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Surface Physics News Archive 2006-2015

Pole Dancing Water Molecules - Paper in Nature Materials

A pole dancing water molecule (Animation, click twice)


  • Our research on strontium ruthenate surfaces shows how water dissociates and strips off one hydrogen atom upon adsorption. Although the hydrogen atom and the remaining OH group are physically separated, the pieces continue to interact through a weak hydrogen bond. This interaction leads to an interesting dynamic behavior, where the OH group circles the stripped off hydrogen atom. The result were published in Nature Materials. Click twice on the gif file on the right and watch the water dance.

The paper
TU press release in English or German · Article in Der Standard

It's a Boy!

Martin's and Katja's Baby 2015-Dec-2

  • Martin Setvin and his wife Katja proudly announce the birth of their first baby.

Nerd Soccer is Back

At the soccer dome 2015-Nov-5

  • We are playing soccer again. With support from chemistry it is even more fun.

Blaise Pascal Medal

Prof. Nick Serpone awards the metal to Ulrike Diebold 2015-Oct-28

  • The European Academy of Sciences established the Blaise Pascal Medal in 2003 to recognize an outstanding and demonstrated personal contribution to science and technology and the promotion of excellence in research and education. Up to six medals may be awarded in any one year. This year Ulrike Diebold was honored with the Blaise Pascal Metal in Materials Science.

The Value of Undergraduate Research


  • With the start of the new semester, the Austrian newspaper "Die Presse" published an article on students doing research. Matthias Poglitsch described how he liked working with us during his bachelor thesis (in German).

Paper in Angewandte

The Catalytic Cycle 2015-September-10

  • Our “magnetite subgroup” around Gareth Parkinson and Roland Bliem, with the help of our guest Jessi van der Hoeven from Utrecht, could nicely show how a prototype catalytic reaction works. They find that CO oxidation on their model catalyst, tiny platinum clusters on magnetite, eats the oxygen from the magnetite support, and platinum helps to oxidize the support again. They could also investigate in detail what happens if hydrogen is oxidized with the help of the catalyst. These results provide the groundwork to improve catalysts and got published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

The paper
TU press release in English or German · "Die Presse" newspaper article

Spreading the Word...


Best Poster Award for Roland Bliem


  • Roland Bliem attends the Suncat Summer School at Stanford and wins a best poster award. Congratulations!

The Hottest Week of the Year: Four Papers Accepted

Stefan, Oscar, Roland 2015-August-13

  • This week, no less than four papers were accepted for publication in various journals. The picture shows our first authors: Stefan Gerhold's paper on NiO on SrTiO3(110) was accepted in J. Phys. Chem. C, and so was Oscar's paper on formic acid on Fe3O4. Roland's work on the adsorption and incorporation of transition metals in magnetite was accepted in Phys. Rev. B. Another paper, on imaging TiO2(110) in aqueous solution with STM, spearheaded our collaborators in Rome, was accepted in Advanced Materials Interfaces. Also, the weather has been really hot. Time for some beer!

Erasmus Students from Brno

Adam, Zdenek, Michal 2015-July

  • Three students from Brno have been with us since February. Adam Zavodny took many interesting STM images of single adatoms on Fe3O4, Zdenek Jakub helped with our electrochemistry setups, and Michal Horky grew fcc-stabilized Fe films. It has been a pleasure and privilege working with them.

Second Annual Group Outing

Group Hike 2015-July-15

  • This year, we hike in the Wienerwald. We conquer the Anninger, stop at Ruine Mödling, and relax in Peter Varga's house in Maria Enzersdorf with lots of cold drinks.

Visiting Professor from MIT

Bilge 2015-July

Hertha Firnberg Award for Margareta Wagner

Margareta Wagner 2015-June-30

  • Margareta Wagner received a Hertha Firnberg Award for her research programme “Organic Molecules on Transparent Conductive Oxides: Fundamental studies”. The Hertha Firnberg programme of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) aims at boosting the career of extremely well qualified female scientists.

Youtube Video of Our Group

  • Watch this Youtube video provided by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), showing an interview with Ulrike Diebold (in German) and scenes from our labs. Seems we are quite a photogenic group!

Joint PhD student with Ceitec

Jonas Gloss 2015-June-15

  • Jonas Gloss joins the group as a PhD student. He is working with Peter Varga and researchers from Ceitec in Brno on producing magnetic metamaterials with focused ion beams.

