We aim to understand and control the properties of nanoscale systems at an atomic level. At present, we are particularly interested in exploring and manipulating graphene properties with atomic precision. Specifically, we are adding new properties not naturally found in this purely 2D material, such as magnetic moments, gaps in the band structure or superconducting properties.
We have shown that both superconductivity and magnetism can be simultaneously induced in graphene, generating exotic Yu-Shiba-Rusinov states. Those states provide a starting point to ultimately create graphene topological qubits, putting forward graphene as a potential platform for topological quantum computing
Quantum confinement of Dirac quasiparticles
We have discovered a fast, reversible and versatile method to pattern graphene with sub-nanometric resolution by the collective manipulation of hydrogen atoms with the STM tip. This enables to create 0D and 1D graphene nanostructures of arbitrary shapes and dimensions, which perfectly confine graphene Dirac quasiparticles. By patterning few nanometer sized graphene quantum dots, we have open perfectly defined energy band gaps up to 0.8eV.
We analyze quasi-particle interference patterns (QPI) surrounding the impurities to probe the topological electronic properties of graphene. We go beyond the conventional use of QPI to determine the electronic band dispersion, being able to extract information about, for example, the pseusospin and Berry phase of the Dirac quasiparticles existing in this 2D material.