Surfaces & Interfaces & Nanostructures


Our research is focused on discovering novel phenomena and processes occuring at surfaces and interfaces of materials, as well as on formation of nanoscale materials, and their engineering towards attractive bulding blocks for future nanoelectronic and nanophotonic devices. Our activities include:

  • Development of instrumentation/methodology for real-time SEM observation of nanoscale processes in materials, e.g. growth, phase/structure changes, defect formation etc. with emphasis on 1D (nanowires and nanotubes) and 2D materials. This research is done in close collaboration with ThermoFisher Scientific (formerly FEI) R&D in Brno.

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  • Monitoring of catalytic processes on surfaces and nanostructures by real-time microscopy and spectroscopy, which includes instrumental development, as well as establishing new methodology.
  • Growth of 1D and 2D nanostructures with engineered properties targeting mostly nanophotonics (plasmonics) and nanoelectronics. This includes study of doping mechanisms, which lead to non-equlibrium dopant concentrations, and mechanisms of defect generation and their mitigation. The materials we are interested in are group IV and III-V semiconductors, transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) and perovskites. We focus on unravelling the growth phenomena utilizing real-time studies, see below.


  • Modification of surfaces and nanomaterials by electron/ion beams, which includes changes of surface termination, sputtering, growth, etching, oxidation, defect formation etc., thus allowing new strategies for nanoscale materials growth, manipulation and assembly.



PI: Miroslav Kolibal

1d331c8n My research interest is in materials science at micro- and nanoscale. I am currently focusing on physical phenomena causing growth of low dimensional materials (nanowires, nanotubes, monolayer sheets…) which have promising electronic and optical properties for applications in nanoelectronics and biosensing. Other research interests include real-time electron microscopy of processes at nanoscale, surface modification by electron and ion beams and wet and dry passivation techniques of semiconductor surfaces. My background is in solid state physics and surface science. I have received PhD from Brno University of Technology, with thesis topic Low Energy Ion Spectroscopy. I am tutoring several undergraduate and graduate students. I have several topics for bachelor, diploma or PhD thesis open - you are welcome to contact me.

e-mail: kolibal.m(at)

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PI: Petr Bábor


e-mail: babor(at)

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Open PhD positions for 2021 (beginning 09/2021):

1. In-situ microscopy and spectroscopy of 2D materials growth

The observation of 2D materials growth at nanoscale is a challenging task. In our group, we have a large expertise in real time electron microscopy and we operate beyond-state-of-the-art instrumentation (LEEM, FTIR in UHV and SEM for observations in extreme conditions). The aim of this PhD dissertation is to revealing the growth modes of 2D materials (transitiv metal dichalcogenides, group-IV-based 2D materials etc.) and thein properties by advanced microscopy and spectroscopy in UHV as well as under high pressure and at high temperature.

2. Prototyping of devices based on low-dimensional materials for use in nanophotonics and nanoelectronics

Due to their geometry, one-dimensional materials seem to be natural building blocks for many device systems, e.g. in electronics or photonics. They can be easily and reproducibly contacted and allow to design 3D devices. Additionally, they seem to be natural choice for nanoscale electrodes (e.g. for detecting cells signalling) or for nanoscale-patterned macroscale electrodes (e.g. in electrochemistry). 2D materials are less challenging, however, i tis necessary to prepare a suspended membranes to avoid formation of substrate/2D materiál interface, which can significantly affect e.g. their electrical properties. Currently, mostly undergraduates in our group deal with lithography, which is necessary for device design. We seek for a PhD candidate capable of fabricating a device geometry on demand, and aiming at performing measurements (electrical, optical) relevant for the device application (photonics, bio interfacing, sensing etc.).

3. Study of catalytic reactions in real time

The doctoral thesis will deal with research in the field of catalytic reactions using analytical methods capable of monitoring reactions in real-time. The reactions will be studied by various analytical methods such as UHV-SEM, E-SEM, MS, SIMS etc. aiming to better understand the mechanism of catalytic reactions on different types of surfaces (crystals, nanoparticles) and in a wide range of reaction pressures. In the first phase, the oxidation of carbon monoxide and subsequently other oxidation or reduction reactions important in technical practice will be studied. The work will also include the development of new methods and devices enabling real-time observation under various experimental conditions.

4. Study of catalytic transformation of carbon dioxide in to the fuel

The use or conversion of carbon dioxide into sustainable synthetic hydrocarbon fuels, in particular for transport purposes, continues to attract worldwide interest and may lead to the start-up of a circular economy based on the CO2 capturing from air and subsequent hydrogenation. Recently, iron-based catalysts were used for the direct and efficient conversion of CO2 to jet fuel range hydrocarbons. The thesis will deal with the research of such catalytic reactions that take place on metallic surfaces. Reactions will be studied by different analytical methods like UHV-SEM, E-SEM, MS, NanoSEM, SIMS, TEM, and others to deeply understand the mechanism of the reaction on different types of surfaces (crystals, nanoparticles) and a wide range of reaction pressures.


For applications details, please check here or contact us (kolibal.m(at)

Team members:

Miroslav Kolíbal Petr Bábor Stanislav Průša

Stanislav Voborný

Tomáš Pejchal Iveta Ukropcová    
Tomáš Musálek Jan Staněk    
Lukáš Kachtík Tomáš Strapko    
Daniel Citterberg Ashish Sharma    
Martin Kovařík Marcel Janák    
Kristýna Bukvišová Karel Vařeka    
Matěj Nedvěd Stanley Hakira    
Jiří David Dominik Hrůza    
Silvestr Stanislav Antonín Jaroš    


Alumni (last known position): Petr Glajc (Thermo Fisher Scientific), Rostislav Váňa (Tescan Orsay), Karel Novotný (Tescan Orsay), Ondřej Vyroubal (Thermo Fisher Scientific), Jakub Kuba (Thermo Fisher Scientific), Michal Andrýsek (), Martin Mikula (ON Semiconductor)