Surface Science Laboratory

Welcome to the Surface Science Lab

The SURFACE SCIENCE Laboratory, jointly established on the basis of an official agreement by the Department of Physics of the University of Trieste and Elettra - Sincrotrone Trieste, hosts researchers and students carrying out experimental activities in the field of Surface Physics, in close collaboration with scientists from the Elettra Laboratory. Since 2000 more than 60 students have carried out experimental work at the Surface Science Laboratory in preparation of their Master's degree thesis in Physics, as well as in the framework of the PhD educational program of the Doctoral School of Physics and the Doctoral School of Nanotechology of the University of Trieste. In addition the Laboratory hosts the Training Activity of the course Laboratorio di Fisica della Materia for the undergraduate students in Physics at the University of Trieste.

Research Highlights | Publications

Molecular twisting, lifting and curling

Coronene molecules undergo major conformational changes during surface-assisted dissociation on Ir(111): they tilt upward, then they undergo  a rotation and they settle to form a dome-shaped nanographene.

D. Curcio et al., J. Am Chem. Soc.  138, 3395 (2016).

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Bottom-up approach for the synthesis of graphene-alumina nanosheet interfaces

We developed a new strategy for the production of graphene-oxide interfaces which opens a promising route to the direct synthesis on a number of graphene/high-κ dielectrics interfaces.

L. Omiciuolo et al.Nat. Comm. 5, 5062 (2014).

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Chemistry vs geometry: the role of the substrate on epitaxial graphene

Ina a combined experimental and theoretical work we have demonstrated that the chemical composition of the substrate's topmost atomic layer plays a major role in determining the coupling between epitaxial graphene and its metal substrate.

F. Presel et al., Carbon 93, 187 (2015).

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The thinnest carpet on the smallest atomic staircase

We have grown a single-layer graphene on a stepped Rh(533) surface. The geometry of the substrate leads to an anisotropic moirè cell with the steps playing a key role in improving the structural quality and thermal stability of the carbon layer.

B. Casarin et al.J. Phys. Chem. C  118, 6242 (2014).

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Graphene growth: the surface battle of Carbon

We shed light on the complex interplay between competitive processes occurring during chemical vapour deposition of ethylene on Re(0001). Our results demonstrate that the formation of a long-range ordered graphene layer  is confi ned to a very narrow window of growth parameters.

E. Miniussi et al.Carbon 73, 389 (2014).

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Fine tuning of graphene-metal adhesion by surface alloy

We demonstrate how bimetallic surface alloying can provide a powerful, versatile tool to change the GR-substrate adhesion ad libitum by selecting the elemental composition of the substrate. The experimental approach we followed to grow graphene on a PtRu/Ru(0001) surface alloy can be readily extended to a number of other substrates.

D. Alfe' et al.Sci. Rep. 3, 2430 (2013).

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Self-assembled Rh nanoclusters on graphene

Graphene-supported Rh nanocluster assemblies and their geometry dependent electronic structure have been studied  by combining high-energy resolution core level photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy, and density functional theory.

A. Cavallin et al., ACS Nano 6, 3034 (2012).

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Influence of neighbouring atoms in Surface Core Level Shifts

We have shown that oxygen adsorption on Re(0001) induces the appearance of new core level components, whose binding energy is not simply determined by the coordination of the Re atoms, but, notably, is also affected by the presence of oxygen adsorbates at second and third nearest neighbour positions.
E. Miniussi et al., J. Phys. Chem. C 116, 23297 (2012)

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Destruction in the deep valleys

We have found a close relationship between morphology and thermal stability of epitaxial graphene. The highly corrugated C single–layer grown on Re(0001) undergoes C−C bond breaking in the buckled regions of the moirè cell, though it requires the presence of diffusing C vacancies.

E. Miniussi et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 216101 (2011).

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Surface Science Lab News


Francesco was awared the PhD in Nanotechnology.

It is a great pleasure to announce that Francesco Presel graduated in Nanotechnology at the University of Trieste by discussing his research results and the thesis entitled  "Adsorption and interaction of atoms, molecues and nanoclusters on epitaxial graphene”.
Franscesco has been an excellent student, fully devoted to the research work, capable to always help all the members of the lab with outstanding generosity. We are convinced that he will have a brilliant future and we whish him all the best for the new posdoctoral activity at the Physics Department of the Technical University of Denmark. 

Grazie Franz !!!

New "PhD in Physics" from our Lab.

Harsh Vardhan Bana graduated in Physics at the University of Trieste defending a PhD thesis by the title "Growth of two-dimensional materials and investigation of their structural and electronic properties”. In his dissertation, Harsh presented the main results achieved in the three years of research activity at the SuperESCA bemline. The experiments he carried out were primarily aimed at the structural determination of transition metals dicalchogenides grown on different metal substrates. X-ray Photoelectron Diffraction was the techniques of choice in most of the experiments

Congratulations to Dr. Bana !!!


On January 25th, at the end of the 3 days Annual Conference of the PhD Program in Nanotechnology, Francesco Presel received the Award for the best PhD student career.

The Conference is meant to provide PhD students the opportunity to present and discuss the main results achieved during their last year of scientific activity in their respective fields. The Student Award is assigned on the basis of the achievements during all three years of PhD, including publications, presentations at conferences and periods abroad.


Surface Science Lab News Archive


Last Updated on Thursday, 05 April 2018 20:34