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 tunnelung 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 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). 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

We are also partners in the ULTIMATE (Bottom-up generation of atomically precise synthetic 2D materials for high performance in energy and electronic applications) ITN project of the European Commission since 2019, coordinated by Paolo Samori (University of Strasbourg). It provides young researchers training, exchange and secondments in the field of synthetic 2D materials. For further information see ultimate.u-strasbg.fr