The University of Maryland MRSEC grants ended in September 2013 after 17 years of successful operation. This site remains as a history of the center, but will not be actively maintained.

IRG 1: Low-Dimensional Interfaces

IRG 1 figure: Electrical current in nanoscale structure perturbed by scattering at atomic scale features on its surfaces.
An electrical current in a nanoscale structure is perturbed by scattering at atomic scale features on its surfaces. Schematic illustrates the use of a scanned probe tip to monitor the resulting effects at the surface. Inset shows an STM image of real nanoscale features (islands and pits ~0.25 nm high) on a silver surface.
IRG 1 figure: Physical experiment corresponding to above schematic.
The physical experiment corresponding to the schematic is shown in this Scanning Electron Microscope image. The large block to the right holds a cantilever bar with a sharp probe tip, shown in expanded view in the insert. The tip is positioned above one silver strip through which current is flowing. Real-time measurements show the atomic scale features moving in response to the electrical current.

Senior Investigators

Seed-Funded Collaborator

Research Goals

Controlling electronic transport and recombination at boundaries between different materials is the key to progress in a myriad of applications including device physics, nano-bio mimetics, energy harvesting and photonics. Revolutionary opportunities have opened in all of these areas through the use of nanoscale materials structures, with parallel new challenges resulting from the concomitant change in the ratio of surface and bulk properties. We directly access low-dimensional interfaces of nanostructures by fabricating layered materials and ultra-thin films with domain and interface boundaries accessible to scanned probe and electron microscopies. We combine the structural characterization of interfaces with in situ measurement of device properties by fabricating the materials of interest into model thin-film transistor stuctures.

The objective of this IRG is to optimize nanoscale interface structures for electron transport, and charge separation and recombination. To do so, we apply a full range of tools from theoretical modeling of interface structure based on fundamental interactions, to device preparation and characterization. Materials systems understudy include graphene, C60 and molecular organic semiconductors.



IRG 1 Group Leaders Janice Reutt-Robey

Janice Reutt-Robey

Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Ted Einstein

Ted Einstein

Professor, Physics

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