- We are interested in physics and chemistry of single crystal surfaces, in particular in epitaxial self-assembly of functional nanostructures: their nucleation, growth, properties, and characterization. For example, we are currently focusing on magnetic nanostructures.
- Surface atomistic processes and phenomena such as adsorption, desorption, diffusion, segregation, nucleation and growth, phase transitions, self-assembly and self-organization at surface steps and terraces, play a key role in homo- and hetero-epitaxial crystal growth, heterogeneous catalysis, and other fields important in science and technology.
- We explore the effects of epitaxial strain due to lattice or symmetry mismatch on the growing layer or island crystalline perfection, size, defects, and properties. For example, Ge/Si(001) is a classical example of a Stranski-Krastanov growth, where the initial two-dimensional wetting layer grows pseudomorphically, i.e.strained due to 4.2% Ge/Si lattice mismatch, and then when certain critical layer thickness is exceeded – three dimensional pyramidal or hut-shape nanometric islands nucleate on top of it (Fig. 1 ).
- We are especially interested in mesoscopic and nanoscopic self-ordering of epitaxial islands
in geometrically well-defined patterns, using self-templated substrates, e.g., stepped vicinal surfaces, as exemplified by self-ordering of CoSi2 nanoislands (ordered CoSi2 islands in the bottom figure.