We investigate magnetic phenomena in materials with tailored structural and electronic properties, focusing on interface systems spanning the range from single atoms and molecules to multilayer films. Here, the microscopic interplay of structure, size, and electronic effects determines the emergence of magnetic and transport properties that have no counterpart in bulk magnets. Specific areas of interest include:
Magnetic multilayers for spintronic devices
Magnetic impurities as model quantum systems
Molecular magnets for hybrid materials
Our experiments aim at finding efficient ways to control the magnetization in these systems, either by tuning material parameters such as the composition, thickness, and lateral size, or by external means such as electric currents and fields. Related technology issues include the development of integrated spintronic devices, storage media, and nanoscale magnets.
In addition to these topics, we investigate the way in which thin films grow, e.g., by molecular beam epitaxy, as well as the surface-directed self-assembly of nanostructures and metal-organic networks. Our experimental tools include magneto-transport and magneto-optic probes, scanning tunneling microscopy, and polarized x-ray absorption spectroscopy.