Master Student Graduates

Peter Lackner and fellow students 2015-June-10

  • Peter Lackner successfully passes his final exam. His masters thesis deals with adsorption on In2O3(111) surfaces. Here he treats us to home-made cake. Peter will continue working with us as a PhD student.

START Prize Awarded to Gareth Parkinson

Gareth Parkinson 2015-June-08

  • Gareth Parkinson of the Surface Physics Group has received the START Prize, the highest Austrian award for outstanding young researchers. Congratulations! The prize money will enable him to pursue research on single-atom catalysis during the next six years. We have now two START awardees and one Wittgenstein and ERC Advanced Grant laureate in our group, almost the highest density of these prizes anywhere!

TU press release (German)

Two New Group Members

Matthias and Michele in the Mensa 2015-March

  • Matthias Müllner joins as a PhD student and Michele Riva, who visited with us from the Politecnico Milano previously, returned as post-doc. Matthias will work on our electrochemistry project, and Michele on the oxide PLD. Here the two of them are captured during our daily lunch in the Mensa.

Solar Eclipse

Michael plays his tricks 2015-March-20

  • Today we watched the solar eclipse. Here you can see Michael, the most professional hobby astronomer ever, catching it on camera.

Arranging Molecules in Two or Three Dimensions

Molecules on Au(111) 2015-February-22

  • Charged molecules can self-organise on a gold surface to form highly structured motifs. In an effort led by Stijn Mertens, it was demonstrated that, under electrochemical conditions, this principle can be extended from flat structures into the third dimension. The results have been published in the journals Angewandte Chemie and Chemical Communications.

Article in Angewandte Chemie
Article in Chemical Communications
TU press release (in German)
Media coverage: der Standard · Economy Austria · Chemie.de · Industriemagazin · Technologiewerte.de

Heraeus Seminar on Electrochemical Surface Science

Keynote Lecture 2015-January-18

  • Stijn Mertens co-organized the rather successful 583rd Heraeus Seminar. The meeting, which took place at the Physikzentrum Bad Honnef, was dedicated to the emerging field of electrochemical surface science. Ulrike Diebold gave a keynote lecture, and Jan Balajka presented a poster.

Surface Structure of an Iron Oxide Unraveled

Magnetite crystal structure 2014-December-05

  • A team around Gareth Parkinson of the Surface Physics group has solved a long-standing mystery: No one could explain why the magnetite Fe3O4(001) surface behaves differently than all other oxides. It turned out that this surface has a very peculiar crystal structure, which requires a new way of thinking about oxide surfaces in general. The results have been published in the prestigious journal Science.

Article in Science
TU press release
Media coverage: ORF Science · Die Presse · der Standard · Salzburger Nachrichten

Bernhard Stöger Graduates


Two Awards for Ulrike

Eminent Visitor Award Scroll 2014-November-21

TU press release.

Visit from Spain


Michele goes, Honza comes

Jan and Michele


  • Michele Riva, who has spent the last seven months in our laser-MBE lab, is going back home to Politecnico di Milano to finish his Ph.D. thesis.
  • Jan Hulva (aka 'Honza') who has already been with us with the ERASMUS program, returns as a new Ph.D. student.

September: Conference Month


Luckily, some of us stayed home and got some work done.

Jessi Exits With a Bang

Jessi talks 2014-August-26

  • Jessi van der Hoeven from the University of Utrecht, who has been visiting with us for the past half year, is returning to the Netherlands. As a farewell, she gives a presentation of her research to her advisor, Prof. Petra de Jongh, with the group listening in. Jessi shows us beautiful results on Pt nanoclusters and their role in catalysis. Watch out for papers to come!

Bernie Pays for Beer

Bernhard with his beer 2014-August-19

  • Bernhard wins the jackpot of the group's soccer world cup bet, and is obliged to treat us all to beer. Also, his paper “A strong chemical reaction of CO with the surface of Sr3Ru2O2” by B. Stöger et al. has been accepted in PRL. Time for a a little Happy Hour.

