Department of Applied Physics

Surface Science

The Surface Science group studies structures, bonding, and reactivity at solid surfaces on the atomic and molecular scale using advanced surface sensitive tools in Ultra High Vacuum environment. This knowledge is utilized to understand macroscopic behavior of nanostructures and surface phenomena like heterogeneous catalysis and adhesion.
Surface science

Group leader

Dr. Jouko Lahtinen

Research is carried out in the following areas:

  • Structural and chemical characterization of nanomaterials
  • Interactions and structures of adsorbate species on metal surfaces
  • Surface and near surface characterization of oxide materials, nanoparticles and ‘real’ catalysts.


The Surface Science group studies:

  • Growth and characterisation of 2D materials
  • Interactions and structures of adsorbate species on metal surfaces
  • Surface and near surface characterization of oxide materials, nanoparticles and ‘real’ catalysts.

Graphene and other 2D nanostructures

Graphene is a one atomic thick sheet of carbon atoms featuring a honeycomb structure. It has several interesting properties both mechanically and electronically.

These studies have been performed in close collaboration with the Atomic Scale Physics group. The adjacent image shows the moire structure of single layer of graphene on Ir(111) surface studied with LEED I(V) and AFM measurements that yield the local surface topography with pm accuracy.

Ordered structures of adsorbed molecules on single crystal surfaces

With these studies we aim to increase the understanding of catalytic systems. Adsorption of CO has been studied on metal surfaces and known catalytic promoters and poisons hase been added to change the adsorption behaviour and structure. Typically the system has been studied with XPS and LEED I(V) measurements to give chemical and structural information. The adjacent image shows the adsorption structure of  clusters consisting of 14 P-atoms on Pt(111) surface.

Surface characterisation with ESCA

Electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA, XPS) is a standard tool for studying the chemical composition of the first few atomic layers of solid material. We have used the method to study a large variety of samples from our collaborators; these include e.g. car exhaust catalysts from Environmental and Chemical Engineering at Oulu University, carbon nano structures from e.g. NanoMaterials group, light emitting silica particles, etc.


The Surface Science research group has three multi-technique ultra-high vacuum (UHV) systems located in Nanotalo.

Kratos Axis Ultra ESCA system

The system is an X-ray Photoemission Spectrometer (XPS, ESCA) enabling elemental concentrations,chemical state identification and chemical state mapping of the surface. The system contains a dual anode (Mg and Al Kα source) and a monochromated Al Kα source. The analysis area varies from 110 μm down to 15 μm, and he ultimate lateral resolution is 5 μm. There is also an He-source enabling Ultraviolet Photoemission Spectroscopy (UPS).

Ar Gas Cluster Ion Source (GCIS) capable of generating Ar cluster size up to 2000 atoms. The cluster source enables depth profiling of both hard and soft materials. The ion source also enables Low Energy Ion Scattering Spectrocopy (LEISS).


The system is a self-combined collection consisting of 

  • Surface Science SSX-100 electron energy analyzer and monochromatic X-ray source
  • Omicron VT SPM variable temperature scanning tunneling microscope
  • SPECTALEED reverse view LEED-optics for low energy electron diffraction (LEED)
  • evaporation systems for sample preparation in vacuum.


This is another self-combined system consisting of

  • Perkin Elmer PHI 3057 XPS system with a dual anode (Mg and Al Kα) X-ray source and an electron energy analyzer.

  • Princeton Research Instruments reverse view LEED-optics
  • Bruker Polarization Modulated Ifrared Absorption Spectroscopy (PM-IRRAS)

Latest publications

Understanding the Stabilizing Effects of Nanoscale Metal Oxide and Li-Metal Oxide Coatings on Lithium-Ion Battery Positive Electrode Materials

Zahra Ahaliabadeh, Ville Miikkulainen, Miia Mäntymäki, Seyedabolfazl Mousavihashemi, Jouko Lahtinen, Lide Yao, Hua Jiang, Kenichiro Mizohata, Timo Kankaanpää, Tanja Kallio 2021 ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces

Giant anisotropic photonics in the 1D van der Waals semiconductor fibrous red phosphorus

Luojun Du, Yanchong Zhao, Linlu Wu, Xuerong Hu, Lide Yao, Yadong Wang, Xueyin Bai, Yunyun Dai, Jingsi Qiao, Md Gius Uddin, Xiaomei Li, Jouko Lahtinen, Xuedong Bai, Guangyu Zhang, Wei Ji, Zhipei Sun 2021 Nature Communications

Two orders of magnitude enhancement in oxygen evolution reactivity of La0.7Sr0.3Fe1−xNixO3−δ by improving the electrical conductivity

Lijun Fan, Eeva Leena Rautama, Johan Lindén, Jani Sainio, Hua Jiang, Olli Sorsa, Nana Han, Cristina Flox, Yicheng Zhao, Yongdan Li, Tanja Kallio 2021 Nano Energy

Inkjet-Printed Ternary Oxide Dielectric and Doped Interface Layer for Metal-Oxide Thin-Film Transistors with Low Voltage Operation

Liam Gillan, Shujie Li, Jouko Lahtinen, Chih-Hung Chang, Ari Alastalo, Jaakko Leppäniemi 2021 Advanced Materials Interfaces

Temperature dependent product distribution of electrochemical CO2 reduction on CoTPP/MWCNT Composite

Md Noor Hossain, Paulina Prslja, Cristina Flox, Navaneethan Muthuswamy, Jani Sainio, A. M. Kannan, Milla Suominen, N. Lopez, Tanja Kallio 2021 Applied Catalysis B: Environmental

Electronic and Magnetic Characterization of Epitaxial CrBr3 Monolayers on a Superconducting Substrate

Shawulienu Kezilebieke, Orlando J. Silveira, Md N. Huda, Viliam Vaňo, Markus Aapro, Somesh Chandra Ganguli, Jouko Lahtinen, Rhodri Mansell, Sebastiaan van Dijken, Adam S. Foster, Peter Liljeroth 2021 Advanced Materials

Ke­vään 2021 fy­sii­kan yliop­pi­las­koe

Jouko Lahtinen, Jukka Maalampi 2021 Dimensio

Tuning of emission wavelength of CaS:Eu by addition of oxygen using atomic layer deposition

José Rosa, Jouko Lahtinen, Jaakko Julin, Zhipei Sun, Harri Lipsanen 2021 Materials

Designing of low Pt electrocatalyst through immobilization on [email protected] support for efficient hydrogen evolution reaction in acidic media

Fatemeh Davodi, Geraldine Cilpa-Karhu, Jani Sainio, Mohammad Tavakkoli, Hua Jiang, Elisabeth Mühlhausen, Galina Marzun, Bilal Gökce, Kari Laasonen, Tanja Kallio 2021 Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry

Liquid-phase Hydrodeoxygenation of 4-Propylphenol to Propylbenzene : Reducible Supports for Pt Catalysts

Eveliina Mäkelä, José Luis González Escobedo, Jouni Neuvonen, Jouko Lahtinen, Marina Lindblad, Ulla Lassi, Reetta Karinen, Riikka L. Puurunen 2020 ChemCatChem
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database

Research group members

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