Our research interests are mostly interconnecting between the fields of materials science, solid state physics, and nanoelectronics; focusing on experiments and device fabrication. The core of our research rests in two-dimensional (2D) materials and hybrid mixed-dimensional van der Waals heterostructures. We are stirred by nature, as by self-assembly processes seen in biological systems and complex yet pristine crystal structures (minerals) which elude synthesis or even prediction by the state‑of‑the‑art techniques. Inspired by such natural systems, we seek novel fabrication concepts based on self‑assembly and self‑alignment processes, 2D minerals, and new nanotechnology device concepts in the fields of nanoelectronics, plasmonics, and neuromorphic/synaptic electronics.
Condensate Biology at the Synapse
Dr. Dragomir Milovanovic, group leader at Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Berlin, held an interesting talk about importance of understanding behavior of proteins and their condensates. In our joint collaboration we look how we can implement 2d materials to better understand charge governed processes in molecular biology.
Advanced Computational Material Engineering for Two-Dimensional and Layered Systems
Dr. Jelena Pesic Advanced computational material engineering techniques represent one of the cornerstones of progress in modern materials science, driving innovation and discovery. This approach harnesses the power of advanced computational techniques to design, analyze, and optimize materials within the intricate realm of 2D and layered systems. It opens new frontiers for enabling breakthroughs in fields ranging from nanotechnology to renewable energy and beyond, offering unprecedented opportunities for innovation and discovery. During the presentation, a concise overview of various research endeavors was provided, each exemplifying the application of computational studies in the exploration of diverse aspects of 2D materials research. These include manipulation of properties of materials using nano-mechanical modification (strain engineering in 2D materials), the design of vander-Waals heterostructures, research of magnetic systems and tuning of properties in superconductors. These studies promise pathways to applications across a multitude of fields, highlighting the expansive potential of computational materials engineering
Exploring Collective Dynamics of Small Molecules on CarbonBased Layered Materials with Molecular Dynamics Simulations
Dr. Igor Stankovic
This presentation delved into the intriguing world of small molecules and their collective dynamics, offering insights into their behavior in diverse nanoscale systems. Graphite and graphene, are two remarkable carbon-based materials, that have been at the forefront of a revolution in the fields of energy storage and two-dimensional electronics. Graphite, a layered material composed of stacked graphene sheets, has long been used as the anode material in conventional lithium-ion batteries. However, the quest for higher energy density and faster charging capabilities has driven researchers to explore novel electrolytes and modifications of graphite. Graphene, the single-layer counterpart of graphite, comprises a honeycomb lattice of carbon atoms. Graphene is incredibly thin, lightweight, and possesses outstanding electrical conductivity. This talk presents three examples where molecular dynamics simulations were combined with state-of-the-art experiments to reveal the fascinating diversity of collective interactions of small molecules in contact with carbon-based layered materials. At the largest scale, we challenge conventional paradigms by investigating friction mechanisms in hydrophobic contact with highly ordered pyrolytic graphite HOPG . Through a combination of experimental investigations and molecular dynamic simulations, we introduce a novel mechanism involving the agglomeration dynamics of water droplets, resulting in the formation of larger droplets within sliding nano-contacts. This mechanism elucidates the experimental tribological behavior, emphasizing the crucial role of water molecules in understanding friction on hydrophobic surfaces.