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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.

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

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.

4 July 2016

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Controlling Quantum States Atom by Atom

A method to precisely alter the quantum mechanical states of electrons within an array of quantum boxes has been developped by an international consortium also including PSI. The method can be used to investigate the interactions between various types of atoms and electrons, which is essential for future quantum technologies.

Research Areas

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

Our Research Team

    Surface Science Lab at Laboratory for Micro-and Nanotechnology
    Scanning Probe Microscopy Userlab at Laboratory for Micro-and Nanotechnology
    SIM beamline at the Swiss Light Source
    XTreme beamline at the Swiss Light Source
    PEARL beamline at the Swiss Light Source
    NanoLab at University of Basel

Collaboration with

    Prof. Dr. N. Ballav IISER Pune
    Prof. Dr. P. Oppeneer Uppsala University
    Prof. Dr. F. Nolting Swiss Light Source
    Prof. Dr. F. Diederich ETH Zurich
    Prof. Dr. L. H. Gade Heidelberg University
    Prof. Dr. E. Meyer University of Basel
    Prof. Dr. S. Goedecker University of Basel
    Prof. Dr.-Ing. J. Gobrecht PSI LMN and INKA
    Prof. S. Decurtins University of Bern
    Dr. A. Kleibert Swiss Light Source
    Dr. J. Dreiser Swiss Light Source
    Dr. C. Piamonteze Swiss Light Source
    Dr. M. Muntwiler Swiss Light Source
    Dr. J. Raabe Swiss Light Source
    Dr. Hans Sigg, Dr. M. Camarda, J. Wörle PSI LMN
    Dr. H. Bartolf, Dr. J. Lehmann, Dr. R. A. Minamisawa ABB Switzerland
    Dr. A. Schöner Ascatron Switzerland
    Dr. S. Gerstl EMEZ ETH Zurich

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)

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)