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Molecular Nanoscience

The focus of the group is the investigation of various molecules (or nanostructures) on surfaces. Diverse mechanical, magnetic, and electronic properties are studied using surface sensitive techniques: X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM), X-ray Magnetic Circular Dichroism (XMCD) spectroscopy, Low-Energy Electron Diffraction (LEED) and others. As of 01.07.2017, group operates PEARL beamline of the Swiss Light Source.

Currently our main interest is concentrated at controlling spins in adsorbed molecules by chemical and/or physical switches. We perform in-depth studies of various molecule-switch combinations in order to understand the mechanisms ruling the magnetic response. Density Functional Theory (DFT)+U calculations performed by our collaborators (see below) give a very important input to achieve this goal.

News and Highlights

27 February 2019

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Free-standing molecular monolayers

In a collaboration within the network of the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the formation of free-standing molecular monolayers using self-assembly processes has been demonstrated. The results of the study have been published in the February 2019 issue of Science Advances.

17 December 2018


Data storage using individual molecules

The research group of Prof. T.A. Jung at the University of Basel has reported on a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled.

28 May 2018

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Imaging the inside of injection needles with neutrons

Media Releases Human Health Research Using Neutrons

Researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, the University of Basel and Roche have used neutron imaging to investigate why cool storage is crucial for syringes pre-filled with a liquid medication.

22 May 2017


Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

For the first time, researchers have produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Paul Scherrer Institute, in collaboration with their research partners, published the findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Research Areas

Earlier research topics
  • Molecular Electronics
  • Mechanics at Nanoscale
  • Organic Monolayers on Ultrathin Insulators
  • Subphthalocyanine
  • Pentacene on Copper

Our Research Team



Selected Publications

Long-range ferrimagnetic order in a two-dimensional supramolecular Kondo lattice
Girovsky J, Nowakowski J, Ali MdEhesan, Baljozovic M, et al.
Nat. Commun. 8, 15388 (2017)

Surface science at the PEARL beamline of the Swiss Light Source
Muntwiler M, Zhang J, Stania R, Matsui F, et al.
J. Synchrotron Rad. 24, 354 (2017)

Device Simulations on Novel High Channel Mobility 4H-SiC Trench MOSFETs and Their Fabrication Processes
H. R. Rossmann, A. Bubendorf, F. Zanella, N. Marjanović, et al.
Microelectron. Eng. 145, 166 (2015)

Interplay of weak interactions in the atom-by-atom condensation of xenon within quantum boxes
S. Nowakowska, A. Waeckerlin, S. Kawai, T. Ivas, J. Nowakowski, et al.
Nat. Commun. 6, 6071 (2015)

Antiferromagnetic coupling of Cr-porphyrin to a bare Co substrate
J. Girovsky, K. Tarafder, C. Waeckerlin, J. Nowakowski, D. Siewert et al.
Phys. Rev. B 90, 220404 (2014)

On-surface synthesis of a two-dimensional porous coordination network: Unraveling adsorbate interactions
M. Matena, J. Bjork, M. Wahl, T-L. Lee, J. Zegenhagen, L. H. Gade, et al.
Phys. Rev. B 90, 125408 (2014)

Exchange Interaction of Strongly Anisotropic Tripodal Erbium Single-Ion Magnets with Metallic Surfaces
J. Dreiser, C. Waeckerlin, Md. E. Ali, C. Piamonteze, F. Donati, et al.
ACS Nano 8, 4662 (2014)

Covalent assembly of a two-dimensional molecular "sponge" on a Cu(111) surface: confined electronic surface states in open and closed pores
A. Shchyrba, S. C. Martens, C. Waeckerlin, M. Matena, T. Ivas, et al.
Chem. Commun. 50, 7628 (2014)

Controlling the Dimensionality of On-Surface Coordination Polymers via Endo- or Exoligation
A. Shchyrba, C. Waeckerlin, J. Nowakowski, S. Nowakowska, et al.
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 9355 (2014)

Investigating magneto-chemical interactions at molecule-substrate interfaces by X-ray photo-emission electron microscopy
J. Girovsky, M. Buzzi, C. Waeckerlin, D. Siewert, J. Nowakowski, et al.
Chem. Commun. 50, 5190 (2014)

Two-Dimensional Supramolecular Electron Spin Arrays
C. Waeckerlin, J. Nowakowski, S-X. Liu, J. Michael, D. Siewert, et al.
Adv. Mater. 25, 2404(2013)

Porphyrin metalation providing an example of a redox reaction facilitated by a surface reconstruction
J. Nowakowski, C. Wäckerlin, J. Girovsky, D. Siewert, T. A. Jung, N. Ballav
Chem. Commun. 49, 2347 (2013)

Emergence of On-Surface Magnetochemistry
N. Ballav, C. Wäckerlin, D. Siewert, P. M. Oppeneer, T. A. Jung
J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 4, 2303 (2013)