Last News Items
- Publication of new SFB 1083 Image Brochure20. October 2021 - 08:25
- Polarization Resolved Optical Excitation of Charge-Transfer Excitons in PEN:PFP Cocrystalline Films: Limits of Nonperiodic Modeling– Publication by A2 (Witte)6. October 2021 - 10:44
- Ultrafast charge transfer in twisted TMDC heterostructures – Publication by B5 (Höfer/Mette)15. September 2021 - 08:30
- Engineering of Printable and Air-Stable Silver Electrodes with High Work Function using Contact Primer Layer: From Organometallic Interphases to Sharp Interfaces – Publication by A2 (Witte)6. September 2021 - 14:06
- Momentum-forbidden dark excitons in WS2 – Publication by B6 (Höfer/Wallauer) and B9 (Malic)25. June 2021 - 11:19
- SFB 1083 extended by four more years25. May 2021 - 09:30
- Biphenylene Network: A Nonbenzenoid Carbon Allotrope – Publication by A4 (Gottfried) and A8 (Koert/Dürr) in Science21. May 2021 - 08:00
- Turning at top speed – Publication by B11 (Güdde/Höfer) in Nature19. May 2021 - 17:00
- Quantitative Characterization of Nanometer-Scale Electric Fields via Momentum-Resolved STEM– Publication by A5 (Volz)8. March 2021 - 12:50
- Tracing orbital images on ultrafast time scales – Publication by B6 (Höfer/Wallauer) and A12 (Tautz/Bocquet/Kumpf) in Science19. February 2021 - 12:41
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SFB 1083 published a new image brochure introducing the projects and the principle investigators in the third funding period.
In October 2021, the SFB 1083 updated its image brochure to feature the goals and the focus of the research center in the third funding period. The image brochure gives a general introduction to the research on internal interfaces and portraits the participating researchers mainly for interested students and for the general public. The numbers on the SFB for the past two as well as the current funding period can also be found in the booklet.
The image brochure (German) can be downloaded here.
A printed version of the image brochure is available upon request.
Tel.: 06421 28-24223
In their combined experimental and theoretical study published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, the groups of Caterina Cocchi and Gregor Witte investigated the nature of charge transfer excitons in crystalline PEN:PFP heterostructures.
Charge-transfer excitons (CTX) at organic donor/acceptor interfaces are considered important intermediates for charge separation in photovoltaic devices. While typically blends are used in real solar cells, their mostly amorphous arrangement prevents microscopic insights into the nature of such CTX states. In contrast, crystalline model systems allow to derive structure-property interrelations and also enable detailed theoretical modeling based on the known molecular arrangement.
In this study Prof. Witte and coworkers characterized the CTX of the prototypical molecular donor/acceptor system pentacene:perfluoropentacene (PEN:PFP). Using template controlled co-crystalline films of different orientation, allowed to precisely determine the polarization of the CTX state from angular-resolved UV/Vis absorption spectroscopy. Complementary, this co-crystalline system was analyzed theoretically in the group of Prof. Cocchi (Oldenburg) by first-principles many-body calculations and solving the Bethe-Salpeter equation, which confirms that the lowest-energy excitation is a true CTX state with a polarization along the molecular stacking direction. In addition, it was shown that analogous simulations performed on bimolecular clusters are unable to reproduce this state, which is ascribed to the lack of long-range interactions and wave-function periodicity in these calculations and represents an important finding for the description of molecular donor/acceptor systems.
D. Günder, A.M. Valencia, M. Guerrini, T. Breuer, C. Cocchi, G. Witte
Polarization Resolved Optical Excitation of Charge-Transfer Excitons in PEN:PFP Cocrystalline Films: Limits of Nonperiodic Modeling
J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 12 (2021) 9899 DOI:10.1021/acs.jpclett.1c02761
Prof. Dr. Gregor Witte
SFB 1083 project A2
Tel.: 06421 28-21384
In a new publication in ACS Nano, Zimmermann and coworkers investigate ultrafast charge-transfer processes in twisted heterostructures of transition metal dichalcogenides by means of time-resolved SHG imaging microscopy.