A Productive Week


  • Several papers got accepted this week: “A direct view of polarons in TiO2 rutile and anatase” by Martin Setvin et al. in PRL; “Reducing the In2O3(111) Surface Results in Ordered Indium Adatoms” by Margareta Wagner et al. in Advanced Materials Interfaces; “Stabilizing Single Ni adatoms on a Two-dimensional Porous Titania on SrTiO3(110) Surface” by Zhiming Wang et al. in J. Phys. Chem. C; and “Identification of Adsorbed Molecules Via Tip Manipulation: CO, H2O, and O2 on TiO2 Anatase (101)” by Martin Setvin et al. in PCCP. To top it off, all this happened while the boss was vacationing in Croatia.

First Laser Deposition

Rheed Oscillations 2014-July-11

  • We see RHEED oscillations with our new laser MBE system. Michele is excited.


2014-July-8 Group on the Hohe Wand

  • The group enjoys an outing. We hike up the Hohe Wand.

One More Wedding

Bernie and Maria wedding 2014-June-28

  • Bernhard and Maria got married today. Warmest congratulations! (Bernie, who has spent the last three years cleaving single crystals, also has to cleave his wedding present.)

Silver on Magnetite


  • Our paper “Cluster Nucleation and Growth from a Highly Supersaturated Adatom Phase: Silver on Magnetite” by Roland Bliem et al. is published in 'ACS nano'. We celebrate with a bottle of excellent wine from Grenoble.

Link to original publication (subscription may be required)


Platinum Catalysis 2014-June-21

  • Ulrike entertains pupils with surface science, including experiments such as igniting methanol by platinum catalysis. The lecture is part of the Wittgenstein-Akademie.

Press release, TU Wien

Post-docs Move On

Zhiming and Xianfeng 2014-June

  • Our post-docs Zhiming Wang and Xianfeng Hao leave the group. Zhiming is joining the ARPES group of Felix Baumberger in Geneva, Switzerland, and Xianfeng returns home to his university in China. We had a productive time together, and a lot of fun. All the best to both of them!

Scott Chambers Visits

Scott, Gareth, Elena, and Nukey at the Rax 2014-June-06

A Freshly-Minted Diplom Ingenieur

Daniel and the beam 2014-June-04

  • Today Daniel Halwidl successfully defended his Masters thesis. Here he proudly presents the molecular beam, which he designed, built, and tested in his thesis work.

Anatase on the Front Page

Anatase single crystals: Small and beautiful 2014-June-02

  • Our paper “Surface preparation of TiO2 anatase (101): Pitfalls and how to avoid them” by Martin Setvin et al. made it on the front page of the newest issue of 'Surface Science'.

Link to the paper

Austrian National Academy of Sciences Elects Ulrike Diebold as Full Member


  • The Austrian Academy of Sciences ÖAW has different levels of membership. Ulrike Diebold has been a 'corresponding member' since 2012, and was elected a 'full member' in April 2014.

List of all new ÖAW members.
der standard

Martin Gets Married

Katja and Martin 2014-Apr-26

  • Congratulations to Martin and Katja!

New Engineer

2014-Apr-22 Martin Leichtfried

  • The surface physics group gets additional help. Our new “UHV Technician”, Martin Leichtfried, joins us.

Breaking Bad? Big Bang Theory? Nope -- Surface Physics!

Jiri, Gareth, Benny, and Martin, posing at the machine.

Electrons Meet at Step Edges

STM image of anatase (101) after oxygen exposure


  • Excess electrons in TiO2 anatase are usually delocalized and behave as quasi-free particles. They are trapped, however, at defects such as steps. This is undesired in applications where a high electrical conductivity is essential, such as the Graetzel cell. On the other hand, electron localization can be beneficial in chemical applications. For example, oxygen prefers to adsorb close to surface steps. These effects are clearly seen in STM and NC-AFM images taken by Martin Setvin and other members of the surface physics group. The experimental results have been confirmed in theoretical calculations by Xianfeng Hao, Cesare Franchini, and Geoerg Kresse from Computational Materials Physics, University of Vienna.

The results were published in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

Link to original publication · TU press release

International Students Joining Our Group

2014-March-25 Jessi, Jakub, Michele

  • Three students started in our group this month. The photo shows (from left to right) Jakub Piastek from Brno, Czech Republic; Jessi van der Hoeven from Utrecht, Netherlands; and Michele Riva from Milan, Italy. Our new friends will be staying with us for 6 months and will participate in various research projects. Jessi and Jakub are supported by the Erasmus program.

