Super-resolution lightwave tomography of electronic bands in quantum materials – Publication by B4

The researchers developed a method, which was published in Science, to reconstruct the band structure of quantum materials with very high precision

Science B4

A light flash (yellow) induces the movement of electrons in the band structure (red curve) resulting in the formation of localized electronic interference combs (peaks). The emitted radiation (red) enables the analysis of the electronic band structure. © Markus Borsch, University of Michigan, USA

Stacking of two-dimensional (2D) materials yield promising properties for the development of new devices with outstanding functionality. However, detailed knowledge of the electronic structure is necessary to tailor their properties. Within the cooperation of Prof. Huber (Uni Regensburg), Prof. Kira (Uni Michigan) and Prof. Koch (Uni Marburg, project B4), a new method was developed enabling the reconstruction of the band structure of 2D materials.

The quantum material WSe2 was simultaneously excited by two laser pulses in the visible range and in the THz spectral range. The resonant excitation of the weak optical pulse and simultaneous irradiation with a strong THz pulse result in harmonic sideband generation (HSG) in the transmitted spectrum. Due to the wave-particle dualism of electrons, electronic interference combs evolve in momentum space (cf. Figure on the left). By analyzing multiple sideband spectra at different THz frequencies and intensities, it is possible to reconstruct the band structure with super-resolution.

This concept offers an all-optical and practical approach for a three-dimensional tomography of the electronic structure of small quantum materials as shown for WSe2. This work is a great extend to the research in the SFB as it provides the possibility to examine the electronic band structure of 2D materials, such as TMDCs, even under ambient conditions.


M. Borsch, C.P. Schmid, L. Weigl, S. Schlauderer, N. Hofmann, C. Lange, J.T. Steiner, S.W. Koch, R. Huber, M. Kira
Super-resolution lightwave tomography of electronic bands in quantum materials
Science 370 (2020) 1204 DOI:10.1126/science.abe2112


Prof. Dr. Stephan W. Koch
Philipps-Universität Marburg
Department of Physics, Theoretical Semiconductor Physics
Renthof 5, 35032 Marburg
Tel.: 06421 28-21336

Lars Bannow and Benedikt P. Klein awarded the dissertation prize of Philipps-Universität Marburg

Congratulation to Dr. Lars Bannow and Dr. Benedikt P. Klein, PhD-students of the GRK 1782 (SW Koch) and the SFB project A4 (Gottfried), respectively, for being awarded a prize by Philipps-Universität Marburg for their excellent dissertations presented in 2019.

Lars Bannow 2020

Lars Bannow, GRK 1782 (SW Koch) Foto: Paul Ndimande

In the thesis of Dr. Bannow with the title “Optical and Electronic Properties of Semiconductor Materials”, he investigates optical and electronic properties of novel semiconductor materials such as Ga(AsBi), In(AsBi) and the methylammonium (MA) perovskite MAPbI3. Using a combination of density functional theory calculation and semiconductor Bloch equations, a precise prediction of opto-electronic properties was possible at a minimum of experimental data. The examined materials are promising options for the fabrication of more efficient laser diodes and more economic solar cells.

Benedikt Klein 2020

Benedikt Klein, A4 (Gottfried)

In his thesis “The Surface Chemical Bond of Non-alternant Aromatic Molecules on Metal Surfaces”, Dr. Klein explores interfaces between model organic semiconductors and metals. He compares π-electron systems with alternant and non-alternant topologies and finds that the non-alternant topology leads to much stronger interfacial interactions. These studies pave the way to novel organic semiconductors with tailored properties and provide important insight into the bonding of non-alternant defect structures in graphene with metals.

See the news release of the Philipps-Universität Marburg for details of the event.

Directional ultrafast charge transfer in a TMDC heterostructure – Publication by B5 (Höfer/Mette)

In a new publication in Nanoscale Horizons, Zimmermann and coworkers introduce time-resolved SHG imaging microscopy as a new experimental method for investigating ultrafast charge-transfer processes in heterostructures of transition metal dichalcogenides.


Time- and polarization-resolved SHG microscopy in combination with pump-photon energy dependent measurements reveals ultrafast interlayer hole transfer from WSe2 to MoSe2 and vice versa.