Two-dimensional heterostructures of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDC) represent very well-defined and at the same time highly versatile model systems of van-der-Waals interfaces. Many material combinations feature a type-II band alignment, which can separate photoexcited electrons and holes into different layers through ultrafast charge transfer leading to the formation of so-called interlayer excitons. Since the coupling within these structures depends considerably on the layer stacking, a strong influence of the interlayer twist on the ultrafast charge-transfer, recombination and other properties of the interlayer excitons has been expected.
In their study, Zimmermann and coworkers have employed time- and polarization-resolved second-harmonic imaging microscopy to investigate the ultrafast charge-carrier dynamics across the MoS2/WSe2 heterostructure interface for different stacking configurations. The excellent time resolution made it possible to identify stacking-dependent differences in the ultrafast charge transfer that were not accessible in previous approaches. For lower excitation energies of 1.70 eV, ultrafast electron transfer from WSe2 to MoS2 is found to depend considerably on the stacking angle and the transfer time is reduced by a factor of seven when going from a larger rotational mismatch towards 2H-stacking. At higher excitation energies, hole transfer processes from MoS2 to hybridized states at the Γ-point and to the K-points of WSe2 have to be considered in addition. The respective decay dynamics, however, does not show a significant dependence on the stacking angle indicating that radiative recombination of indirect Γ-K excitons becomes the dominant decay route for all samples.
J.E. Zimmermann, M. Axt, F. Mooshammer, P. Nagler, C. Schüller, T. Korn, U. Höfer, G. Mette
Ultrafast Charge-Transfer Dynamics in Twisted MoS2/WSe2 Heterostructures
ACS Nano (2021) DOI:10.1021/acsnano.1c04549
Dr. Gerson Mette
SFB 1083 subproject B5
Tel.: 06421 28-24123
Felix Widdascheck, Daniel Bischof and Gregor Witte developed a robust method to prepare air-stable molecular contact primer layers allowing to reduce hole injection barriers of printable silver electrodes into organic semiconductors.
Contact engineering is an important issue for organic electronics as it allows to reduce charge carrier injection barriers. While the use of molecular contact primer layers was demonstrated in many concept studies for single crystalline model substrates, the processability of electrodes and their robustness in real devices must also be considered. Although silver electrodes can be printed using silver ink, their low work function and sensitivity to oxidation severely limits their use for printable organic electronics.
In this study Prof. Witte and his coworkers demonstrate that F6TCNNQ monolayers provide a reliable approach to engineer high work function silver electrodes, which is examined for Ag(111) as well as polycrystalline and silver ink substrates. Notably, upon multilayer growth, a pronounced intercalation of silver into the molecular adlayer occurs, yielding thermally stabilized organometallic interphases extending over the entire adlayer. It is shown that heating allows their controlled desorption leaving behind a well-defined monolayer that is further stabilized by additional charge transfer. Such primer layers enhance the work function to 5.5-5.6 eV and can even withstand air exposure but show no interdiffusion into subsequently deposited p-type organic semiconductor, hence validating their use for organic electronic devices.
For further information, please see the press release by the Philipps-Universität Marburg (in German).
F. Widdascheck, D. Bischof, G. Witte
Engineering of Printable and Air-Stable Silver Electrodes with High Work Function using Contact Primer Layer: From Organometallic Interphases to Sharp Interfaces
Adv. Funct. Mater. (2021) DOI:10.1002/adfm.202106687
Prof. Dr. Gregor Witte
SFB project A2
Tel.: 06421 28-21384
In a publication in Nano Letters, Robert Wallauer and co-workers trace the early-stage exciton dynamics in a two-dimensional semiconductor and report first results on the ultrafast formation of momentum-forbidden dark excitons.