Symposium on Surface Science, 3S

Fritz Aumayr enjoys powerful support by the surface physics group.


  • Our group helped organize the 27th '3S conference in St. Christoph/Arlberg. With more than 80 participants, excellent science, and enjoyable outdoor activities the conference was a success.

A Two-dimensional Electron Gas

Stefan, Bernhard and Zhiming at Bessy


  • The SrTiO3(110) surface forms a reconstruction that consists of a monolayer TiO2, but in a special, rather unreactive - tetrahedrally coordinated - form. When oxygen vacancies are created in this layer, they move to the SrTiO3 interface, where the resulting excess electrons form a two-dimensional gas (2DEG). Zhiming Wang, Stefan Gerhold and Bernhard Stöger from the surface physics group have measured the electronic structure of this electron gas at the synchrotron Bessy in Berlin. (There they also took the happy photo at the right.) Different from other, known 2DEG's, this system shows a pronounced anisotropy that is depends on the doping level. The experimental results are complemented by theoretical calculations by Zhicheng Zhong and Karsten Held at the Institute of Solid State Physics, and Xianfeng Hao and Cesare Franchini, Computational Materials Physics, University of Vienna.

The results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Link to original publication
TU press release · Der Standard · die Presse

Surface Science Plays Soccer

Soccer - Austrians vs. foreigners 2014-Nov-27

  • We have been challenged to play soccer ('football' for the Brits amongst us) by the Solid State Theory group. So we have been practicing. The first time, the old people won against the young'uns. The second time the Österreicher against the Ausländer.

Lise Meitner Lecture

Lise Meitner Lecture Flyer 2014-Nov-12

Two Visiting Professors

2013-November-05 Visiting Professors

Alex Riss is Back!

2013-October-21 Alex

COST - Vera Mansfeldova

2013-October-11 Vera

Dr. Zbynek Novotny

2013-September-3 Dr. Z

  • Zbynek Novotny successfully defends his dissertation entitled 'The Reconstructed Fe3O4(001) Surface as an Adsorption Template'. Prof. Igor Shvets from Trinity College, Dublin, serves as the second examiner. After the successful defense, Zbynek throws a great party with lots of Czech beer. Well, done, Z!

Vacancies Marching to the Top

STM image of oxygen on an anatase surface 2014-Sep-02

  • Anatase, a form of titanium dioxide (TiO2) is used in (photo)catalysis and many other applications. The interaction of oxygen molecules with this material is of central importance. How this happens on the atomic scale was investigated in experiments by Martin Setvin of the Surface Physics group and calculations by Annabella Selloni (Princeton University) and coworkers. It was found that O2 interacts with oxygen vacancies in the material, resulting in O2 (peroxo) molecules incorporated in the surface.
    These results were published in the prestigious journal Science.

Abstract with link to full text
TU press releasePrinceton press releaseyoutube video
Articles in the media: Chemical & Engineering Newsder Standard (German)ORF (German)

New PhD Student

2013-Aug-1 Jan Balajka

  • Jan Balajka joins our group as a PhD student. Together with Stijn Mertens, he will work on electrochemical studies of oxides.

Gareth Parkinson Wins Postdoc Competition

Winner certificate for Gareth Parkinson 2013-Jul-25

  • Last week, Gareth was selected as the winner of the US Department of Energy Postdoctoral Researcher Competition at the EFRC PI meeting in Washington DC. There he gave a talk entitled “Adsorbate Induced Adatom Mobility in a Model Catalyst: Pd/Fe3O4.”

Visit by Minister Töchterle

Group photo with Minister Töchterle 2013-Jul-04

  • Today, our group was honored by a visit of the Austrian Federal Minister for Science and Research, Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Töchterle. He visited our labs and discussed ongoing and planned research with group members.

TU press release

New Post-Doc



  • Margareta Wagner joins the group as a post-doc. She graduated from the University of Graz, where she worked with Falko Netzer and Mike Ramsey.

Wittgenstein Prize for Ulrike Diebold

Press Conference with Minister Töchterle 2013-Jun-17

  • Ulrike Diebold is awarded this year's Wittgenstein Prize, the highest science prize of Austria. The 1.5-million EUR prize is awarded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and sometimes referred to as “Austria's Nobel Prize”. The prize money will boost research in the Surface Physics group.

