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Going further than skin-deep

A penetrating look at innovative materials

Munich, 09/02/2011

An international team of researchers, including LMU  physical chemists Dr. Jan Minár, apl. Professor Jürgen Braun and Professor Hubert Ebert, has shown how to obtain (quite literally) deeper insights into the structure and behavior of nanomaterials than ever before. The team, which was led by investigators based at the University of California in Davis and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, exploited a widely used method called angle-resolved photoemission, in which X-rays are used to determine the electronic structure of crystalline materials as for example semiconductors. The new technique allows one to measure parameters like conductivity and magnetic properties, while the conventional approach is essentially restricted to probing the surface of the test material. Using more energetic sources of X-rays, the recent study demonstrates that it is possible to penetrate beyond the surface and obtain a more accurate picture of bulk electronic structure. The group at LMU contributed theoretical models which helped the team to interpret the new data.  By permitting scientists to characterize novel materials in greater detail than hitherto, the work will facilitate the design of new molecular architectures for use in chemistry, electronics and energy production. (suwe/PH)

Probing bulk electronic structure with hard X-ray angle-resolved photoemission
A.X. Gray
Nature Materials online, 14. August 2011

Professor Hubert Ebert
Department of Chemistry, LMU Munich
Phone: +49 89 2180 77583
Fax: +49 89 2180 77584

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