A diary of some remarkable events in the Surface Physics group…
- Excess electrons in TiO2 anatase are usually delocalized and behave as quasi-free particles. They are trapped, however, at defects such as steps. This is undesired in applications where a high electrical conductivity is essential, such as the Graetzel cell. On the other hand, electron localization can be beneficial in chemical applications. For example, oxygen prefers to adsorb close to surface steps. These effects are clearly seen in STM and NC-AFM images taken by Martin Setvin and other members of the surface physics group. The experimental results have been confirmed in theoretical calculations by Xianfeng Hao, Cesare Franchini, and Geoerg Kresse from Computational Materials Physics, University of Vienna.
The results were published in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.
- Three students started in our group this month. The photo shows (from left to right) Jakub Piastek from Brno, Czech Republic; Jessi van der Hoeven from Utrecht, Netherlands; and Michele Riva from Milan, Italy. Our new friends will be staying with us for 6 months and will participate in various research projects. Jessi and Jakub are supported by the Erasmus program.
- Our group helped organize the 27th '3S conference in St. Christoph/Arlberg. With more than 80 participants, excellent science, and enjoyable outdoor activities the conference was a success.
- The SrTiO3(110) surface forms a reconstruction that consists of a monolayer TiO2, but in a special, rather unreactive - tetrahedrally coordinated - form. When oxygen vacancies are created in this layer, they move to the SrTiO3 interface, where the resulting excess electrons form a two-dimensional gas (2DEG). Zhiming Wang, Stefan Gerhold and Bernhard Stöger from the surface physics group have measured the electronic structure of this electron gas at the synchrotron Bessy in Berlin. (There they also took the happy photo at the right.) Different from other, known 2DEG's, this system shows a pronounced anisotropy that is depends on the doping level. The experimental results are complemented by theoretical calculations by Zhicheng Zhong and Karsten Held at the Institute of Solid State Physics, and Xianfeng Hao and Cesare Franchini, Computational Materials Physics, University of Vienna.
The results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- We have been challenged to play soccer ('football' for the Brits amongst us) by the Solid State Theory group. So we have been practicing. The first time, the old people won against the young'uns. The second time the Österreicher against the Ausländer.
- This year's Lise Meitner Lecture is given by Prof. Jocelyn Bell Burnell (Oxford University) on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 17h at the Prechtl Saal of the TU. Prof. Bell Burnell will be talking about her breakthrough discovery - pulsars. The Lise Meitner Lectures are public talks held by famous female physicist in memory of the great Lise Meitner. The event is sponsored by the Austrian Physical Society and organized by our institute.
- This month we are welcoming two esteemed visitors. Prof. Patricio Haberle from Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María in Valparaiso, Chile, will work with us for one month. Prof. Jiang-Li Cao from the the University of Science and Technology Beijing will be participating in our research project on perovskite thin films and surfaces.
- Vera Mansfeldova, from the J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry visits us for three months. Her stay is sponsored by the COST Action Reducible oxide chemistry, structure and functions.
- Zbynek Novotny successfully defends his dissertation entitled 'The Reconstructed Fe3O4(001) Surface as an Adsorption Template'. Prof. Igor Shvets from Trinity College, Dublin, serves as the second examiner. After the successful defense, Zbynek throws a great party with lots of Czech beer. Well, done, Z!
- Anatase, a form of titanium dioxide (TiO2) is used in (photo)catalysis and many other applications. The interaction of oxygen molecules with this material is of central importance. How this happens on the atomic scale was investigated in experiments by Martin Setvin of the Surface Physics group and calculations by Annabella Selloni (Princeton University) and coworkers. It was found that O2 interacts with oxygen vacancies in the material, resulting in O2 (peroxo) molecules incorporated in the surface.
These results were published in the prestigious journal Science.
- Jan Balajka joins our group as a PhD student. Together with Stijn Mertens, he will work on electrochemical studies of oxides.
- Last week, Gareth was selected as the winner of the US Department of Energy Postdoctoral Researcher Competition at the EFRC PI meeting in Washington DC. There he gave a talk entitled “Adsorbate Induced Adatom Mobility in a Model Catalyst: Pd/Fe3O4.”
- Today, our group was honored by a visit of the Austrian Federal Minister for Science and Research, Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Töchterle. He visited our labs and discussed ongoing and planned research with group members.
- Margareta Wagner joins the group as a post-doc. She graduated from the University of Graz, where she worked with Falko Netzer and Mike Ramsey.
- Metals such as gold or palladium are often used as catalysts to speed up certain chemical reactions. When the atoms ball together, most of them do not get into contact with the surrounding gas any more and the catalytic effect diminishes drastically. The mechanism of clustering is not well understood, however. In an article published in the prestigious journal Nature Materials, Gareth Parkinson and co-workers report on a detailed study of this issue; they have followed the fate of each surface atom and analyze how they are affected by different gas atmospheres. They find carbon monoxide to bind strongly to palladium atoms, helping them to move across the surface.
