerlin*, A. Cahlík*, M. Ondráček, S. Pascal, A. Matěj, O. Stetsovych, P. Mutombo, P. Lazar, O. Siri, P. Jelínek, * equal contributions
1D Coordination π‐d Conjugated Polymers with Distinct Structures Defined by the Choice of the Transition Metal: Towards a New Class of Antiaromatic Macrocycles
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 60, 439−445 (2020)

C. Wäckerlin
On-Surface Hydrogen/Deuterium Isotope Exchange in Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
Angewandte Chemie 60, 8446−8449 (2021)