Heterostructures of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMD) feature a type-II band alignment which can separate photoexcited electrons and holes into different layers through ultrafast charge transfer. While this charge transfer is essential for potential applications, the underlying mechanisms still remain elusive. Main drawbacks of previous experiments are insufficient time-resolution of the employed microscopy setups and deficiencies of linear optical spectroscopies to address individual layers of the heterostructure selectively.In their new approach, Zimmermann and coworkers have combined the advantages of time-resolved optical second-harmonic generation (SHG) with an optical microscopy setup. On the one hand, their method allows for pump-probe experiments in µm small structures with a superior time-resolution. On the other hand, the tensorial nature of the second-order nonlinear susceptibility allows them to distinguish the response from differently oriented layers to elucidate directional interlayer charge transfer as demonstrated for a rotationally mismatched WSe2/MoSe2 heterostructure. As their results show, the new approach is particularly suited to perform systematic investigations of the charge transfer in dependence of the rotational layer mismatch in TMD heterostructures.


J. E. Zimmermann, Y. D. Kim, J. C. Hone, U. Höfer, G. Mette
Directional ultrafast charge transfer in a WSe2/MoSe2 heterostructure selectively probed by time-resolved SHG imaging microscopy
Nanoscale Horizons 5 (2020) 1603 DOI: 10.1039/d0nh00396d


Dr. Gerson Mette
Philipps-Universität Marburg
SFB 1083 subproject B5
Tel.: +49 6421 28-24123

Van der Waals bound Organic Semiconductor/2D-Material Hybrid Heterosystems: Intrinsic Epitaxial Alignment of Perfluoropentacene Films on Transition Metal Dichalcogenides – Publication by A2 (Witte)

In a new publication in Chemistry of Materials project A2 (Witte) reports on the epitaxial alignment of crystalline perfluoropentacene (PFP) films on various transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs). This van der Waals epitaxy results in characteristic twist angles between substrate and film lattices, which are of particular interest for the optoelectronic coupling at the interface.


Epitaxial alignment of crystalline PFP films on the basal plane of MoS2 and WSe2 (Image: M. Dreher).

Two-dimensional (2D) materials are a subject of current research, because their different electronic properties as well as the ability to prepare films as thin as one mono­layer opens up the prospect of producing new nanoscale heterostructures and devices. Of particular interest is the stacking of such films with controlled twist angle as it critically affects the electronic interface properties. A promising extension is the combination of TMDCs with organic semi­conductors (OSC), as it allows to combine the high charge carrier mobility of the TMDCs with the OSC’s large photo-absorption cross section, which is beneficial for photovoltaic applications.

Using the example of the prototypical OSC PFP, Maximilian Dreher and coworkers analyzed in the present study the epitaxial alignment of the crystalline molecular adlayers on the basal plane of different TMDCs (MoSe2, WSe2, MoS2 MoTe2). By utilizing the optical anisotropy of PFP films, their azimuthal alignment was analyzed by means of polarization resolved reflection anisotropy. This sensitive and non-invasive method allows to characterize the epitaxial alignment even for thin films of few nanometers. The analysis yielded specific twist angles of the crystalline adlayer domains with respect to the substrate lattice, which are characteristic for the individual material combinations. Notably, the observed epitaxial order is not caused by any higher-order commensurability between substrate and adlayer, where individual molecules are bound to locally favorable adsorption sites. Instead, it results from an energetically favored alignment of the entire crystalline adlayer on the substrate surface and can be rationalized as an on-line coincidence. This peculiar epitaxy could also be theoretically modelled using a modified scheme of projection of real-space adlayer lattice points onto the substrate unit cell. In addition, the extreme sensitivity of this van der Waals epitaxy on small lattice distortions was demonstrated by films grown at slightly higher substrate temperature. Although raising the growth temperature by about 30 K yields only a small increase of the lattice constants of the PFP film due to thermal expansion in the order of a few hundredths of Angstrom, while the more rigid TMDC surface lattice is hardly affected, it causes a distinct change of the twist angle of more than 20°. The achieved epitaxial alignment and control of twist angles is an important mile stone and will be used in future studies on the optoelectronic adlayer-substrate coupling in OSC/TMDC hybrid systems within the SFB 1083.


Maximilian Dreher, Darius Günder, Steffen Zörb, and Gregor Witte
Van der Waals Bound Organic Semiconductor/2D-Material Hybrid Heterosystems: Intrinsic Epitaxial Alignment of Perfluoropentacene Films on Transition Metal Dichalcogenides
Chem. Mater. (2020) DOI:10.1021/acs.chemmater.0c03482


Prof. Dr. Gregor Witte
Philipps-Universität Marburg
SFB 1083 project A2
Tel.: 06421 28-21384

David Peter Krug (Project A5) receives poster award at M&M 2020

David Peter Krug, PhD-student in SFB-project A5 of Prof. Dr. Kerstin Volz, was awarded with the poster prize at the virtual Microscopy & Microanalysis Meeting 2020.