Press releases: FWF englishgerman

Media coverage: ORFder Standarddie PresseKurierWiener Zeitung

The Dance of the Atoms

The Fe3O4 experts at the STM 2013-Jun-10

  • Metals such as gold or palladium are often used as catalysts to speed up certain chemical reactions. When the atoms ball together, most of them do not get into contact with the surrounding gas any more and the catalytic effect diminishes drastically. The mechanism of clustering is not well understood, however. In an article published in the prestigious journal Nature Materials, Gareth Parkinson and co-workers report on a detailed study of this issue; they have followed the fate of each surface atom and analyze how they are affected by different gas atmospheres. They find carbon monoxide to bind strongly to palladium atoms, helping them to move across the surface.

The article in Nature Materials (subscription required)
TU press release englishgermanyoutube video

Prof. Zhiqiang Mao


Zhiqiang Mao on the roof

  • Prof. Zhiqiang Mao, Tulane University, visits the group and gives a joint IAP/FOXSI seminar entitled 'Novel Quantum Phenomena in Perovskite Ruthenates'

Gordon Research Conference


Beautiful Switzerland

  • Ulli, Martin and Margareta (a prospective new group member) attend the Gordon Research Conference on “Chemical Reactions at Surfaces” in Diablerets, Switzerland for a week of great talks in a spectacular setting.

Ulrike Diebold receives Adamson Award from the American Chemical Society

Adamson Medal


  • Ulrike Diebold was awarded the 2013 Arthur W. Adamson Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Surface Chemistry from the American Chemical Society (ACS) for “significantly advancing the fundamental understanding of the surface chemistry of metal oxides, in particular TiO2, through excellent research, writing, and lecturing.” She received the award during the 245th National ACS Meeting in New Orleans, USA, April 7-11, 2013. At the meeting, a five-session symposium was held in her honor, with contributions from more than 40 scientists from the US, Europe, and Asia.

Adamson Award · TU press release (in German)

Stefan Gerhold Becomes PhD student


Stefan & Birgit after the defense

  • Stefan Gerhold successfully defends his diploma thesis on SrTiO3 surfaces. Here you can see him, happy and proud, with his girlfriend Birgit. Stefan continues working with us as a PhD student.

A Busy March


Killing time while waiting for the power outage

New PhD Student



  • Roland Bliem joins the group. He will be working with Gareth and Oscar on the Fe3O4 project.

Erasmus Students From Brno


The Brno Gang

  • We welcome Jonas Gloss, Jan Hulva, and Petr Mares, physics students from Brno University of Technology. They will be working with us for the next 6 months.

PLD Course at TSST


delicate workblack men watching

  • Ulrike, Zhiming, and Stefan attend a course at Twente University on 'Advanced Laser Deposition of Complex Oxides'. It included changing the filament in the RHEED gun and watching how SrRuO3 grows on SrTiO3.

Ilaria Valenti Visits the Group


Happy in the lab

Philipp Scheiber Defends his Thesis

2012-November-29 Philipp

  • Philipp Scheiber successfully defends his dissertation entitled 'Defects and Adsorption at Titanium Dioxide Surfaces'. Here is Philipp, with outside examiner, Prof. Vladimir Matolin from Charles University in Prague, enjoying a well-deserved drink.

New Group Members


  • Oscar Gamba Vasquez, a PhD student from Colombia, and two Master's students from Austria, Daniel Halwidl and Benjamin Daniel, join the group.

Stijn Mertens Joins the Surface Physics Group

2012-November-01 Stijn

  • We extend a warm welcome to Dr. Stijn Mertens, who joins us from the KU Leuven. He will spearhead our new efforts in electrochemical STM.

In Carnunto

2012-October-01 Ancient Roman Physicists

More Meetings ...


  • Several group members attended the annual project meeting of our SFB FOXSI at Burg Schlaining, where Zhiming Wang, Bernhard Stöger, and Stefan Gerhold presented their latest results.
  • Other members of our group went to Prague to attend a COST Action meeting. Martin Setvin, Zbyněk Novotný, and Jiří Pavelec gave presentations.
  • The rest of us stayed home and worked in the lab.