The article in Nature Materials (subscription required)
TU press release english ⋅ german ⋅ youtube video
- Prof. Zhiqiang Mao, Tulane University, visits the group and gives a joint IAP/FOXSI seminar entitled 'Novel Quantum Phenomena in Perovskite Ruthenates'
- Ulli, Martin and Margareta (a prospective new group member) attend the Gordon Research Conference on “Chemical Reactions at Surfaces” in Diablerets, Switzerland for a week of great talks in a spectacular setting.
- Ulrike Diebold was awarded the 2013 Arthur W. Adamson Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Surface Chemistry from the American Chemical Society (ACS) for “significantly advancing the fundamental understanding of the surface chemistry of metal oxides, in particular TiO2, through excellent research, writing, and lecturing.” She received the award during the 245th National ACS Meeting in New Orleans, USA, April 7-11, 2013. At the meeting, a five-session symposium was held in her honor, with contributions from more than 40 scientists from the US, Europe, and Asia.
- Stefan Gerhold successfully defends his diploma thesis on SrTiO3 surfaces. Here you can see him, happy and proud, with his girlfriend Birgit. Stefan continues working with us as a PhD student.
- Lots of traveling this month: Bernhard, Stefan, Jake, and Zbynek present their research results at the German Physics Society's Spring Meeting in Regensburg. Many of us attend the PhD-Seminar of the Special Research Programme FOXSI at Hochkar, and receive valuable instructions in science and skiing. Some stay home and deal with a scheduled power outage.
- Roland Bliem joins the group. He will be working with Gareth and Oscar on the Fe3O4 project.
- We welcome Jonas Gloss, Jan Hulva, and Petr Mares, physics students from Brno University of Technology. They will be working with us for the next 6 months.
- Ulrike, Zhiming, and Stefan attend a course at Twente University on 'Advanced Laser Deposition of Complex Oxides'. It included changing the filament in the RHEED gun and watching how SrRuO3 grows on SrTiO3.
- Ilaria Valenti from the University of Modena visits our group. Her extended stay is supported by the COST Action on 'Reducible Metal Oxides'
- Philipp Scheiber successfully defends his dissertation entitled 'Defects and Adsorption at Titanium Dioxide Surfaces'. Here is Philipp, with outside examiner, Prof. Vladimir Matolin from Charles University in Prague, enjoying a well-deserved drink.
- Oscar Gamba Vasquez, a PhD student from Colombia, and two Master's students from Austria, Daniel Halwidl and Benjamin Daniel, join the group.
- We extend a warm welcome to Dr. Stijn Mertens, who joins us from the KU Leuven. He will spearhead our new efforts in electrochemical STM.
- At the institute outing in Carnuntum.
- Several group members attended the annual project meeting of our SFB FOXSI at Burg Schlaining, where Zhiming Wang, Bernhard Stöger, and Stefan Gerhold presented their latest results.
- Other members of our group went to Prague to attend a COST Action meeting. Martin Setvin, Zbyněk Novotný, and Jiří Pavelec gave presentations.
- The rest of us stayed home and worked in the lab.
- Our group visited the Annual Meeting of the Austrian Physics Society at Graz. Talks were given by Bernhard Stöger, Jake (Joong-Il) Choi and Zbyněk Novotný. Stefan Gerhold and Jiří Pavelec presented posters.
- Zhiming Wang, Martin Setvin, Jiri Pavelec, Zbynek Novotny, and Bernhard Stöger attend this year's ECOSS conference.
- Ulrike Diebold and Gareth Parkinson gave invited talks at the 224th American Chemical Society Meeting in Philadelphia (Aug. 20 - 24), and at the SPIE Conference in San Diego, respectively. Both spoke about our newest results on Fe3O4.
- Gareth and Zbynek spent one week in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Together with Juan de la Figurea, they did SP-LEEM experiments on Fe3O4.
- Our article “Pt3Zr(0001): A substrate for growing well-ordered ultrathin zirconia films by oxidation”, Phys. Rev. B 86, 035451 (2012), was selected Editor's Suggestion, indicating that the editors and referees find the article of particular interest, importance, or clarity.
- Gareth Parkinson has been awarded nearly 200k by the FWF to investigate the surface chemistry of Fe3O4 surfaces.
- Iris Dorner, who is doing her Bachelor thesis in our group, wins our Euro-cup bet hands down with 33 points. She receives the jackpot and treats us all for beer!