Excitons that form out of electrons and holes at different locations of the Brillouin zone, so-called dark excitons, play a key role for the optical properties of TMDC monolayers in general and for the formation of interlayer excitons in TMDC heterostructures, in particular. Whereas dark excitations are difficult to access by purely optical experiments they can be imaged directly in momentum space by time- and angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy [Madéo et al., Science 370, 1199 (2020)]. With the superior time-resolution of the momentum microscope operated by B6 (Höfer/Wallauer), the dynamics of formation of a dark KΣ exciton could now be resolved for the first time.
The formation process occurs on timescales where coherence between valence and conduction band play a major role. The short pump pulses of the experiment induce an optical polarisation in the K valley. This polarisation was found to decay and form bright and dark excitons in a few tens of femtoseconds after optical excitation. A fully microscopic theory by B9 (Malic) revealed the influence of the coherence on the formation process of the excitons, in excellent agreement with the experiment that could tune the excitation energy. The high quality WS2-samples for the measurements were provided by the Huber group in Regensburg, who earlier succeeded in probing momentum-indirect excitons via the intraexcitonic 1s-2p transition [Poellmann et al., Nat. Mater. 14, 889 (2015)].
Future experiments of this kind will address the role of dark excitons in the formation process of interlayer excitons. The excellent agreement between experiment and theory in this work holds great promise to investigate such charge transfer processes on a microscopic level.
R. Wallauer, R. Perea-Causin, L. Münster, S. Zajusch, S. Brem, J. Güdde, K. Tanimura, K.-Q. Lin, R. Huber, E. Malic, U. Höfer
Momentum-resolved observation of exciton formation dynamics in monolayer WS2
Nano Lett. (2021) DOI:10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c01839
Dr. Robert Wallauer
SFB 1083 project B6
Tel.: 06421 28 21406
Prof. Dr. Ermin Malic
SFB 1083 project B9
Tel.: 06421 28 22640
The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) has granted the Collaborative Research Center SFB 1083 „Structure and Dynamics of Internal Interfaces“ 12.3 Million Euros for a third funding period from July 2021 to June 2025.
SFB 1083 was established at Philipps-Universität Marburg in 2013. It included a guest project from the Donostia-International Physics Center in San Sebastián, Spain. Meanwhile groups from the universities of Gießen, Leipzig and Münster as well as the Forschungszentrum Jülich participate in the center. From October 2013 to June 2021, Marburg and the participating institutions received DFG funding that amounts to 20.4 Million Euros. Together the researchers have published more than 330 scientific papers. For a report on the scientific activities from 2013 to 2019 see the activity report. A video clip, also available in German, explains the relevance of research on internal interfaces to the general public and highlights selected contributions of SFB 1083. With the new grant, SFB 1083 will be supported for altogether 12 years, the maximum funding period for a DFG Collaborative Research Center.
The 3rd SFB funding period will bring a number of changes. Kerstin Volz will become the new spokesperson and follow Ulrich Höfer, who initiated the SFB more than ten years ago and successfully guided it in the first and second funding period. Seven projects of the 2nd funding period will end, either because their principle investigators (PIs) reached retirement age, or because of a shift of scientific focus. Instead, eight new projects will become part of the center. Three of these new projects will be led by new PIs, namely Marina Gerhard, Jens Güdde and Ermin Malic. Altogether, SFB 1083 will consist of 19 scientific and three service projects in its last funding period. The projects will be led by 21 professors, senior scientists or junior group leaders. They will involve a total of about 80 scientists working in physics, chemistry and materials sciences.
Scientifically, the SFB will focus on a couple of new aspects in the coming years, such as the influence of the interface on lateral charge-carrier transport and the tailored synthesis at interfaces to design desired structures bottom-up. Research on interfaces of 2D materials, which started with the 2nd funding period in 2017, will be further extended. Last but not least, applications and devices will become more in to focus. The research on novel interface-dominated lasers will be intensified, including new material systems and emission wavelengths. Moreover, strong THz-emitters based on charge-carrier recombination across interfaces are included in the program due to promising results from the 2nd funding period. More applications and devices are envisioned, particularly as a result of research on hybrid organic/inorganic materials. Another important focus of the SFB will be on development and usage of sophisticated experimental methods, which allow unprecedented insights into processes at the nanoscale across interfaces.
