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RAP opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology     NIST

Nanoscale Spectroscopy (AFM-IR, PTIR, STML) for Strongly Correlated Materials at Cryogenic Temperatures


Physical Measurement Laboratory, Nanoscale Device Characterization Division

opportunity location
50.68.03.C0427 Gaithersburg, MD 20899

NIST only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
Andrea Centrone 301.975.8225


Strongly correlated electrons in quantum materials give rise to technologically relevant optoelectronic properties such as superconductivity, Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC), and quantum emission. Characterization methods with nanoscale or atomic resolution and high information content are critical for understanding and harnessing quantum phenomena because, strong correlation typically leads to intricate phase diagrams, susceptibility to perturbations, and heterogeneities at the ≈ 1 nm to ≈ 1000 nm scale.

To fulfill these needs NIST is developing a versatile cryogenic (5K), ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) platform for implementing scanning probe microscopy (SPM) based spectroscopic measurements such as Photothermal Induced Resonance (PTIR),[1-2] also known as AFM-IR, and scanning tunneling microscopy luminescence (STML).[3]

PTIR combines the specificity of IR spectroscopy with the resolution of AFM, enabling IR analysis with a spatial resolution smaller than the optical diffraction limit (< 10 nm at 300 K, < 0.1 nm the goal of this project). STML, combines the resolution of STM (0.1 nm) with the broad applicability of electroluminescence. New methods combining spectroscopy and SPM are also under development.

We look for candidates interested in further developing NIST low temperature, SPM-based spectroscopic instrumentation and/or applying it for the characterization of quantum materials and 2D materials in broad range of quantum applications.   


[1] Kurouski D., Dazzi A., Zenobi R. Centrone A., "Infrared and Raman chemical imaging and spectroscopy at the nanoscale". Chem. Soc. Rev., 202049, 3315-3347.

[2] Schwartz J .J., Jakob, D. S., Centrone A., "A guide to nanoscale IR spectroscopy: resonance enhanced transduction in contact and tapping mode AFM-IR". Chem. Soc. Rev., 2022, 51, 5248-5267

[3] Kuhnke, K.; Große, C.; Merino, P.; Kern, K., Atomic-Scale Imaging and Spectroscopy of Electroluminescence at Molecular Interfaces. Chem. Rev. 2017, 117 (7), 5174-5222.

key words
AFM-IR; PTIR; STML; PiFM; Infrared spectroscopy; electroluminescence; nanoscale chemical imaging; atomic force microscopy; scanning tunneling microscopy; near-field imaging; 2D materials; Van der Waals heterostructures; quantum materials; Bose Einstein condensates; BSC; superconductivity; quantum materials; strongly correlated electrons; UHV; materials characterization; nanomaterials


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$82,764.00 $3,000.00
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