Department of Physics and Astronomy
Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Alex Shluger's group
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Julian Gaberle

About me

I graduated from UCL in 2014 with a degree in Natural Sciences with emphasis on Atomic and Particle Physics. In my final year project I investigated a novel detection device for use in neutrino detectors. Though the project was very interesting, I found that I preferred theoretical studies to experimental work and decided that I'd like to switch to a theory group. During my final year Alex was one of my lecturers and I found his lectures and his research very interesting and had several discussions with him, which convinced me to pursue a PhD under his supervision. In my free time I like to be active. I am an active member of a badminton club and play at least twice a week.

Research

My research is focussed around modelling molecules on insulating substrates. Molecular adsorption plays an important role in many technologies as it changes the physical and chemical properties of the surface. Hence understanding how molecules adsorb on surfaces and how monolayers grow is fundamentally important.

SiO adsorption on TiO2 rutile surfaces:

TCB Molecule on KCl(001)TiO2 has attracted a lot of attention in the past due to its versatility and wide range of applications. One interesting property TiO2 exhibits is its hydrophilicity under UV irradiation. In experimental studies it was found that SiO adsorbed on rutile can enhance and prolong the hydrophilicity even without UV radiation. I want to understand how SiO adsorbs on the surface and how growth facilitates on rutile in order to then model surface interactions with water to study hydrophilicity.

Self-assembly of organic molecules on bulk insulators:

Self-assembly is a promising field of research that may allow the development of even smaller technologies such as molecular gated transistors for example. Self-assembly is a reversible non dissipative process, that relies on a subtle balance between molecule-surface and molecule-molecule interactions. Understanding these interactions and their interplay is imperative to engineer molecules with desired properties when adsorbed in a monolayer. I am looking at adsorption of single TCB molecules (1,3,5 tri (4-cyano 4,4-biphenyl) benzene) on KCl and how monolayers form using molecular dynamics. Also I am looking into entropic effects on molecular adsorption.


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