Low temperature SPM
Our lab houses a commercial UHV-LT- NC-AFM/STM (Createc). In the MoMaLab we connect this instrument with a virtual reality human interface consisting of a motion capture system (VICON) and a fully immersive head-mounted 3D display (Oculus Rift DK2). This allows controlling of the SPM tip position in 3D simply by hand motion. The display shows the live trajectory and measurement data but can also show previously recorded data for reference. The virtual reality interface is also connected to our real-time simulation of the manipulation process such that an intuitive interaction is possible. Thereby we can gain real intuition for the mechanics at the nanometer scale.
Motion capture systemOne of the paramount goals in nanotechnology is molecular-scale functional design, which includes arranging molecules into complex structures at will. The first steps towards this goal were made through the invention of the scanning probe microscope (SPM), which put single-atom and single-molecule manipulation into practice for the first time. Extending the controlled manipulation to larger molecules is expected to multiply the potential of engineered nanostructures. We enhance the SPM technique that makes the manipulation of large molecular adsorbates much more effective. By using a commercial motion tracking system, we couple the movements of an operator's hand to the sub-angstrom precise positioning of an SPM tip. Literally moving the tip by hand we write a nanoscale structure in a monolayer of large molecules, thereby showing that our method allows for the successful execution of complex manipulation protocols even when the potential energy surface that governs the interaction behaviour of the manipulated nanoscale object(s) is largely unknown.
 Moving Molecules by Hand, Beilstein TV Video Feature (2015)
Patterning a hydrogen-bonded molecular monolayer with a hand-controlled scanning probe microscope by M. F. B. Green et al., Beilstein J. Nanotechnol. 5, 1926 (2014)
Oculus rift VR displayBy adding Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles to our hand-controlled manipulation setup we provide the experimentalist with 3D visual feedback that displays the currently executed tip trajectory and the position of the SPM tip during manipulation in real time, while simultaneously plotting the experimentally measured frequency shift (Δf) of the non-contact atomic force microscope (NC-AFM) tuning fork sensor as well as the magnitude of the electric current (I) flowing between the tip and the surface. Furthermore, one has the option to load and display previously recorded trajectories for reference.
Virtual reality visual feedback for hand-controlled scanning probe microscopy manipulation of single molecules by P. Leinen et al., Beilstein J. Nanotechnol. 6, 2148 (2015)
▶December 19th, 2020
Postdoc position availableget more information.
▶October 22nd, 2020Congratulations to F. Stefan Tautz for being a winner at the Falling Walls and Berlin Science Week in the category Engineering and Technology. Watch the Online live-stream session Breaking the Wall of Building with Molecules
▶September 2nd, 2020Introducing machine learning to the nanoscale: "Autonomous robotic nanofabrication with reinforcement learning" Read at Science Advances Press release
▶July 2020Our Helmholtz-AI project MomoNano (together with HZB and TU-Berlin) successfully competed for a three year funding by the Helmholtz Association.
▶October 23th, 2019We have been granted another 3.5 Mio core‑h on JURECA.
▶June 27th, 2019"The theory of scanning quantum dot microscopy" Read at J Phys. Cond. Mat.
▶June 10th, 2019New scanning quantum dot microscopy (SQDM) paper online. Quantitative measurements of surface potentials and dipoles. New window to the nanoscale world. Read at Nature Materials Read full-text w/o subscription Press release