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The research programs of LSS members is varied, including the growth and characterization of new materials, the development of experimental and theoretical techniques, and investigation of both basic and applied aspects of the physics and chemistry of nanostructured systems.

Historically a major thrust of research within LSS – one that continues to this day – is the development and application of experimental and theoretical techniques for the structural determination of crystalline solids, surfaces, nano heterostructures, and single (biological) molecules. Techniques include LEED, high resolution electron microscopy, x-ray and photoelectron diffraction, and scanning tunneling probes. More recently, there has been an emphasis on spectroscopies (STS, infrared, Raman, XAS/XMCD, ARPES) and transport measurements to probe the electronic and magnetic properties. There continues to be a close coupling of the experimental and theoretical efforts.

Although research topics evolve rapidly, some broadly defined areas of research of LSS members include:

  • Development of coatings
  • Nanostructured materials
  • Magnetic semiconductors
  • Oxide materials
  • Dirac materials (graphene and topological insulators)
  • Application of condensed matter approaches to biological systems
  • Frictional properties/tribology
  • Molecular electronics
  • Catalysis