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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. Sabine Abb

Dr. Soon Jung Jung

Dr. Klaus Kuhnke

Dr. Rico Gutzler

Team Members

Dr. Kelvin Anggara, Patrick Alexa, Abhishek Grewal, Dr. Doris Grumelli, Dr. Christopher Leon, Shai Mangel, Tomasz Michnowicz, Hannah Ochner, Anna Rosławska, Dr. Bong Gyu Shin , Sven Szilagyi, Dr. Xu Wu

Key Publications

Christopher Leon, Anna Rosławska, Abhishek Grewal, Olle Gunnarsson, Klaus Kuhnke, and Klaus Kern 
Photon super-bunching from a generic tunnel junction 
Science Advances, in press, arXiv 1805.10234 (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)

N. Abdurakhmanova, T.-C. Tseng, A. Langner, C. S. Kley, V. Sessi, S. Stepanow, and K. Kern
Superexchange-mediated ferromagnetic coupling in two-dimensional Ni-TCNQ networks on metal surfaces
Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 027202 (2013)

S. Kahle, Z. Deng, N. Malinowski, C. Tonnoir, A. Forment-Aliaga, N. Thontasen, G. Rinke, D. Le, V. Turkowski, T. S. Rahman, S. Rauschenbach, M. Ternes and K. Kern
The Quantum Magnetism of Individual Manganese-12-Acetate Molecular Magnets Anchored at Surfaces
Nano Lett. 12, 518 (2012)

C. S. Kley, J. Cechal, T. Kumagai, F. Schramm, M. Ruben, S. Stepanow, and K. Kern
Highly adaptable two-dimensional metal-organic coordination networks on metal surfaces
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 6072 (2012)

Theresa Lutz, Alexander Kabakchiev, Thomas Dufaux, Christian Wolpert, Zhe Wang, Marko Burghard, Klaus Kuhnke, and Klaus Kern
Scanning tunneling luminescence of individual CdSe nanowires
Small 7, 2396 (2011)

S. Fabris, S. Stepanow, N. Lin, P. Gambardella, A. Dmitriev, J. Honolka, S. Baroni, and K. Kern
Oxygen dissociation by concerted action of di-iron centers in metal-organic coordination networks at surfaces: modeling non-heme iron enzymes,
Nano Lett. 11, 5414 (2011)

T.-C. Tseng, C. Urban, Y. Wang, R. Otero, S. L. Tait, M. Alcami, D. Écija, M. Trelka, J. M. Gallego, N. Lin, M. Konuma, U. Starke, A. Nefedov, A. Langner, C. Wöll, M. Ángeles Herranz, F. Martín, N. Martín, K. Kern, and R. Miranda,
Charge-transfer-induced structural rearrangements at both sides of organic/metal interfaces,
Nat. Chem. 2, 374 (2010)

L. Vitali, G. Levita, R. Ohmann, A. Comisso, A. de Vita, and K. Kern,
Portrait of the potential barrier at metal-organic nanocontacts,
Nat. Mater. 9, 320 (2010)

P. Gambardella, S. Stepanow, A. Dmitriev, J. Honolka, F. M. F. de Groot, M. Lingenfelder, S. S. Gupta, D. D. Sarma, P. Bencok, S. Stanescu, S. Clair, S. Pons, N. Lin, A. P. Seitsonen, H. Brune, J. V. Barth, and K. Kern
Supramolecular Control of the Magnetic Anisotropy in Two-Dimensional High-Spin Fe Arrays at a Metal Interface,
Nat. Mater. 8, 189 (2009)

A. Langner, S.L. Tait, N. Lin, C. Rajadurai, M. Ruben, and K. Kern
Self-recognition and self-selection in multicomponent supramolecular coordination networks on surfaces
PNAS 104, 17927 (2007)

S. Rauschenbach, F. Stadler, E. Lunedei, N. Malinowski, S. Koltsov, G. Costantini, and K. Kern,
Electrospray ion beam deposition of clusters and biomolecules,
Small 2, 540 (2006)

J.V. Barth, G. Costantini, and K. Kern,
Engineering atomic and molecular nanostructures at surfaces,
Nature 437, 671 (2005)

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