Annual Meeting of the Austrian Physical Society

2012-September-21 Discussion after Jake's talk. Those who left on Friday at Schlossberg.

  • Our group visited the Annual Meeting of the Austrian Physics Society at Graz. Talks were given by Bernhard Stöger, Jake (Joong-Il) Choi and Zbyněk Novotný. Stefan Gerhold and Jiří Pavelec presented posters.

The Group at ECOSS 2012 in Edinburgh

2012-September-10 ECOSS 2012.

  • Zhiming Wang, Martin Setvin, Jiri Pavelec, Zbynek Novotny, and Bernhard Stöger attend this year's ECOSS conference.

Ulrike and Gareth Give Invited Talks


  • Ulrike Diebold and Gareth Parkinson gave invited talks at the 224th American Chemical Society Meeting in Philadelphia (Aug. 20 - 24), and at the SPIE Conference in San Diego, respectively. Both spoke about our newest results on Fe3O4.

Gareth and Zbynek Visit Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

2012-August-15 Gareth, Zbynek and Juan in LBNL.

  • Gareth and Zbynek spent one week in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Together with Juan de la Figurea, they did SP-LEEM experiments on Fe3O4.

Article on Zirconia Films Selected as Editor's Suggestion


  • Our article “Pt3Zr(0001): A substrate for growing well-ordered ultrathin zirconia films by oxidation”, Phys. Rev. B 86, 035451 (2012), was selected Editor's Suggestion, indicating that the editors and referees find the article of particular interest, importance, or clarity.

Gareth Gets FWF Funding

  • Gareth Parkinson has been awarded nearly 200k by the FWF to investigate the surface chemistry of Fe3O4 surfaces.

Iris Wins our Euro Cup Bet


  • Iris Dorner, who is doing her Bachelor thesis in our group, wins our Euro-cup bet hands down with 33 points. She receives the jackpot and treats us all for beer!

Zbynek Novotny Attends Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates

Here is Z, meeting future Nobel Laureates. 2012-July-04

  • From 1 to 6 July 2012, more than 25 Nobel Laureates and more than 580 young researchers from all over the world met at Lindau, Germany, to exchange ideas, discuss projects and build international networks. IAP graduate student Zbynek Novotny was selected to attend this meeting, which was dedicated to physics.

Click here for more information about the Lindau meetings

Annabella Selloni Visits us


  • Prof. Annabella Selloni of Princeton University vists our group during the week of June 25. She gives a joint IAP/SFB FOXSI seminar and we discuss our joint research on anatase surfaces.

Selloni's homepage

Jonas and Jan are here for the summer!

June 2012 Jonas Gloss and Jan Hulva

  • Jonas Gloss and Jan Hulva, physics students from Brno, are joining our group for the summer months. They are helping Jiri setting up a new chamber. Here is a picture:

Ulrike Diebold elected to the Austrian Academy of Sciences


  • The Austrian Academey of Sciences elected Ulrike Diebold as a 'corresponding member' in the class of natural sciences, exact sciences, and medicine.

Press release of the ÖAW
Press release of the TU Wien

Ulli is being warmly welcomed into the ranks of the ÖAW:

Single Gold Atoms

STM image of gold on magnetite

  • In the latest issue of Physical Review Letters [Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 216103 (2012)], Zbyněk Novotný and colleagues describe the discovery of highly stable single gold atoms on a magnetite (Fe3O4) surface. This observation is expected to facilitate catalysis research: On the other substrates studied so far, gold atoms don't stay alone but easily form large clusters, which are considered less active catalysts than single atoms.

Press release of the TU Wien
APS Physics article
Chemical&Engineering News article
Articles in the media: ORF Science, Wiener Zeitung, der Standard, Deutschlandradio, phys.org, nanowerk, …

ERC Advanced Grant for Ulrike Diebold

ERC logo

  • Ulrike Diebold has received a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant for her project OxideSurfaces, which will be funded with up to 2.5M Euro, and will run over 5 years. The project focuses on metal oxides. These materials have an extremely wide range of physical and chemical properties, and are used in catalysis, solar cells, batteries, gas sensors, and many other technical areas. Research topics are the interaction between bulk and surface defects, complex oxides, and she will also aim at scanning probe microscopy of oxides with atomic resolution in an aqueous solution.

