Nano Characterization Unit
Advanced Key Technologies Division

Surface Characterization Group

Most of the physical properties and novel functionalities of materials are manifested in surface, interface and sub-surface regions under specific environments. In the case of material synthesis, environments such as vacuum, atmosphere, molecular beam, plasma, photon, and so on are used. Various processes such as nanofabrication, thin film growth, oxidation and reduction, etching, and so on are occurring at surfaces and in the neighborhoods. Therefore, the state of the art characterization technologies are needed in order to fundamentally understand the topmost surfaces and sub-surfaces, which play a key role of material characteristics. In this group, development of the advanced surface characterization technologies is carrying out in order to understand structures, states, physical properties, functionalities, and reactions at surfaces. We are developing the surface-sensitive multifunction nanoprobes combined with extreme environments to clarify the structure and the feature of the low-dimensional nanostructures. Moreover, it is carrying forward the development of ultrafast characterization technology which has a temporal resolution in femto second to clarify basic physical properties such as carrier transport and interaction with lattice phonons in the sub-surface regions.

Specialized Research Field

Advanced surface nanoprobe technology

Material surface is the main stage showing various features such as photochemical reaction and catalytic process. At the same time, it is active place of synthesis, manipulation and fabrication at the nanoscale. Therefore, novel nanoprobe microscopes working in the controlled environments are demanded, where temperature, pressure, magnetic field, stress-strain, photon dose, and so on are field parameters. For example, to atomically analyze low-dimensional nano-objects such as 2-D graphene that are expected as the next generation electronic materials, ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) for the clean surface creation is indispensable. To search novel nano functionalities, ultralow temperature (ULT) and variable high-magnetic field (HMF) are necessary since they can promote the appearance of quantum-mechanical effects. Thus, we have developed a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) which can be operated in the combined extreme fields of UHV, ULT and HMF to clarify the structure and the feature of the nano-objects. We have achieved a local density of states mapping by the atomic resolution in the high magnetic field (16 T) under UHV and ULT conditions.

Group Leader

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