See also Press Release of Philipps-Universität Marburg (in German) and the German Research Foundation (DFG) for more detail.
Prof. Dr. Kerstin Volz
Department of Physics and Materials Science Center
Tel: + 49 6421 28-22297
Not graphene: Dr. Qitang Fan and coworkers of SFB 1083 discover new type of atomically thin carbon material
Carbon exists in various forms, of which graphene is one of the most astonishing. In this atomically thin material, each carbon atom is linked to three neighbors, forming hexagons arranged in a honeycomb network. Researchers in the SFB 1083 projects A4 (Gottfried) and A8 (Koert/Duerr) have now discovered a new carbon network, which is planar like graphene, but is made up of squares, hexagons, and octagons forming an ordered lattice. In collaboration with physicists from Aalto University in Finland, the unique structure was confirmed using high-resolution scanning probe microscopy methods. In addition, it was found that the electronic properties of the new material are very different from those of graphene.
Biphenylene network, as the new material is named, is made from organic molecules on an atomically smooth gold surface. These molecules first form polymer chains, which consist of linked hexagons. A subsequent reaction connects these chains and forms the squares and octagons. An important feature of the chains is that they are chiral. Chains of the same type aggregate on the gold surface forming well-ordered assemblies, before they connect. This is critical for the formation of the new carbon material, because reaction between two different types of chains leads to the well-known graphene.
In contrast to graphene and other forms of carbon, the new material has metallic properties. Therefore, it can be used as conducting wires in future carbon-based electronic devices. The authors of the study are confident that their synthesis method will contribute to the discovery of further novel carbon networks. For now, their goal is to prepare larger sheets of the material and to study its interface-related properties.
For further information, please see the press release of the university of Marburg.
Q.T. Fan, L.H. Yan, M.W. Tripp, O. Krejči, S. Dimosthenous, S.R. Kachel, M.Y. Chen, A.S. Foster, U. Koert, P. Liljeroth, J.M. Gottfried
Biphenylene Network: A Nonbenzenoid Carbon Allotrope
Science 372 (2021) 852 DOI:10.1126/science.abg4509
Prof. Dr. Michael Gottfried
SFB 1083 project A4
Tel.: 06421 28 22541
In collaboration with the group of Rupert Huber in Regensburg, Suguru Ito, Jens Güdde and Ulrich Höfer from the new SFB project B11 “Ultrafast dynamics of interface currents” demonstrate efficient high-order harmonic generation at the surface of a topological insulator by driving ballistic electron currents at THz frequencies.
In the conducting surface states of topological insulators electrons behave like massless particles, characterized by a linear dispersion (Dirac cone). Under the influence of an electric field, the electrons rapidly switch their direction of motion when their trajectories in momentum come close to the minimum of the cone, the Dirac point. At frequencies in the range of 25 to 35 THz, this is the case for electric field strengths of several MV/cm. It results in the emission of an ultrafast flash of light containing a broadband spectrum up to frequencies of 800 THz that can be analyzed with optical detectors.
This novel mechanism of high-harmonic generation is only possible because the spin-momentum-locking in the Dirac cone prevents efficient electron scattering. The resulting long scattering times of ~1 ps allow to drive strong ballistic electron currents as demonstrated previously with THz-ARPES (Reimann et al. Nature 2018). The emitted high-harmonic radiation has a characteristic polarization dependence related to the Berry curvature of the Dirac cone. Moreover, it can be shifted to arbitrary non-integer multiples of the driving frequency by varying the carrier-envelope phase of the driving field. These specific properties set it apart from HHG processes in bulk semiconductors (Hohenleutner et al. Nature 2015).
In the upcoming third funding period, SFB 1083 will utilize THz high-harmonic radiation generated in this way and exploit its characteristic properties to investigate electron currents at interfaces of topological insulators buried under protecting capping layers. For future device applications, it will be crucial to screen the unusual movement of Dirac electrons from the environment.
