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Molecular Engineering & Photonics

A key aspect of molecular nanoscience is the design and fabrication of well-defined molecular architectures with atomic scale control of size, shape and composition. The precise engineering of the interplay of intermolecular and interfacial interactions is essential for the organization of molecules and secondary building blocks into functional assemblies. The functionality of the overall architecture is implemented by specifically designed molecular units with tailored physical and chemical properties addressing a wide range of applications ranging from molecular electronics through molecular photonics to catalysis.

A particular effort is put on the investigation of energy conversion on the single molecule level. We combine the atomic-scale precision of scanning tunneling microscopy with the high time resolution achievable in light detection. This approach opens the gate to directly accessing the molecular aspects of the charge separation and recombination dynamics responsible for light emission and light absorption of individual molecules and their nanostructures at surfaces.

Responsible Scientists

Dr. Kelvin Anggara

Dr. Klaus Kuhnke

Dr. Anna Roslawska

Team Members

Thiago Brito, Rebecca Forth, Dr. Dhaneesh Kumar Gopalakrishnan, Dr. Doris Grumelli, Dr. Jimin Ham, Shengpeng Huang, Dr. Xiaocui Wu

Key Publications

Johannes Seibel, Giulio Fittolani, Hossein Mirhosseini, Xu Wu, Stephan Rauschenbach, Kelvin Anggara, Peter H. Seeberger, Martina Delbianco, Thomas D. Kühne, Uta Schlickum, and Klaus Kern
Visualizing chiral interactions in carbohydrates adsorbed on Au(111) by high-resolution STM imaging
Angewandte Chemie 62, e202305733 (2023)

Kelvin Anggara, Hannah Ochner, Sven Szilagyi, Luigi Malavolti, Stephan Rauschenbach, and Klaus Kern
Landing proteins on graphene trampoline preserves their gas-phase folding on the surface
ACS Central Science 9, 151 (2023)

Rico Gutzler, Manish Garg, Christian R. Ast, Klaus Kuhnke, and Klaus Kern
Light-Matter Interaction at Atomic Scales

Nat. Rev. Phys. 3, 441 (2021)

Lukas Krumbein, Kelvin Anggara, Martina Stella, Tomasz Michnowicz, Hannah Ochner, Sabine Abb, Gordon Rinke, André Portz, Michael Dürr, Uta Schlickum, Andrew Baldwin, Andrea Floris, Klaus Kern, and Stephan Rauschenbach
Fast Molecular Compression by a Hyperthermal Collision Gives Bond-Selective Mechanochemistry
Phys. Rev. Lett. 126 (2021) 056001

Anna Rosławska, Christopher C. Leon, Abhishek Grewal, Pablo Merino, Klaus Kuhnke, and Klaus Kern
Atomic scale dynamics probed by photon correlations
ACS Nano 14, 6366 (2020)

Tomasz Michnowicz, Bogdana Borca, Rémi Pétuya, Verena Schendel, Marcel Pristl, Ivan Pentegov, Ulrike Kraft, Hagen Klauk, Peter Wahl, Pingo Mutombo, Javel Jelínek, Andrés Arnau, Uta Schlickum, and Klaus Kern
Controlling Single Molecule Conductance by Chemical Reaction
Angew. Chem. 59, 6207 (2020)

Shai Mangel, Maxim Skripnik, Katharina Polyudov, Christian Dette, Paul Punke, Dongzhe Li, Roberto Urcuyo, Fabian Pauly, Soon Jung Jung, and Klaus Kern
Electric field control of single molecule tautomerization
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 22, 6370 (2020)

Patrick Alexa, Juan Manuel Lombardi, Paula Abufager, Heriberto Fabio Busnengo, Doris Grumelli, Vijay S. Vyas, Frederik Haase, Bettina V. Lotsch, Rico Gutzler, and Klaus Kern
Enhancing hydrogen evolution activity of Au(111) in alkaline media through molecular engineering of a 2D polymer 
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 59, 8411 (2020)  

Christopher C. Leon, Olle Gunnarsson, Dimas G. de Oteyza, Anna Rosławska, Pablo Merino, Abhishek Grewal, Klaus Kuhnke, and Klaus Kern
Single photon emission from a plasmonic light source driven by a local field-induced Coulomb blockade
ACS Nano 14, 4216 (2020)


Christopher Leon, Anna Rosławska, Abhishek Grewal, Olle Gunnarsson, Klaus Kuhnke, and Klaus Kern 
Photon super-bunching from a generic tunnel junction 
Sci. Adv. 5, eaav4986 (2019) 

Jakob Fester, Anton Makoveev, Doris Grumelli, Rico Gutzler, Zhaozong Sun, Jonathan Rodríguez-Fernandez, Klaus Kern, and Jeppe V. Lauritsen
The Structure of the Cobalt Oxide/Au Catalyst Interface in Electrochemical Water Splitting
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 57, 11893 (2018)

