Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Steinrück



Research Focus

Scientific Background

Surfaces are the outer boundary of any condensed material. They dominate the interaction with the environment and play a decisive role in numerous natural and technological processes, ranging from heterogeneous catalysis, sensor technology and nanotechnology to modern material science. Our activities focus in the area of surface and interface science with main research interests in:

  1. Development of new materials with novel electronic, geometric and chemical properties
  2. Investigation of elementary steps of surface reactions
  3. Construction of advanced scientific apparatus

These studies aim at a fundamental physical and chemical understanding of the mechanisms and processes involved, at an atomic level. For these investigations a large variety of experimental methods is applied, including synchrotron radiation based photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning electron and scanning tunneling microscopy, and molecular beam methods.

Research Highlights

The activities cover a number of different highlight topics: “Surface Science with porphyrins” pays specific attention to the synthesis of metallo-porphyrinoids by in-situ metallation on a surface, their formation of supramolecular networks, their internal conformation, their electronic interaction with metal substrates and the adsorption of small molecules at their metal center. “Surface Science with Ionic Liquids” addresses the systematic study of their surface composition, enrichment effects and the chemical reactivity of dissolved transition metal complexes. For the “Chemical modification of supported graphene” different preparation strategies are applied in order to achieve the desired properties. Our “In situ studies of surface reactions” focus on the investigation of surface processes in situ on timescales down to 1 sec by high-resolution XPS. By using “‘High pressure’ XPS” at pressures up to 1 mbar, i.e. in the so called ‘pressure gap’, we aim at bridging the gap between classical UHV experiments on model systems and the ambient conditions in real catalysis. “Electron beam induced deposition (EBID)” of precursor molecules allows to fabricate ultraclean metal and oxide nanostructures of arbitrary shape. And finally, “Ultrathin metal, alloy, and oxide films” deal with the preparation of such systems and the systematic variation of their electronic, geometric, and chemical properties.