- From 1 to 6 July 2012, more than 25 Nobel Laureates and more than 580 young researchers from all over the world met at Lindau, Germany, to exchange ideas, discuss projects and build international networks. IAP graduate student Zbynek Novotny was selected to attend this meeting, which was dedicated to physics.
- Prof. Annabella Selloni of Princeton University vists our group during the week of June 25. She gives a joint IAP/SFB FOXSI seminar and we discuss our joint research on anatase surfaces.
- Jonas Gloss and Jan Hulva, physics students from Brno, are joining our group for the summer months. They are helping Jiri setting up a new chamber. Here is a picture:
- The Austrian Academey of Sciences elected Ulrike Diebold as a 'corresponding member' in the class of natural sciences, exact sciences, and medicine.
Ulli is being warmly welcomed into the ranks of the ÖAW:
- In the latest issue of Physical Review Letters [Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 216103 (2012)], Zbyněk Novotný and colleagues describe the discovery of highly stable single gold atoms on a magnetite (Fe3O4) surface. This observation is expected to facilitate catalysis research: On the other substrates studied so far, gold atoms don't stay alone but easily form large clusters, which are considered less active catalysts than single atoms.
- Ulrike Diebold has received a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant for her project OxideSurfaces, which will be funded with up to 2.5M Euro, and will run over 5 years. The project focuses on metal oxides. These materials have an extremely wide range of physical and chemical properties, and are used in catalysis, solar cells, batteries, gas sensors, and many other technical areas. Research topics are the interaction between bulk and surface defects, complex oxides, and she will also aim at scanning probe microscopy of oxides with atomic resolution in an aqueous solution.
- Ulrike Diebold received an invitation to join the editorial board of Physical Review Letters (PRL). She will act as an associate editor for the Material Physics Division from 2012 - 2014. PRL reports on the 'hottest and newest' in all of physics, from high-energy to solid state to astrophysics. It is the most highly-respected journal in physics, and serving on its board is a true honor.
- The Austrian Fund for (FWF) has approved a new doctoral program 'Building Solids for Function' 'SolidFun'. The program will be providing students with the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary research. Groups from chemistry, physics, and electrical engineering departments at the TU are participating. The Surface Physics Group at IAP, headed by Ulrike Diebold, will also be part of this new doctoral program. The application process will start this Spring.
- With his retirement as professor at the TU Wien, Peter Varga took a new position at the Brno University of Technology, and at the Central European Institute of Technology, CZ . Although he had a farewell party at the TU, he will continue giving courses here. He also continues to be a member of the Surface Physics Group.
- In an unusual location, the Opera House of Wrocław, Poland, Professor Ulrike Diebold gave a plenary talk at Europe's largest conference on surface science, ECOSS-28. The topic of Ulrike's talk was the Surface Science of Metal Oxides; she discussed recent progress, challenges, and opportunities in this area. The ECOSS-28 conference was attended by more than 650 participants, including IAP members Michael Schmid, Zbyněk Novotný, Philipp Scheiber, Gareth Parkinson, Peter Jacobson, and Sameena Shah Zaman, who also gave presentations on their recent research.
- Today is the official start of the Sonderforschungsbereich (SFB) “Functional Oxide Surfaces and Interfaces”. Results of this four-million-Euro research program are expected to have an impact on applications in catalysis, gas sensing, fuel cells and microelectronics. The SFB unites researchers from the TU Wien and the Universities of Vienna, Innsbruck and Siegen (Germany). Three of the ten project leaders in the SFB are members of our institute, two of them in Surface Physics group! Ulrike Diebold will work on pervoskites, Michael Schmid will study ultrathin zirconia films, and Josef Redinger (CMS group) leads the theory part and. See the TU Wien press release (in German) and the abstract of the SFB for more details.
- In the Cathedral of Lund, in a grand ceremony, Peter Varga was conferred an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Lund, Sweden. The degree was awarded for his outstanding contributions to materials science on the atomic scale.
- Newly appointed professor Ulrike Diebold has discovered that hydrogen bonding plays a key role in the diffusion of organic molecules across solid surfaces. By gaining and losing hydrogen atoms, catechol molecules rotate in a dance-like motion along the titanium rows of a TiO2 surface. These results have been published in the prestigious journal Science [Li et al., Science 328, 882-884 (2010)]. The work was also featured in Chemical and Engineering News [C&EN 88, 29 (2010)].
- Prof. Ulrike Diebold has moved from Tulane University (New Orleans, LA, USA) to TU Wien and started her position as full professor of surface science at our institute. Welcome to the Surface Physics group!
- The Surface Physics Group celebrates its 25th publication in Physical Review Letters. Congratulations!
The 25th PRL isn't about silver; although one might expect this for a silver jubilee; oxidation of silver happened to be the topic of the 24th PRL of this group.