We seek to obtain a deeper fundamental understanding of energy dissipation processes on novel material surfaces. Starting with topological insulators (TI) we will proceed to two-dimensional (2D) materials, such as transition metal dichalcogenides (TMdCs) and hexagonal boron nitride (hBN). We aim to investigate (1) electron-phonon (e-ph) coupling and (2) its effect on energy dissipation processes during surface diffusion.
(1) Measurements of the e-ph coupling and surface phonon dispersion will provide us with a general picture of e-ph coupling on TI surfaces. Measurements of an archetypal TMdC will quantify the e-ph coupling, allowing us to rationalise phase transitions in charge density wave systems.
(2) Energy dissipation during surface diffusion will be addressed by studying the diffusion of water on hBN, delivering experimental information about the dynamics of this ubiquitous molecule on a 2D material with insights into the role and variety of energy dissipation channels. Finally, we will characterise environmental effects on TIs, by following the adsorption of molecules and studying the influence on property modification
and energy dissipation.