Molecular manipulation

Once we can freely arrange and combine even a handful of atoms and molecules, a myriad of designer quantum systems can be constructed and studied. In our group, we address the major challenges of SPM-based molecular manipulation in an interdisciplinary approach including experiments, simulations, machine learning and control theory.

Group leader: Dr. Christian Wagner

Members:
Dr. Hadi Arefi
Marvin Knol, M.Sc.
Rustem Bolat, M.Sc.
Joshua Scheidt, M.Sc.

Dr. Christian Wagner

Learning and control for molecular nanofabrication

Learning and control for molecular nanofabrication

To advance the field of SPM-based fabrication of molecular nanostructures, we introduce machine learning and control theory to the field. For example, we pioneered autonomous nanofabrication using a reinforcement learning agent and combined machine learning and control theory both to reveal molecular conformations during manipulation and to speed up scanning quantum dot microscopy.

Theory of molecular manipulation

Theory of molecular manipulation

Using density functional theory and molecular mechanics simulations, we study the properties of metastable molecular conformations created by single-molecule manipulation with scanning probe microscopes (SPM).

Scanning Quantum Dot Microscopy (SQDM)

Scanning Quantum Dot Microscopy (SQDM)

Our single-molecule manipulation experiments have led us to the discovery of a new scanning probe technique that is able to image nanoscale variations of the electrostatic potential of surfaces with very high sensitivity and spatial resolution.

Controlled manipulation of large molecules

Fabrication of atomic-scale quantum structures

Using SPM for controlled single-molecule and atom manipulation, we search for new ways of fabricating surface structures whose quantum properties can be exploited for fundamental studies of quantum entanglement, possibly leading to future applications in quantum technology.