Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Applied Physics, Chemical Physics Group (CHA)

Principal investigator: 
Bengt Kasemo


The Chemical Physics group at Chalmers carries out basic and applied research in a number of different areas, with surfaces and interfaces being the common denominator linking the various activities. The group's core expertise is the preparation, characterization and utilization of surfaces and nanostructures for various purposes such as heterogeneous catalysis, atmospheric (photo)chemistry [120], photovoltaics and hydrogen production, supported phospholipid membranes [121, 122], biosensing [123-125], biomaterials [126], and tissue engineering [127]. Of particular interest to the current proposal is a large, ongoing project ("PhotoNano"), which scrutinizes the properties of optically active (metal) nanoparticles. Such optically active nanoparticles have recently become the subject of extensive studies. The group has furthermore traditionally been involved in instrumental development, with a strong focus on the quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring technique (QCM-D) [128]. We have successfully applied QCM to study hydrogen uptake kinetics, catalytic reactions, metal oxidation, as well as a wide variety of biological phenomena. Our experimental efforts are complemented by a strong theory platform, with Monte Carlo simulations of surface kinetics being the most prominent tool [129, 130].

Facilities and infrastructure

The group is well equipped with tools for surface preparation and analysis, such as thin film deposition systems, XPS, AES, FTIR, HREELS, LEED, STM and AFM. Our equipment park also features a number of QCM-D apparatuses, fluorescence and optical microscopes, chemical flow reactors with mass spectrometers as well as a Nd:YAG laser system and arc lamps to study photocatalytic reactions both in UHV and under ambient pressure. We have furthermore full access to the local nanofabrication facilities at Chalmers (MC2), which features state-of-the art tools for electron beam lithography, photolithography, colloidal lithography, nanoimprint lithography, thin film deposition, etching, SEM and AFM. Last but not least, we have access to world-class high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and environmental scanning electron microscopy equipment through the Microscopy and Microanalysis group (Prof. Eva Olsson) at Chalmers.

Training and tutoring capacity

Kasemo and his senior group members have extensive, documented experience in supervising and tutoring. Several courses relevant to hydrogen production and storage on nanofabricated substrates are regularly held at Chalmers, and Chalmers offers excellent facilities to acquire additional skills in the areas of entrepreneurship and presentation techniques. The presence of other researchers in the group already working on production and storage of hydrogen and related areas will contribute to a stimulating working atmosphere and facilitate transfer of knowledge.

Experience with international collaboration

Kasemo is and has been involved in a large number of international collaborations both as director and participant, most recently within the EC-funded specified targeted research project (STREP) "NANOCUES" (Kasemo Director) and the NoE Frontiers (participating group). Active collaborations include those with the groups of Michael Grätzel (EPFL) and Jens Nørskov (DTU), and with Jürgen Behm (University of Ulm, Germany), Jörg Libuda and Hajo Freund (FHI Berlin and University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany) and Richard P. van Duyne (Northwestern University, US).

Key publications

  • V. Johanek, M. Laurin, A.W. Grant, B. Kasemo, C.R. Henry, and J. Libuda. Fluctuations and bistabilities on catalyst nanoparticles, Science 304, 1639 (2004).
  • C.L. Haynes, A.D. McFarland, L. L. Zhao, R.P. Van Duyne, G.C. Schatz, L. Gunnarsson, J. Prikulis, B. Kasemo, and M. Käll. Nanoparticle optics: The importance of radiative dipole coupling in two-dimensional nanoparticle arrays, J. Phys. Chem. B 107, 7337 (2003).
  • V. P. Zhdanov and B. Kasemo. Kinetic Phase-Transitions In Simple Reactions On Solid-Surfaces, Surf. Sci. Rep. 20, 111 (1994).


28. V.P. Zhdanov and B. Kasemo, Surf.Sci.Repts. 20, 111 (1994).
29. V. Johanek, M. Laurin, A.W. Grant, B. Kasemo, C.R. Henry, and J. Libuda, Science 304, 1639 (2004).
39. A. Krozer and B. Kasemo, J. Less Comm. Met. 160, 323 (1990).
48. C.L. Haynes, A.D. McFarland, L.L. Zhao, and e. al., J. Phys. Chem. B 107, 7337 (2003).
120. C. Hägglund, B. Kasemo, and L. Österlund, J. Phys. Chem. B 109, 10886 (2005).
121. C.A. Keller and B. Kasemo, Biophys. J. 75, 1397 (1998).
122. E. Reimhult, F. Höök, and B. Kasemo, Langmuir 19, 1681 (2003).
123. C. Larsson, M. Rodahl, and F. Höök, Anal. Chem. 75, 5080 (2003).
124. S. Svedhem, I. Pfeiffer, C. Larsson, et al., Chembiochem 4, 339 (2003).
125. A. Dahlin, M. Zäch, T. Rindzevicius, et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127, 5043 (2005).
126. B. Kasemo, J. Prosthet. Dent. 49, 832 (1983).
127. A.S. Andersson, F. Backhed, A. von Euler, et al., Biomaterials 24, 3427 (2003).
128. M. Rodahl, F. Höök, A. Krozer, et al., Rev. Sci. Instr. 66, 3924 (1995).
129. V.P. Zhdanov and B. Kasemo, J. Phys.-Condens. Mat. 16, 7131 (2004).
130. V.P. Zhdanov and B. Kasemo, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 6, 4347 (2004).