Press release of the TU Wien
Newspaper article in "Der Standard"
Newspaper article in "Die Presse"
Further online article

Ulrike Diebold Divisional Associate Editor of PRL

Ulrike Diebold. Photo (C): Matthias Heisler, WIT Projekt TU Wien 2012-Jan-13

  • Ulrike Diebold received an invitation to join the editorial board of Physical Review Letters (PRL). She will act as an associate editor for the Material Physics Division from 2012 - 2014. PRL reports on the 'hottest and newest' in all of physics, from high-energy to solid state to astrophysics. It is the most highly-respected journal in physics, and serving on its board is a true honor.

New Doctoral College'SolidFun'


  • The Austrian Fund for (FWF) has approved a new doctoral program 'Building Solids for Function' 'SolidFun'. The program will be providing students with the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary research. Groups from chemistry, physics, and electrical engineering departments at the TU are participating. The Surface Physics Group at IAP, headed by Ulrike Diebold, will also be part of this new doctoral program. The application process will start this Spring.

Post-Prof. Peter Varga

Post-Professor Peter Varga 2011-Sep-30

Ulrike on stage in the opera

Ulrike Diebold giving a plenary talk at the ECOSS-28 in Wrocław 2011-Sep-01

  • In an unusual location, the Opera House of Wrocław, Poland, Professor Ulrike Diebold gave a plenary talk at Europe's largest conference on surface science, ECOSS-28. The topic of Ulrike's talk was the Surface Science of Metal Oxides; she discussed recent progress, challenges, and opportunities in this area. The ECOSS-28 conference was attended by more than 650 participants, including IAP members Michael Schmid, Zbyněk Novotný, Philipp Scheiber, Gareth Parkinson, Peter Jacobson, and Sameena Shah Zaman, who also gave presentations on their recent research.

New research program on oxides

Research topics in the SFB 2011-Mar-15

  • Today is the official start of the Sonderforschungsbereich (SFB) “Functional Oxide Surfaces and Interfaces”. Results of this four-million-Euro research program are expected to have an impact on applications in catalysis, gas sensing, fuel cells and microelectronics. The SFB unites researchers from the TU Wien and the Universities of Vienna, Innsbruck and Siegen (Germany). Three of the ten project leaders in the SFB are members of our institute, two of them in Surface Physics group! Ulrike Diebold will work on pervoskites, Michael Schmid will study ultrathin zirconia films, and Josef Redinger (CMS group) leads the theory part and. See the TU Wien press release (in German) and the abstract of the SFB for more details.

Honorary Doctorate for Peter Varga

Conferment ceremony 2010-May-28

  • In the Cathedral of Lund, in a grand ceremony, Peter Varga was conferred an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Lund, Sweden. The degree was awarded for his outstanding contributions to materials science on the atomic scale.

The dance of molecules

2010-May-14 Catechol adsorbed on TiO2

  • Newly appointed professor Ulrike Diebold has discovered that hydrogen bonding plays a key role in the diffusion of organic molecules across solid surfaces. By gaining and losing hydrogen atoms, catechol molecules rotate in a dance-like motion along the titanium rows of a TiO2 surface. These results have been published in the prestigious journal Science [Li et al., Science 328, 882-884 (2010)]. The work was also featured in Chemical and Engineering News [C&EN 88, 29 (2010)].

Newly appointed professor of surface science

Ulrike Diebold 2010-Jan-04

  • Prof. Ulrike Diebold has moved from Tulane University (New Orleans, LA, USA) to TU Wien and started her position as full professor of surface science at our institute. Welcome to the Surface Physics group!

Academy of Sciences Member

Michael Schmid 2007-Dec-14

Oxide structures of catalysts disentangled

atomic structure of alumina 2007-Jul-16

  • By scanning tunneling microscopy Peter Varga und Michael Schmid and members of their Surface Physics Group have revealed the atomic structure of oxides used in catalysts. See the press release.

Silver jubilee without silver

PRL 97, 046101 (2006) 2006-Jul-28

  • The Surface Physics Group celebrates its 25th publication in Physical Review Letters. Congratulations!
    The 25th PRL isn't about silver; although one might expect this for a silver jubilee; oxidation of silver happened to be the topic of the 24th PRL of this group.

surface/news/archive.txt · Last modified: 2023-10-16 21:44 (external edit)