Surface sTructure and Reactivity at the Atomic Scale (STRAS) | Doctoral Programme Skip to content Skip to navigation

Surface sTructure and Reactivity at the Atomic Scale (STRAS)


We are an experimental research group, involving researchers of both the CNR-IOM and the University of Trieste, focused at investigating the structural and electronic properties of solid surfaces down to the atomic scale, with specific interest in describing their evolution during surface processes (e.g. bond formation, growth, chemical reactions). In particular, our current research activities focus on 2D materials growth and properties, organic heterostructures, and catalytic processes. Our laboratory hosts a Variable Temperature (VT-STM) and a Low Temperature (LT-STM) Scanning Tunneling Microscope, capable of characterizing both structural and electronic modifications at the atomic scale in a wide temperature range and with the possibility of fast acquisition to obtain STM movies of the investigated processes. Complementary conventional or synchrotron radiation spectroscopic measurements are also performed. Experimental results are often compared to ab-initio calculations performed by collaborating theoretical groups.

The activity is carried out at the STM-STRAS laboratory at CNR-IOM.


Real-time imaging and model of adatom-promoted graphene growth on nickel.
(Top) Selected frames from an STM movie acquired during graphene growth
at 710K (frame rate 60 Hz). White arrows indicate growing events promoted
by a Ni adatom (brighter feature temporarily present at the edge).
(Bottom) Ni adatoms diffusing on the Ni(111) surface towards the kinks
at a graphene edge. A representative MD trajectory is shown.
[L. L. Patera et al., Science 359, 1243-1246 (2018)]



Cristina Africh

Giovanni Comelli
Department of Physics
University of Trieste

Last updated on: 06/08/2020 - 16:25