ERC Consolidator Grant: Single-Atom Radio Frequency Fingerprinting (SARF)
Modern nanoscience approaches the atomic scale: Individual atoms, rather than ensembles, carry the functionalities of man-made devices (switching, storing, calculating, catalyzing, etc). While single-atom imaging is routine since the advent of the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) in the ‘80s, their chemical identification is difficult.The project develops a “6th sense” that turns the STM from an imaging- to an identification tool with atomic resolution.
In the SARF project, we are looking for a candidate to lead the further development of rf-STM under ultrahigh vacuum conditions (base pressure < 1E-9 mbar) and cryogenic sample temperatures (5 K). The successful candidate will start by setting-up a state-of-the-art low-temperature STM system, equipped with a variable magnetic field of several Tesla and dedicated RF circuitry. After installation, the main goal is spectral fingerprinting of single atoms for elemental identification and intra-molecular chemical analytics with sub-nanometer spatial resolution. The spectral fingerprints will be obtained from characteristic RF resonance signals originating from single-spin excitations of single atoms in the STM’s tunnel junction. This requires exploring the experimental and technological possibilities of identifying individual atoms, selectable by the probe tip in a one-by-one manner, on atomically flat single-crystal surfaces as well as in surface-adsorbed molecules.
More information in the attached PDF (See details). Check also the group website: http://ltstm.jku.at