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Our group focuses its research activities in the following lines:
- Magnetism scaled down to the atomic-scale limits: The foundations of magnetic materials are based on quantum phenomena dictating (i) how the spin and orbital momentum of electrons in atoms rearrange and realign in the solid, and (ii) how they couple among each other. The goal of our research in this area is to characterize different methods for magnetic coupling between individual magnetic atoms to create atomic-scale structure with novel magnetic properties.
- Optics at the nanoscale: The interaction of light with structures much smaller than its wavelength, i.e. far below the diffraction limit, is enhanced by the excitation of plasmons, which mediate the energy exchange between photons and electrons. As the size of metal nanostructures and optoelectronic nanodevices approaches atomic-scale dimensions, quantization effects in their electronic and plasmon structure gain increasing relevance in light scattering. Our research aims at creating a bridge connecting atomic-scale spectroscopy with optics to resolve at the atomic scale both the electronic structure and light scattering/emission by the atomic-sized antennas in response to optical/electron excitations.
- Molecular physics on surfaces: The function of a molecular material is strongly modified at the interface with a metal surface in such a way that the concept of hybrid interfaces is coined to better describe these systems. We study phenomena like charge redistribution, electron localization, spontaneous spin polarization, anomalous chemical reactivity, or molecular conformational modifications occurring on such hybrid systems with the goal of exploring new magnetic, optical, or chemical functionality of the films.