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 image 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.

For details about the group’s research and the manipulation of single molecules at surfaces, see the following presentations

The main goals of our work are:

  • Imaging and manipulation of single atoms and molecules on surfaces by scanning tunneling microscopy
  • 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 Doc Academy NanoGraz: Functional Nanostructures in Physics, Chemistry and Life Sciences at the University of Graz (see https://nanograz.uni-graz.at/en for details) and have various projects, partially with research groups at other Universities or Institutes, financed by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). Additionally, Leonhard Grill received in 2023 an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council (ERC) on “Adsorbate Motors: Tricking Microscopic Reversibility on Surfaces”.

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