David_Passbild.jpgIn his online presentation, David Peter Krug gave new insights into the growth of GaP nanowires and the mechanism of the kink formation showing different predominant angles. These kinks point towards the existence of twinned interfaces in the nanowires. He studied the growth process of the nanowires by in-situ (scanning) transmission electron microscopy ((S)TEM) in gas environmental cells, in which the reaction conditions are comparable to the widely used metal organic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE). He brilliantly made use of the opportunities of an online presentation and implemented a live study at the (S)TEM.

The Microscopy & Microanalysis Meeting (M&M) is an annual meeting in the USA covering the research fields of microscopy, imaging, and compositional analysis. Due to the current Corona pandemic, the meeting was held online.

Poster “Formation mechanisms for the dominant kinks in GaP nanowires in an in-situ (S)TEM gas cell holder” by D. Krug, M. Widemann, F. Gruber, A. Beyer, and K. Volz (Materials Sciences Center and Faculty of Physics, Philipps-Universität Marburg) – Microscopy & Microanalysis Meeting 2020, August 04 – 07, 2020, virtual meeting.

Momentum-resolved charge transfer between two TMDC layers – Publication by B6 (Höfer/Wallauer) and A13 (Rohlfing)

How fast is the charge transfer between two layers of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) and where does it take place in momentum space? Two-photon photoemission using high-harmonic probe pulses can answer these questions as Wallauer and coworkers demonstrate for the topmost layers of MoS2.

Fig_teaser.pngThe experiment of Wallauer and coworkers exploits both the high surface sensititivity of photoelectron spectroscopy and the fact, that the bandgap of the topmost layer of TMDCs is enlarged due to reduced screening. By tuning pump pulses below the top-layer gap at K, it is thus possible to excite electrons in deeper layers and probe only the topmost layer. The experiment then images the population dynamics of initially unoccupied electronic states and the charge transfer directly in momentum space with femtosecond time resolution. The results show that the electron transfer between the topmost layers of a 2H-MoS2-crystal, takes place at Σ and proceeds on a timescale of less than 20 fs.

GW-based tight binding calculations by Marauhn and Rohlfing support the experimental findings and explain why the electron transfer takes place at Σ. The GW-based tight-binding calculations not only confirm that the band gap in the surface layer is indeed considerably larger than in deeper layers. They reveal that the coupling between surface and deeper layers is strongly momentum-dependent throughout the Brillouin zone. The coupling is found to be particularly strong at at the conduction-band minimum at Σ, which explains the ultrafast interlayer charge transfer observed in the experiment at this location.

The publication is an “Editor’s Suggestion” in the September 2020 issue of Physical Preview B.

R. Wallauer, P. Marauhn, J. Reimann, S. Zoerb, F. Kraus, J. Güdde, M. Rohlfing, and U. Höfer

Momentum-resolved observation of ultrafast interlayer charge transfer between the topmost layers of MoS2
Physical Review B 102, 125417 (2020)


Dr. Robert Wallauer

Philipps-Universität Marburg
SFB 1083 subproject B6
Phone: +49 6421 28-21406

Prof. Dr. Michael Rohlfing
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
SFB 1083 subproject A13
Phone: +49 251 83-36340

Professor Ralf Tonner appointed Chair for Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Leipzig

We congratulate Prof. Dr. Ralf Tonner, prinicple investigator of SFB-Project A6 “Unified density functional description of bonding and interaction at inorganic/organic interfaces” on his new postion as Chair for Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Leipzig.

Professor Ralf Tonner.jpgProfessor Tonner joined SFB 1083 as a junior group leader in 2013 and has been very active and succesful in understanding inorganic/organic interfaces from electronic structure theory. In 2016, he was awarded the Hellmann-Prize for Theoretical Chemistry in recognition of his contributions to a detailed theoretical understanding of the chemical processes at surfaces and interfaces. In 2019, he received offers for a professorship (W2) for theoretical chemistry from the Universties of Chemnitz and Regensburg. He accepted the offer from Regensburg and has been working there since April 2020. In Leipzig, Professor Tonner will continue to be prinicple investigator of SFB 1083.

Novel organic semiconductors with specific substitution pattern – Publication by A2 (Witte) & A8 (Koert)

In their study published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition, the authors from two SFB-projects present their research into unilaterally fluorine-substituted pentacenes. This new reaction path will make it possible to synthesize functional materials and to create molecular nanostructures, the properties of which can be used in future organic components.


