Welcome to our research group at the Department of Physical Chemistry
of the Institute of Chemistry at the University of Graz

Our research is focused on the characterization and manipulation of nanostructures, single atoms and functionalized molecules on surfaces. By using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) at different temperatures, we are imaging them with atomic and submolecular resolution while spectroscopy provides information on their electronic structure.

Manipulation is done by light or with the STM tip, using chemical forces, tunneling electrons or the electric field. Such manipulation experiments allow to induce chemical reactions, to study molecular functions or to dislocate molecules, atoms or nanostructures with atomic scale precision in a controlled way.

The main goals of our work are:

  • Characterization of single molecules and nanostructures on surfaces
  • Inducing and understanding chemical reactions at the single molecule level
  • Bottom-up construction of molecular nanostructures: Supramolecular growth and on-surface-polymerization
  • Molecular “nanomachines” with specific mechanical or electrical functionalities

We are members of the MEMO (“Mechanics with Molecules”) FET Open Project of the European Union (Horizon 2020), which started in 2017 and is coordinated by Francesca Moreso (TU Dresden). It involves various research groups from theory over experimental physics to synthetic chemistry from six different countries. The main objective of this project is to design molecular gears that perform collective and synchronous motion. The rotation of these molecular gears will be tested at the single-molecule level for various chemical compositions and supporting surfaces. MEMO aims for transmitting single-molecule motion from the atomic scale to the mesoscale. For further information see https://memo-project.eu