Research Topics

The research focus of our group “Nanostructuring and Scanning Probe Techniques” ( is on fabrication, analysis, properties and applications of functional nanostructures. We develop the corresponding techniques for nanolithography (“Top-Down Approach”) as well as novel processes for nanostructure formation by self-organization (“Bottom-Up Approach”). The Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is used both for structuring and imaging.
The developments of our group, which lead to 20 patents filed so far, include the world´s smallest transistor, a novel process allowing for nanocontact printing and crystalline nanowires with 30-fold increased mechanical yield strength.


Schema atomarer TransistorAtomic-Scale Electronics – Switching Quantum Currents with Individual Atoms

Thomas Schimmel and Fangqing Xie

The Atomic Transistor. The controlled repositioning of one single silver atom allows for the reversible opening and closing of an electronic circuit.

Schema atomarer TransistorNanoanalytics and Nanolithography with Scanning Probe Techniques

Nanoanalytics and nanolithography via AFM. Functional chemical patterns on surfaces can be written and subsequently imaged with the same AFM tip.

Schema atomarer Transistor(Bio)functional and Biomimetic Nanostructured Surfaces

Pattern formation of the nanometer scale by self-organization. An example for biofunctional films is shown.

Schema atomarer TransistorPattern Formation and Self-Organization on the Nanometer Scale

Pattern formation of the nanometer scale by self-organization. An example is shown for metallic nanowires.