Table of Contents

Applied Interface Physics

Group of Prof. Markus Valtiner

Our research focuses on the broad areas of adhesion, friction as well as interfacial forces and their utilization for making better energy-saving, energy efficient, cheaper, long lasting smart materials for application in structural and functional materials. We are also interested in dynamic interaction forces, single molecular interactions and soft matter physics in confined spaces. Our aim is to gain insight into the fundamental interactions in complex interfacial processes, and to translate fundamental science into knowledge-based design of better and novel structural and functional materials for technological applications. We are in particular interested in:

Group news

Our first Master students

We are very happy to welcome our first Master students. Maximilian Lengauer is a student of physics at TU and deals with lipid bilayers. Yana De Smet from Hasselt University reached us via the Erasmus Programme. She works on biomineralization of calcium phosphates. Welcome to our group, Max and Yana!



Beam time in Taiwan

Our Postdoc William Cheng is currently in Taiwan working with our new X-SFA. Together with Frank Uwe Renner (Hasselt University) and Claudia Merola (Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung) he performed experiments at National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center. Stay tuned for the results!


We are hiring!

We are hiring an university assistent (f/m) - start date flexible - check the job offer here (DE) and here (English)!

Not so new anymore

Prof. Valtiner: Forschung zwischen fest und flüssig

Moving to Vienna and lab setup

Recent work

Crevice corrosion

In situ nano- to microscopic imaging and growth mechanism of electrochemical dissolution (e.g., corrosion) of a confined metal surface

Reactivity in confinement is central to a wide range of applications and systems, yet it is notoriously difficult to probe reactions in confined spaces in real time. Using a modified electrochemical surface forces apparatus (EC-SFA) on confined metallic surfaces, we observe in situ nano- to microscale dissolution and pit formation in well-defined geometries in environments relevant to corrosion processes. Read more in PNAS.

Workfluctuations and free energy estimator convergence

One molecule at the time: Probing surface-to-molecule bonds - Bias and work dissipation

The capabilities of Atomic Force Microscopes and Optical Tweezers to probe unfolding or surface-to-molecule bond rupture at a single-molecular level are widely appreciated. Our recent results provide new insights into stability and work dissipation mechanisms at adhesive interfaces at the single-molecular level, and offer important design and analysis aspects for single-molecular surface-to-molecule experiments. Want to know more? Read our article in this Langmuir special issue.