I obtained my degree in physics (MSci) from UCL in 2002 and then moved to Kings College London to begin a PhD in the physics department. My project involved investigating mechanisms of energy dissipation in non-contact Atomic Force Microscopy using atomistic simulations, including molecular dynamics and transition path calculations. I came back to UCL at the end of 2005 as a post-doctoral research fellow to work on the PicoInside project.
As part of the PicoInside project, which aims to integrate a complex logic gate inside a single molecule using atomic scale technologies, my research is primarily concerned with the theory and modeling of organic molecules adsorbed on insulating surfaces and how they can be manipulated with an atomic force microscope tip. To investigate the properties of these molecules and their interaction with the surface we employ a variety of electronic structure methods including Hartree-Fock, DFT and embedded cluster techniques along with parameterized classical atomistic models.
The image on the right shows the structure and an isosurface of the highest occupied molecular orbital of a planar aromatic molecule. A molecule such as this can act as a logic gate through an evolution of excited quantum states. We are modeling and investigating how molecules such as this will be adsorbed on a surface and eventually connected to atomic scale electrodes.
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