Organic Film Structure Physisorbed Films ESP in SAMS SP in Molecular Films Reforming Catalysts ECH


Research Overview

Our fundamental interest is the study, comprehension and control of surface and interfacial processes.  The systems that we are currently interested in include organic self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) bound to metal surfaces (e.g., Au, Ni, Pd, Rh, Hg, Ga), organometallic film precursors (e.g., Fe(CO)5, Ni(CO)4, Al(CH3)3 ), and  composite materials for selective catalysis and electrocatalysis.  By exploring the molecular dynamics of these species in well-controlled environments, we hope to be able to increase the selectivity of surface reactions and enhance the mechanical properties of atomically-thin films.  

Control of surface processes often requires the system to be driven towards a specific reaction channel, usually by imposing non-equilibrium conditions; our approach uses electron-stimulated processes (ESP) to create highly localized excitations, with energies in single target molecules that are typically 2-3 orders of magnitude above kBT. These processes includebond rupture and intermolecular reactions.  We study these processes by varying the incident electron energy, and by searching for selective reaction channels that are often the evidence of a resonant process.  We have found that resonant processes have a very high sensitivity to the local surface environment, and that by manipulating this environment we can manipulate the surface process.

Our techniques include infrared spectroscopy (IRRAS, DRIFTS), electron-emission spectroscopy (XPS, AES, UPS, 2PPE) scanning probe methods (STM, AFM, STS), low-energy electron beam irradiation and high-temperature catalytic reactions; our instrumentation is typically designed and built by us due to its specialized nature.


Please explore our project pages and and see what we are up to!  If you have any questions, please get in touch with us.