This area of research involves nanoscale studies of electronic properties of polar materials (multiferroics, III-nitrides semiconductors, electroactive polymers) by a variety of SPM methods (conductive-tip atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning Kelvin probe microscopy (SKPM), electrostatic force microscopy (EFM)). Surface charge and surface potential of polar materials offer new possibilities for unique set of applications, including molecular self-assembly, local physical adsorption/desorption, polarization-driven surface chemical reactions, and manipulation of individual biomolecules. We investigate polarization-specific interactions between polar surfaces and dipolar molecules and charged nanoparticles to establish criteria for fabrication of nanoscale structures during liquid phase processing, photo-induced chemical reactions and thermal activation processes.

 SilverNanowire

Topographic image of a silver nanowire (70 nm wide) formed by photoinduced chemical reaction
on a polarization patterned surface of lithium niobate