A. Rosławska, P. Merino, C. Große, C.C. Leon,  O. Gunnarsson, M. Etzkorn, K. Kuhnke, and K. Kern
Single Charge and Exciton Dynamics Probed by Molecular-Scale-Induced Electroluminnescence
Nano Lett. 18, 4001 (2018)

P. Merino, A. Rosławska, C. Große, C.C. Leon, K. Kuhnke, K. Kern
Bimodal Exciton-Plasmon Light Sources Controlled by Local Charge Carrier Injection
Sci. Adv. 4, eaap8349  (2018)

K. Kuhnke, C. Große, P. Merino, and K. Kern
Atomic-scale imaging and spectroscopy of electroluminescence at molecular interfaces
Chem. Rev. 117, 5174 (2017)

Christoph Große, Pablo Merino, Anna Rosławska, Olle Gunnarsson, Klaus Kuhnke, and Klaus Kern
Submolecular Electroluminescence Mapping of Organic Semiconductors
ACS Nano 11, 1230 (2017)

J.-N. Longchamp, S. Rauschenbach, S. Abb, C. Escher, T. Latychevskaia, K. Kern, and H.-W. Fink
Imaging proteins at the single-molecule level
PNAS 114, 1474 (2017)

C. Dette, M. A. Pérez-Osorio, S. Mangel, F. Giustino, S. J. Jung, and K. Kern
Single-Molecule Vibration Spectroscopy of H2O on Anatase TiO2(101)
J. Phys. Chem. C 121, 1182 (2017)

C. Morchutt, J. Björk, C. Straßer, U. Starke, R. Gutzler, and K. Kern
Interplay of Chemical and Electronic Structure on the Single-Molecule Level in 2D Polymerization
ACS Nano 10, 11511 (2016)

B. Wurster, D. Grumelli, D. Hötger, R. Gutzler, and K. Kern
Driving the oxygen evolution reaction by nonlinear cooperativity in bimetallic coordination catalysts
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 138, 3623 (2016)

C. Große, O. Gunnarsson, P. Merino, K. Kuhnke, and K. Kern
Nanoscale Imaging of Charge Carrier and Exciton Trapping at Structural Defects in Organic Semiconductors
Nano Lett. 16, 2084 (2016)

V. Schendel, B. Borca, I. Pentegov, T. Michnowicz, U. Kraft, H. Klauk, P. Wahl, U. Schlickum, and K. Kern
Remotely controlled isomer selective molecular switching
Nano Lett. 16, 93 (2016)

S. Abb, L. Harnau, R. Gutzler, S. Rauschenbach, and K. Kern
Two-Dimensional Honeycomb Network through Sequence-Controlled Self-Assembly of Oligopeptides
Nature Commun. 7, 10335 (2016)

B. Borca, V. Schendel, R. Pétuya, I. Pentegov, T. Michnowicz, U. Kraft, H. Klauk, A. Arnau, P. Wahl, U. Schlickum, and K. Kern
Bipolar Conductance Switching of Single Anthradithiophene Molecules
ACS Nano 9, 12506 (2015)

R. Gutzler, S. Stepanow, D. Grumelli, M. Lingenfelder, and K. Kern
Mimicking Enzymatic Active Sites on Surfaces for Energy Conversion Chemistry
Acc. Chem. Res. 48, 2132 (2015)

C. Dette, M. A. Pérez-Osorio, C. S. Kley, P. Punke, C. E. Patrick, P. Jacobson, F. Giustino, S. J. Jung, and K. Kern
TiO2 anatase with a bandgap in the visible region
Nano Lett. 14, 6533 (2014)

C. Grosse, A. Kabakchiev, T. Lutz, R. Froidevaux, F. Schramm, M. Ruben, M. Etzkorn, U. Schlickum, K. Kuhnke, and K. Kern 
Dynamic Control of Plasmon Generation by an Individual Quantum System 
Nano Lett. 14, 5693 (2014) 

Ch.S. Kley, Ch. Dette, G. Rinke, Ch.E. Patrick, J. Cechal, S.J. Jung, M. Baur, M. Dürr, St. Rauschenbach, F. Giustino, S. Stepanow, and K. Kern 
Atomic-scale observation of multi-conformational binding and energy level alignment of ruthenium-based photosensitizers on TiO2 anatase
Nano Lett. 14, 563 (2014)

C. Grosse, M. Etzkorn, K. Kuhnke, S. Loth, and K. Kern
Quantitative mapping of fast voltage pulses in tunnel junctions by plasmonic luminescence
Appl. Phys. Lett. 103, 183108 (2013)

D. Grumelli, B. Wurster, S. Stepanow, and K. Kern
Nanocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction: a novel bio-inspired approach
Nat. Commun. 4, 2904 (2013)

T. Lutz, C. Große, C. Dette, A. Kabakchiev, F. Schramm, M. Ruben, R. Gutzler, K. Kuhnke, U. Schlickum, and K. Kern
Molecular Orbital Gates for Plasmon Excitation
Nano Letters 13, 2846 (2013)

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