Atomic Scale Phenomena

We are pushing the design and fabrication of well-defined molecular architectures with atomic scale control of size, shape and composition to its limits. We address the fundamental properties of nanostructures at the single atomic and molecular level in order to characterize physical and chemical properties atom by atom. Our experiments provide an important benchmark for the understanding of quantum physics in nanostructures. The development of novel design strategies opens up manifold opportunities at the interface of natural science, life science and engineering.

To this end the department is using and developing highly sophisticated research tools that permit us to look with exquisite detail at the behavior of atoms and molecules at surfaces, interfaces and nanostructures.

Responsible Scientists:

Dr. Christian Ast

Dr. Klaus Kuhnke

Dr. Anna Roslawska

Team Members

Thiago Brito, Maneesha Ismail, Soumyaranjan Jhankar, Xianzhe Zeng

Key Publications

Abhishek Grewal, Christopher C. Leon, Klaus Kuhnke, Klaus Kern, and Olle Gunnarsson
Character of Electronic States in the Transport Gap of Molecules on Surfaces
ACS Nano 17, 13176 (2023)

Sujoy Karan, Haonan Huang, Ciprian Padurariu, Björn Kubala, Andreas Theiler, Annica M. Black-Schaffer, Gonzalo Morrás, Alfredo Levy Yeyati, Juan Carlos Cuevas, Joachim Ankerhold, Klaus Kern, and Christian R. Ast
Superconducting Quantum Interference at the Atomic Scale
Nature Physics 18, 893 (2022)

Rico Gutzler, Manish Garg, Christian R. Ast, Klaus Kuhnke, and Klaus Kern
Light-Matter Interaction at Atomic Scales
Nat. Rev. Phys. 3, 441 (2021)

Haonan Huang, Ciprian Padurariu, Jacob Senkpiel, Robert Drost, Alfredo Levy Yeyati, Juan Carlos Cuevas, Björn Kubala, Joachim Ankerhold, Klaus Kern, and Christian R. Ast
Tunneling dynamics between superconducting bound states at the atomic limit
Nature Phys. 16, 1227 (2020)

Jacob Senkpiel, Jan C. Klöckner, Markus Etzkorn, Simon Dambach, Björn Kubala, Wolfgang Belzig, Alfredo Levy Yeyati, Juan Carlos Cuevas, Fabian Pauly, Joachim Ankerhold, Christian R. Ast, and Klaus Kern
Dynamical Coulomb Blockade as a Local Probe for Quantum Transport
Phys. Rev. Lett. 124, 156803 (2020)

Christopher Leon, Anna Rosławska, Abhishek Grewal, Olle Gunnarsson, Klaus Kuhnke, and Klaus Kern 
Photon superbunching from a generic tunnel junction 
Science Advances 5, eaav4986 (2019) 

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 Electroluminescence
Nano Lett. 18, 4001 (2018)

Berthold Jäck, Jacob Senkpiel, Markus Etzkorn, Joachim Ankerhold, Christian R. Ast, and Klaus Kern
Quantum Brownian motion at strong dissipation probed by superconducting tunnel junctions
Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 147702 (2017)

Peter Jacobson, Matthias Muenks, Gennadii Laskin, Oleg Brovko, Valeri Stepanyuk, Markus Ternes, and Klaus Kern
Potential Energy Driven Spin Manipulation via a Controllable Hydrogen Ligand
Science Advances 3, e1602060 (2017)

Christian Dette, Miguel A. Perez-Osorio, Shai Mangel, Feliciano Giustino, Soon Jung Jung, and Klaus Kern
Single-Molecule Vibration Spectroscopy of H2O on Anatase TiO2(101)
J. of Phys. Chem. C 121, 1182 (2017)

M. Muenks, P. Jacobson, M. Ternes, K. Kern
Correlation Driven Transport Asymmetries Through Coupled Spins in a Tunneling Junction
Nature Communications 8, 14119 (2017)

Christian R. Ast, Berthold Jäck, Jacob Senkpiel, Matthias Eltschka, Markus Etzkorn, Joachim Ankerhold, and Klaus Kern
Sensing the quantum limit in scanning tunnelling microscopy
Nature Communications 7, 13009 (2016)
(also: arXiv:1510.08449)

Berthold Jäck,  Matthias Eltschka, Maximilian Assig, Markus Etzkorn, Christian R. Ast, and Klaus Kern
Critical Josephson current in the dynamical Coulomb blockade regime
Phys. Rev. B 93, 020504(R) (2016)

P. Jacobson, T. Herden, M. Muenks, G. Laskin, O. O. Brovko, V. S. Stepanyuk, M. Ternes, K. Kern
Quantum Engineering of Spin and Anisotropy in Magnetic Molecular Junctions
Nature Communications 6, 8536 (2015)

Berthold Jäck, Matthias Eltschka, Maximilian Assig, Andreas Hardock, Markus Etzkorn, Christian R. Ast and Klaus Kern
A nanoscale gigahertz source realized with Josephson scanning tunneling microscopy
Appl. Phys. Lett 106, 013109 (2015)

Eike Schäfer-Nolte, Lukas Schlipf, Markus Ternes, Friedemann Reinhard, Klaus Kern, and Jörg Wrachtrup
Tracking Temperature Dependent Relaxation Times of Individual Ferritin Nanomagnets with a Wide-band Quantum Spectrometer
Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 217204 (2014)

M. Eltschka, B. Jäck, M. Assig, O.V. Kondrashov, M.A. Skvortsov, M. Etzkorn, C.R. Ast, and K. Kern
Probing Absolute Spin Polarization at the Nanoscale
Nano Lett. 14, 7171 (2014)

Yong-hui Zhang, Steffen Kahle, Tobias Herden, Christophe Stroh, Marcel Mayor, Uta Schlickum, Markus Ternes, Peter Wahl, and Klaus Kern
Temperature and magnetic field dependence of a Kondo system in the weak coupling regime
Nature Communications 4, 2110 (2013)

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