A ring closing reaction leads to a new unilaterally fluorine-substituted pentacene with a novel packing motif in the solid. This product exhibits a strong dipole moment (picture: Daniel Bischof).

Organic semiconductor materials consist of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which serve as molecular building blocks for the realization of functional materials and thin-film devices. The electronic properties of these often structurally simple materials can be changed by specific chemical modifications and thus tailored to the respective application. For example, perfluorination of such p-conjugated molecular materials affects the polarity of the charge carrier thus allowing a change from p-type to n-type semiconductors. For the prototypical organic semiconductors of acenes, it has so far only been possible to implement substitution patterns in which the molecules have been substituted symmetrically with respect to their long axis or entire ring units have been modified. In a recent collaboration between synthetic chemistry and molecular solid-state physics at the Philipps-University in Marburg, a novel synthetic strategy has been introduced that enables a regioselective functionalization of acenes.

This new concept was demonstrated using the example of unilaterally substituted fluoroacenes, whose electronic structure is a hybrid of the parental non-fluorinated and perfluorinated pentacenes. An important milestone in the synthesis strategy developed in the group of Prof. Dr. Ulrich Koert is the transition metal-catalyzed C-C bond formation, which makes this synthesis controllable. This novel material was crystallized and characterized with respect to its optical and electronic molecular- and solid state properties in the group of Prof. Dr. Gregor Witte. It was shown that the unilateral fluorination causes a distinctive dipole moment in contrast to the symmetrical substituted molecules. In addition, the molecules in crystals show a novel packing motif and also their optical solid states (excitons) are significantly altered. The identified new molecular packing motif and the additional electrostatic interactions open up new possibilities for the controlled fabrication of functional thin films and molecular heterostructures with special molecular interface structures and thus enable a tailoring of the electronic interface coupling.


P.E. Hofmann, M.W. Tripp, D. Bischof, Y. Grell, A.L.C. Schiller, T. Breuer, S.I. Ivlev, G. Witte, U. Koert,
Unilaterally Fluorinated Acenes: Synthesis and Solid State Properties,

Angewandte Chemie 59, 16501 (2020)


Prof. Dr. Ulrich Koert
Philipps-Universität Marburg
SFB 1083 project A8
Tel.: +49 6421 28-26970

Prof. Dr. Gregor Witte
Philipps-Universität Marburg
SFB 1083 project A2
Tel.: +49 6421 28-21384

Publication of SFB 1083 Activity Report

SFB 1083 published an activity report covering its scientific achievements in the first six years from 2013-2019.

Activity Report Cover

The activity report of the SFB 1083 gives a scientific introduction into the research done from 2013 until 2019. It comprises the motivation of the SFB 1083 as well as several publications as highlights. Furthermore, it provides an overview over the projects within the SFB 1083. Another part of it features the scientific communications in the form of workshops and conferences, e.g., the ICII-2016 and the ASOMEA-IX, in the relevant period. Besides these activities, the principal investigators are introduced and an overview over the staff, including numerous PhD-students, guest scientists and visitors. In the last part, interesting statistics of the SFB 1083 are presented.

The activity report can be downloaded here for further details.

Image Brochure Cover 2019

Complementary to the activity report that addresses mainly other researchers, the SFB 1083 image brochure in German aims at interested students and the public. It gives a general introduction to the research on internal interfaces and portraits the participating researchers.

The image brochure (German) can be downloaded here for further details.

A printed version of both documents is available upon request.


Sonderforschungsbereich 1083
Philipps-Universität Marburg
Renthof 5
35043 Marburg
Tel.: 06421 28-24223

Imagefilm porträtiert Forschung an inneren Grenzflächen

Video: Till Schürmann. German Video Clip.

Der neue Film des SFB 1083 nimmt den interessierten Laien mit auf eine Reise hinunter zur atomaren Skala und will ihm zeigen, wie die aktuelle Spitzenforschung dort im Bereich der Grenzflächen voranschreitet.

Das 6-minütige Video ist kein anspruchsvoller Lehrfilm, vielmehr wirkt es wie Wissenschafts-Science-Fiction direkt aus dem Kino, mit Kamerafahrten bis in den Nanometerbereich, mit Flügen durch leuchtende Moleküle, mit exotischen Exzitonen und raumfüllenden Laser-Apparaturen. Sehr eindrücklich auch die Musik, eigens für diesen Film wurden „Die Planeten“ von Gustav Holst (1874-1934) neu arrangiert.

Warum Grenzflächen?

