Welcome to the nanotech@surfaces Laboratory, a research section of the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa). We are a highly motivated team of physicists and chemists dedicated to develop and characterize novel functional materials and devices based on nanoscale surface effects. Using a close combination of experimental and computational approaches, we aim at a fundamental understanding of the structural and electronic properties of low-dimensional nanostructured materials and systems, and at establishing a rational basis for their application in next generation technologies.

Our main competences – surface physics and chemistry – are located within the realm of fundamental research, but we have a long tradition of developing basic research results into real-world technological applications. It is part of our mission to assist internal and external partners in technology development with our know-how and experience. To this end, we collaborate with academic and governmental research labs and industrial companies worldwide.

We are organised in three groups that cover research topics such as carbon nanomaterialsfunctional surfaces and 2D quantum materials, both from an experimental point of view and via atomistic simulations as well as in terms of device applications. Our research interests cover a wide range of topics at the interface of materials science, surface physics and chemistry, with a particular focus on low-dimensional organic & carbon-based materials. We follow different experimental approaches, but with a core activity on surface physical and chemical investigations, in particular by means of scanning probe techniques (STM/STS/nc-AFM) and photoelectron-based methods such as XPS, ARPES and XPD, complemented by theory and atomistic simulations. Within a transversal research project, we are currently focusing on the development of a carbon-based nanomaterials platform for next-generation quantum technology applications.


Latest Publications

On-surface synthesis and characterization of Teranthene and Hexanthene: Ultrashort graphene nanoribbons with mixed armchair and zigzag edges
G. Borin Barin et. al, Nanoscale accepted manuscript (2023). DOI: 10.1039/D3NR03736C

Double quantum dots in atomically-precise graphene nanoribbons
J. Zhang et. al, Mater. Quantum. Technol. 3, 036201 (2023). DOI: 10.1088/2633-4356/acfa57

Determining the Number of Graphene Nanoribbons in Dual-Gate Field-Effect Transistors
J. Zhang et. al, Nano Lett. in press (2023). DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.3c01931

Contacting individual graphene nanoribbons using carbon nanotube electrodes
J. Zhang et. al, Nat. Electron. 6, 572–581 (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41928-023-00991-3



40 Years of Surface Science and Nanotechnology (40Nano)
15.-20.10.2023, Congresso Stefano Franscini , Ascona (CH)