A diary of some remarkable events in the Surface Physics group…
- The European Academy of Sciences established the Blaise Pascal Medal in 2003 to recognize an outstanding and demonstrated personal contribution to science and technology and the promotion of excellence in research and education. Up to six medals may be awarded in any one year. This year Ulrike Diebold was honored with the Blaise Pascal Metal in Materials Science.
- Our “magnetite subgroup” around Gareth Parkinson and Roland Bliem, with the help of our guest Jessi van der Hoeven from Utrecht, could nicely show how a prototype catalytic reaction works. They find that CO oxidation on their model catalyst, tiny platinum clusters on magnetite, eats the oxygen from the magnetite support, and platinum helps to oxidize the support again. They could also investigate in detail what happens if hydrogen is oxidized with the help of the catalyst. These results provide the groundwork to improve catalysts and got published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.
- Many of us are swarming out this month, to learn new things and to report on our research results. Roland Bliem, Michele Riva, Daniel Halwidl, Michael Schmid, and Peter Varga attend this year's ECOSS in Barcelona. Margareta Wagner, Martin Setvin, Jake Choi, Ulrike Diebold, Stefan Gerhold, Jonas Gloss, Peter Lackner report at the joint meeting of the Austrian and Swiss Physics Societies. Gareth Parkinson lectures at the GRC Summer School on Characterization of Metal Oxides near Berlin. Oscar Gamba gives a talk at a catalysis conference in Colombia, and Martin Setvin travels to the Non-Contact AFM conference in France.
- Roland Bliem attends the Suncat Summer School at Stanford and wins a best poster award. Congratulations!
- This week, no less than four papers were accepted for publication in various journals. The picture shows our first authors: Stefan Gerhold's paper on NiO on SrTiO3(110) was accepted in J. Phys. Chem. C, and so was Oscar's paper on formic acid on Fe3O4. Roland's work on the adsorption and incorporation of transition metals in magnetite was accepted in Phys. Rev. B. Another paper, on imaging TiO2(110) in aqueous solution with STM, spearheaded our collaborators in Rome, was accepted in Advanced Materials Interfaces. Also, the weather has been really hot. Time for some beer!
- Three students from Brno have been with us since February. Adam Zavodny took many interesting STM images of single adatoms on Fe3O4, Zdenek Jakub helped with our electrochemistry setups, and Michal Horky grew fcc-stabilized Fe films. It has been a pleasure and privilege working with them.
- This year, we hike in the Wienerwald. We conquer the Anninger, stop at Ruine Mödling, and relax in Peter Varga's house in Maria Enzersdorf with lots of cold drinks.
- Prof. Bilge Yildiz from the Departments of Nuclear Science & Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at MIT is spending her sabbatical year in our group. She is interested in materials development for energy conversion applications in harsh environments, and will be working with us on the perovskites project.
- Margareta Wagner received a Hertha Firnberg Award for her research programme “Organic Molecules on Transparent Conductive Oxides: Fundamental studies”. The Hertha Firnberg programme of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) aims at boosting the career of extremely well qualified female scientists.
- Watch this Youtube video provided by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), showing an interview with Ulrike Diebold (in German) and scenes from our labs. Seems we are quite a photogenic group!
- Jonas Gloss joins the group as a PhD student. He is working with Peter Varga and researchers from Ceitec in Brno on producing magnetic metamaterials with focused ion beams.
- Peter Lackner successfully passes his final exam. His masters thesis deals with adsorption on In2O3(111) surfaces. Here he treats us to home-made cake. Peter will continue working with us as a PhD student.
- Gareth Parkinson of the Surface Physics Group has received the START Prize, the highest Austrian award for outstanding young researchers. Congratulations! The prize money will enable him to pursue research on single-atom catalysis during the next six years. We have now two START awardees and one Wittgenstein and ERC Advanced Grant laureate in our group, almost the highest density of these prizes anywhere!
- Matthias Müllner joins as a PhD student and Michele Riva, who visited with us from the Politecnico Milano previously, returned as post-doc. Matthias will work on our electrochemistry project, and Michele on the oxide PLD. Here the two of them are captured during our daily lunch in the Mensa.
- Today we watched the solar eclipse. Here you can see Michael, the most professional hobby astronomer ever, catching it on camera.