„In unserer modernen Welt werden gewaltige Mengen an Daten übertragen,“ erläutert Prof. Ulrich Höfer, der Initiator und derzeitige Sprecher des SFB, „und Jahr für Jahr werden es mehr. Die ständige Miniaturisierung erlaubt uns, diese Datenmenge immer schneller und effizienter zu verarbeiten. Aber je kleiner die Bauteile werden, desto stärker tritt in den Vordergrund, wo auf der atomaren Skala die Information gesteuert wird: Die innere Grenzfläche zwischen zwei Materialien. Wer hier Fortschritte erzielen kann, setzt die Maßstäbe für die Welt von morgen.“

Der Film zeigt, dass Grenzflächen noch ganz andere Chancen bieten: Verbindungen von Elektronik und Organik versprechen völlig neue Möglichkeiten der Informationsverarbeitung, Nanometer-kleine Laser überbrücken immer weitere Strecken, und Solarzellen mit organischen Kristallen könnten unsere Energieversorgung auf ein neues Level heben. Oder mit den Worten von Prof. Stefanie Dehnen von der Uni Marburg: „Man möchte als Wissenschaftler immer Dinge entdecken und weiterentwickeln, die letztlich der Welt helfen können.“

Prof. Michael Dürr aus Gießen erklärt den hohen Anspruch des Film-Projekts: „Wir hatten den Ehrgeiz, die atomaren Prozesse schöner – und auch exakter – darzustellen, als man das bisher in dieser Art gesehen hat. Und dabei immer auch verständlich zu bleiben.“

Realisiert hat den Film der Gießener Filmemacher Till Schürmann. „Es macht ja immer viel Spaß, Wissenschaft so darzustellen, dass man auch die Begeisterung spürt, die die Wissenschaftler haben. Die sitzen ja nicht nur in ihren Laboren, die erleben immer wieder Nervenkitzel, die spüren Faszination und Freude genauso wie wir normalen Menschen“, erzählt er über seine Motivation. „Nur dass die Welt, in der sie sich bewegen, die Apparate, die Ergebnisse, dass die uns als pure Science Fiction erscheinen.“

Science Fiction, die durch die unermüdliche Arbeit der Forscher immer weniger – Fiction sein wird. Und die uns eines Tages vielleicht ganz selbstverständlich umgeben wird.

Was ist ein Sonderforschungsbereich?

Sonderforschungsbereiche sind langfristige Projekte aus der Grundlagenforschung, die von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) aus Mitteln des Bundes und der Ländern gefördert werden.

Prof. Höfer erläutert das Besondere des Marburger Sonderforschungsbereichs 1083: “Das Verständnis innerer Grenzflächen gilt schon seit vielen Jahren als eines der Gebiete der Festkörperphysik mit dem drängendsten Forschungsbedarf. So sagte Herbert Kroemer bereits im Jahr 2000 bei seiner Nobelpreis-Vorlesung: ‘Die Grenzfläche ist das Bauteil’. Unser SFB überträgt dazu Methoden der Oberflächenphysik und Oberflächenchemie auf die Untersuchung von Grenzflächen. Durch diesen Ansatz und die Fokussierung auf Modellsysteme, die auf der atomaren Skala gut charakterisiert sind, haben wir uns als Verbund ein Alleinstellungsmerkmal erarbeitet. Aber auch bei der Entwicklung und Weiterentwickelten optischer Spektroskopien sind wir weltweit ganz vorne mit dabei.

Neben der Uni Marburg sind im SFB 1083 „Struktur und Dynamik innerer Grenzflächen“ noch die Uni Gießen, das Forschungszentrum Jülich und die Uni Münster mit an Bord. Insgesamt arbeiten hier 80 Wissenschaftler aus den unterschiedlichsten Disziplinen zusammen. Die jährlichen DFG-Fördergelder belaufen sich auf etwa 2.5 Millionen Euro.

„Der Film zeigt natürlich nur einen winzigen Ausschnitt unserer Aktivitäten“, sagt Höfer. „Bei insgesamt 18 Teilprojekten und 24 Professoren haben Sie eine ungeheure Bandbreite an Interessen und individuellen Forschungsschwerpunkten. Aber durch die Fokussierung auf die Grenzfläche erleben wir hier auch eine gewaltige gegenseitige Inspiration. So etwas ist eben nur durch einen Sonderforschungsbereich möglich, durch die langfristige Orientierung des gesamten Projekts.“


Struktur und Dynamik innerer Grenzflächen – YouTube


Sonderforschungsbereich 1083
Philipps-Universität Marburg
Renthof 5
35043 Marburg
Tel.: 06421 28-24223
    Till Schürmann
Menzelstr. 28
35396 Gießen
Tel.: 0641 2091852
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