About Us


Matthias  Batzill

Matthias Batzill

Matthias Batzill


Office: ISA 5106
Phone: 813/974-0618
Lab: ISA 1053



Ph.D. physics, 1999, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


Research Interests:

  • Surface science
  • Gas-surface interactions
  • Structure and electronic properties of metal oxide surfaces
  • Nanoclusters and quantum dots
  • Solid state gas sensors
  • Photocatalysis and photovoltaic for sustainable and renewable energy

In the Nanophysics and Surface Science Laboratory we investigate condensed matter at the atomic scale. The surface of a material is where the action is; at a surface the material interacts with its environment and thus many chemical and physical processes occur at the interface between a solid and a different medium. Our goal is to understand the structural and electronic properties of surfaces and to tune these properties in order for the surface to perform new or improved functions. Currently investigated surface-functional materials are metal oxides for their use as solid state gas sensors and for solar energy conversion. Modification of surfaces with nanoclusters to improve their functionality is one approach to improve and create new functionalities. Nanoclusters are aggregates of atoms in the realm between molecules and bulk materials. In this size range condensed matter exhibits new properties, which can be conveniently tuned by controlling their size. In our laboratory we assemble clusters atom by atom in the gas phase and subsequently place them on a support material. This allows investigating the cluster-support interaction and the cluster size- properties relationship. Most of the sample preparation and characterization is done under ultra high vacuum conditions to ensure the integrity of the samples under investigation. In addition to the in-house measurements; some supplementing photoemission and X-ray absorption studies are performed at synchrotron facilities.

Research Highlight

Atomic step edge reconstruction on TiO2
Pseudo 3-D view of atom-resolved scanning tunneling microscopy image of monatomic height step edges on TiO2(110) with step orientation along <1-10> crystallographic direction. The atomic-periodicity at the step edges is twice that of the terraces indicating a step edge reconstruction.