group investigates fundamental structural, electronic, and chemical surface and interface properties of solid materials.
Surfaces of materials are where the action is! Most chemical and physical
processes such as gas-solid interactions, atomic-vapor deposition, corrosion, as
well as environmental and technological chemical transformation reactions occur
at the surface of a material. Therefore, a better understanding of the interplay
between composition, structure and chemical properties are important for
optimizing technological processes such as thin film synthesis, heterogeneous
catalysis, solid state gas sensing, and photocatalysis. In addition, the
formation of interfaces between dissimilar materials -- their structural and
electronic properties -- is the basis for most microelectronic devices. Finally,
reduced sizes and even dimensions of many nanomaterials results in surface
properties to become dominant over bulk properties and consequently surface
science studies are more important than ever.
group currently has two major thrust areas, which enjoy funding from DOE-BES, NSF, and ONR:
Metal oxides are ubiquitous in environmental processes (most materials are
covered by an oxide in earth’s oxidizing atmosphere) and technological
applications. Our research focuses on developing an understanding of the
properties of simple oxides (structure, chemical, and electronic) properties,
and the role of disorder and defects on these oxide surfaces on their
fundamental properties. We also investigate how these properties can be tuned by
structural and compositional modifications. In terms of applications we are
particularly interested in photocatalysis and solid state gas sensors.
STM false color image of the two-dimensional phase of TiO2 with a reduced band-gap. For detail see: Nature Chem. 3, 296 (2011)
Selected recent publications:
"Adsorbate Induced Restructuring of TiO2(011)-(2×1) Leads to One-Dimensional Nanocluster Formation" Q. Cuan, J. Tao, X.Q. Gong, M. Batzill Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 106105 (2012).
"A two dimensional phase of TiO2 with a reduced band gap" J.G. Tao, T. Luttrell, M. Batzill Nature Chemistry 3, 296-300 (2011).
"Fundamental aspects of surface engineering of transition metal oxide photocatalysts" M. Batzill, Energy and Environ. Sci. 4, 3275-3286 (2011).
"Role of Surface Structure on the Charge Trapping in TiO2 Photocatalysts" J.G. Tao, M. Batzill J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 1, 3200 (2010)
Materials Science of Graphene
Graphene, a single atomic layer of carbon (graphite), has exciting electronic
properties that make it an interesting potential material for novel electronic
devices. In addition, it has shown some promise as gas sensing material and
electron –collecting component in photocatalysts. Most of our research focuses
on fundamental materials science issues of graphene synthesis (in particular
chemical vapor deposition (CVD) growth) and mechanisms and control of interface
formation between graphene and dissimilar materials, i.e. formation of
Atomically resolved scanning tunneling microscopy image of point defects in graphene grown on Ni(111) substrate.
Selected recent publications:
"The surface science of graphene: Metal interfaces, CVD synthesis, nanoribbons, chemical modifications, and defects" M.Batzill, Surf. Sci. Rep. 67, 83-115 (2012).
"Monolayer graphene growth on Ni(111) by low temperature chemical vapor deposition" R. Addou, A. Dahal, P. Sutter, M. Batzill Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 021601 (2012).
"Graphene Growth on Ni(111) by Transformation of a Surface Carbide" J. Lahiri, T. Miller, L. Adamska, I.I. Oleynik, M. Batzill Nano Letters 11, 518-522 (2011).
"An extended defect in graphene as a metallic wire" J. Lahiri, Y. Lin , P. Bozkurt, I. Oleynik, M. Batzill Nature Nanotechnology 5, 326 - 329 (2010).