- Charged molecules can self-organise on a gold surface to form highly structured motifs. In an effort led by Stijn Mertens, it was demonstrated that, under electrochemical conditions, this principle can be extended from flat structures into the third dimension. The results have been published in the journals Angewandte Chemie and Chemical Communications.
Article in Angewandte Chemie
Article in Chemical Communications
TU press release (in German)
Media coverage: APA article · der Standard · Economy Austria · Chemie.de · Industriemagazin · Technologiewerte.de
- A team around Gareth Parkinson of the Surface Physics group has solved a long-standing mystery: No one could explain why the magnetite Fe3O4(001) surface behaves differently than all other oxides. It turned out that this surface has a very peculiar crystal structure, which requires a new way of thinking about oxide surfaces in general. The results have been published in the prestigious journal Science.
- Bernhard Stöger successfully defends his PhD thesis entitled “Surface Defects and Adsorption on Strontium Ruthenates”. He was supported by the SFB 'Functional Oxide Surfaces and Interfaces (FOXSI)'. He is moved on to do good things at ZKW group in Wieselburg.
- Michele Riva, who has spent the last seven months in our laser-MBE lab, is going back home to Politecnico di Milano to finish his Ph.D. thesis.
- Jan Hulva (aka 'Honza') who has already been with us with the ERASMUS program, returns as a new Ph.D. student.
- This has been a busy month with presentations at various meetings
- Gareth Parkinson, Roland Bliem, Martin Setvin, and Peter Varga talked at the ECOSS 30 in Antalya, Turkey
- Daniel Halwidl presented a poster at a Training School organized by the COST Action Reducible Oxide Surfaces
- Martin Setvin and Margareta Wagner both gave invited talks at the EMRS Meeting in Warsaw, Poland
- Daniel Halwidl, Margareta Wagner, Stefan Gerhold, Oscar Gamba, and Roland Bliem presented their work at this year's Austrian Physics Society Meeting in Pöllau, Styria
Luckily, some of us stayed home and got some work done.
- Jessi van der Hoeven from the University of Utrecht, who has been visiting with us for the past half year, is returning to the Netherlands. As a farewell, she gives a presentation of her research to her advisor, Prof. Petra de Jongh, with the group listening in. Jessi shows us beautiful results on Pt nanoclusters and their role in catalysis. Watch out for papers to come!
- Bernhard wins the jackpot of the group's soccer world cup bet, and is obliged to treat us all to beer. Also, his paper “A strong chemical reaction of CO with the surface of Sr3Ru2O2” by B. Stöger et al. has been accepted in PRL. Time for a a little Happy Hour.
- Several papers got accepted this week: “A direct view of polarons in TiO2 rutile and anatase” by Martin Setvin et al. in PRL; “Reducing the In2O3(111) Surface Results in Ordered Indium Adatoms” by Margareta Wagner et al. in Advanced Materials Interfaces; “Stabilizing Single Ni adatoms on a Two-dimensional Porous Titania on SrTiO3(110) Surface” by Zhiming Wang et al. in J. Phys. Chem. C; and “Identification of Adsorbed Molecules Via Tip Manipulation: CO, H2O, and O2 on TiO2 Anatase (101)” by Martin Setvin et al. in PCCP. To top it off, all this happened while the boss was vacationing in Croatia.
- The group enjoys an outing. We hike up the Hohe Wand.
- Bernhard and Maria got married today. Warmest congratulations! (Bernie, who has spent the last three years cleaving single crystals, also has to cleave his wedding present.)
- Our paper “Cluster Nucleation and Growth from a Highly Supersaturated Adatom Phase: Silver on Magnetite” by Roland Bliem et al. is published in 'ACS nano'. We celebrate with a bottle of excellent wine from Grenoble.
- Ulrike entertains pupils with surface science, including experiments such as igniting methanol by platinum catalysis. The lecture is part of the Wittgenstein-Akademie.
- Today Daniel Halwidl successfully defended his Masters thesis. Here he proudly presents the molecular beam, which he designed, built, and tested in his thesis work.
- Our paper “Surface preparation of TiO2 anatase (101): Pitfalls and how to avoid them” by Martin Setvin et al. made it on the front page of the newest issue of 'Surface Science'.
- The Austrian Academy of Sciences ÖAW has different levels of membership. Ulrike Diebold has been a 'corresponding member' since 2012, and was elected a 'full member' in April 2014.
- The surface physics group gets additional help. Our new “UHV Technician”, Martin Leichtfried, joins us.
- 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.