SPM: Scanning Probe Microscopy Theory & Nanomechanics Group
Forces and Transport in Nanostructures



Ramón y Cajal Fellow (Tenure track),

Condensed Matter Theory Department,

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Contact Information:

Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Campus de Cantoblanco, E-28049 Madrid

Departamento de Física Teórica de la Materia Condensada

Office: 01.05.608

Phone: (+34) 91 497 2829

Email: pablo.pou



Our work is focused on ab initio modelling of different problems in Materials Science and Nanotechnology that involve forces and currents at the atomic scale. In particular, we try to understand and develop new capacities for the basic tools in Nanotechnology, the Scanning Probe Microscopes (SPMs), that enable us to use currents and forces to visualize and manipulate matter at the nanoscale.

We work, in close collaboration with experimental groups worldwide, in topics such as:

1. Scanning Tunneling (STM) and Atomic Force (AFM) Microscopes: Atomic contrast, energy dissipation mechanisms and nanomanipulation.
2. Nanomechanics: Fracture. Friction and Wear at the atomic scale. Mechanical and Transport properties of nanocontacts.
3. Adsorption, reactivity, and self-organization of fullerenes and other organic molecules on surfaces.

We use a suite of total-energy methods based in Density Functional Theory (DFT) , --from very efficient codes based on local orbitals (like FIREBALL and OPENMX) to more accurate implementations based on a plane-wave basis (CASTEP, VASP)-- in order to provide a realistic description of the mechanical and electronic properties. The transport properties are calculated with a non-equilibrium Green's function formalism, that can be naturally linked with the local orbital DFT methods.

Recent Research Highlights

Y. Sugimoto, P. Pou, O. Custance, P. Jelinek, M. Abe, R. Perez and S. Morita
Complex patterning by vertical interchange atom manipulation using atomic force microscopy
Science 322, 413-417 (2008)    Read more.    (DOI link)    (pdf)

Y. Sugimoto,P. Jelinek, P.Pou, M. Abe, R. Perez, S. Morita and O. Custance
Chemical identification of individual surface atoms by atomic force microscopy
Nature 446, 64-67 (2007)    Read more.    (DOI link)    (pdf)