Auwärter Group

Our research focuses on the creation of nanoscale systems on atomically tailored surfaces, enabling the control and characterization of functional properties with sub-nm resolution. Currently, we explore hybrid structures based on 2D materials and self-assembled supramolecular architectures. 

Examples of topics related to quantum materials we are interested in are:

Atomically thin quantum materials

The structural and electronic properties of 2D materials and nanostructures can be tailored by the interaction with a supporting bulk material, by doping using heteroatoms, and by the formation of interfaces. We address the resulting physical phenomena as quantum confinement with sub-nm and meV resolution, employing scanning probe spectroscopy. The example in the figure represents field emission resonances of a nanostructured boron nitride sheet on a copper support. Besides this insulating material, further systems of interest include semimetallic graphene, semiconducting silicon carbide, silicene, and heterostructures thereof, giving access to tailored interfaces and defect states.

Selected publications

  • Control of molecular organization and energy level alignment by an electronically nanopatterned boron nitride template, ACS Nano 8, 430 (2014)
  • Controlling coordination reactions and assembly on a Cu(111) supported boron nitride monolayer, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 137, 2420 (2015) 

Hybrid architectures

Metal-organic complexes represent versatile molecular spin systems with manifold prospects for quantum materials. For example, rare-earth sandwich compounds can serve as molecular magnets, switches and qubits. The combination of such coordination complexes and their assemblies with 2D materials and nanoribbons is anticipated to yield hybrid architectures and materials with new properties. To create and engineer these model systems, we employ the bottom-up synthesis of tailored sandwich structures and related complexes representing candidates for quantum bits, and exploit self-assembly protocols yielding distinct networks and ordered arrays thereof.

Selected publications

  • Fusing tetrapyrroles to graphene edges by surface-assisted covalent coupling, Nature Chemistry 9, 33 (2017)
  • Assembly and manipulation of cerium-porphyrinato sandwich complexes on a surface, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 50, 3872 (2011)

Prof. Willi Auwärter


TU Munich

Department of Physics

James-Franck-Str. 1

Garching, 85747, Germany

Phone: +49 (0) 89 289 12399



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