– Homepage of thein Regensburg.
C.P. Schmid, L. Weigl, P. Grössing, V. Junk, C. Gorini, S. Schlauderer, S. Ito, M. Meierhofer, N. Hofmann, D. Afanasiev, J. Crewse, K.A. Kokh, O.E. Tereshchenko, J. Güdde, F. Evers, J. Wilhelm, K. Richter, U. Höfer, R. Huber
Tuneable non-integer high-harmonic generation in a topological insulator
Nature (2021) DOI:10.1038/s41586-021-03466-7
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Höfer
SFB 1083 project B6, B11
Tel.: 06421 28
Andreas Beyer and coworkers achieved the determination and spatial resolution of electric fields at interfaces with the transmission electron microscope.
Nanometer-scale built-in electric field are the basis of many modern (opto)electronic devices, such as solar cells, lasers or batteries. Optimization of these devices requires precise characterization of such fields at small length scales. With a fast pixelated-detector, A. Beyer and coworkers in SFB project A5 (Volz) acquire a 2D diffraction pattern for every real-space position of the impinging electron beam. In doing so, the momentum transfer of an electric field (or a charge) on the electron beam can be measured, and the electric field, which is invisible in “normal high angle annular dark field images”, can be calculated from the 4D data-set.
In this work, key characteristics, like doping concentration or polarity, of GaAs-based p-n junctions were quantitatively obtained by 4D scanning transmission electron microscopy (4DSTEM). The values are in excellent quantitative agreement with results from other techniques, which – of course – lack lateral resolution.
A. Beyer, M.S. Munde, S. Firoozabadi, D. Heimes, T. Grieb, A. Rosenauer, K. Müller-Caspary, K. Volz
Quantitative Characterization of Nanometer-Scale Electric Fields via Momentum-Resolved STEM
Prof. Dr. Kerstin Volz
SFB 1083 project A5
Tel.: 06421 28 22297
Robert Wallauer and coworkers combined a high harmonic laser source with an electron momentum microscope to record orbital images of the charge transfer at an organic/metal interface with femtosecond time resolution.
The microscopic charge-transfer dynamics across molecular interfaces is reflected in the population of electronic orbitals. These were, for the first time, directly monitored with ultrafast time resolution in a joint experimental effort of B6 (Höfer/Wallauer) in Marburg and A12 (Tautz/Bocquet/Kumpf) in Jülich. The experiment records the full two-dimensional intensity distribution of photoemitted electrons in momentum space in a femtosecond pump-probe scheme. Real-space electron distributions and photoemission momentum maps, called orbital tomographs, are related by a Fourier transform.
The model interface PTCDA/CuO/Cu(100) exhibits two distinct excitation pathways for the PTCDA molecule. The parallel component of the electric field of the pump pulse makes a direct HOMO-LUMO transition, while the perpendicular component transfers an electron from the metal across the atomically thin CuO spacer into the molecular LUMO. Once excited, the LUMO decays with a lifetime of 250 fs, independent of the excitation pathway. Real-space electron distributions and photoemission momentum maps, called orbital tomographs, are related by a Fourier transform (Photoemission Orbital Tomography, Wikipedia).
In the future, the new experimental capability is expected to facilitate the microscopic understanding of charge-transfer and exciton-formation processes at several other classes of organic heterointerfaces with unprecedented detail, including interfaces between 2D semiconductors and layered organic molecular structures.
Video: Ultrafast orbital tomography PTCDA molecules on a copper oxide surface are used as a probe. An electron of a molecule is excited by a laserpulse into another orbital and changes its spatial allocation. The electron in the excited orbital has a limited lifetime, which can be measured by ultrafast orbital tomography. Copyright: Sonderforschungsbereich 1083 / Till Schürmann
R. Wallauer, M. Raths, K. Stallberg, L. Münster, D. Brandstetter, X. Yang, J. Güdde, P. Puschnig, S. Soubatch, C. Kumpf, F.C. Bocquet, F.S. Tautz, U. Höfer
Tracing orbital images on ultrafast time scales