Representative Research

Shaping the future by controlling the atomic world...

We combine single atom/molecule manipulation schemes with a variety of tunneling spectroscopy measurements to investigate the physical, mechanical, electronic and chemical properties specific to the type of atoms or molecules on metallic surfaces. The innovative experiments are tailored to address several critical issues covering both fundamental understanding, and development of novel atom/molecule based nano-devices. Our focus research areas include molecular spintronics, nanobiotechnology, and the atomistic interactions on surfaces.


Saw-Wai Hla



Media News

Hla Group

* STM Movies






Spinach molecule switch

V. Iancu, and S.-W. Hla, “Realizing of a Four-Step Molecular Switch in Scanning Tunneling Microscope Manipulation of Single Chlorophyll-a Molecules:”, PNAS 103 (2006) 13718-13721. [MOVIE]

Media News: STM switches chlorophyll molecules by Liz Kalaugher (IoP press, nanotechweb.), Biomechanical nanoswitches open door to green bioelectronics by Michael Berger (Nanowerk spotlight). [Read other stories here.]

Single molecule Kondo switch

V. Iancu, A. Deshpande, S.-W. Hla, "Manipulating Kondo Temperature via Single Molecule Switching”, Nano Lett. 6 (2006) 820-823.

Media News: Single molecule Kondo Switch by Michael Berger (Nanowerk spotlight).

Atom-molecule hybrid device

S.-W. Hla, K.-F. Braun, B. Wassermann, K.-H. Rieder, "Controlled Low-Temperature Molecular Manipulation of Sexiphenyl Molecules on Ag(111) using Scanning Tunneling Microscopy", Phys. Rev. Lett. 93 (2004), 208302.



The first man made Fractal molecule

G. Newkome, P. Wang, C.N. Moorefield, T.J. Cho, P. Mohapatra, S. Li, S.-H Hwang, O. Lukoyanova, L. Echegoyen, J.A. Palagallo, V. Iancu, S.-W. Hla, “Nanoassembly of a Fractal Polymer: A Molecular "Sierpinski Hexagonal Gasket Science 312 (2006) 1782-1785.

Media News: First Man-Made Nanoscale Fractal Molecule Created ( [Read other stories here.]



Kondo manipulation in 2-D molecular assembly

V. Iancu, A. Deshpande, and S.-W. Hla, “Manipulation of Kondo Effect via Two Dimensional Molecular Assembly”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 97(2006) 266603.

Media News: Manipulation of the Kondo effect for molecular spintronic applications by Michael Berger (Nanowerk spotlight).


Ferrocene growth on Au(111)

K.-F. Braun, V. Iancu, N. Pertaya, K.-H. Rieder, and S.-W. Hla, “Decompositional, Incommensurate Growth of Ferrocene Molecules on a Au(111) Substrate”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96 (2006) 246102.



Atom manipulation on a 3-D silver nanocluster

A. Deshpande,H. Yildirim, A. Kara, D. P. Acharya, J. Vaughn, T. S. Rahman, and S.-W. Hla "Atom-by-Atom Extraction using the Scanning Tunneling Microscope Tip-Cluster Interaction", Phys.Rev. Lett. 98 (2007) 028304.


Atom extraction by tip-crash

S.-W. Hla, K.-F. Braun, V. Iancu, A. Deshpande, “Single Atom Extraction by Scanning Tunneling Microscope Tip-Crash and Nanoscale Surface Engineering”, Nano Lett. 4 (2004) 1997-2001.

Media News: Smashing the microscope: tiny crashes harnessed for nanoconstruction by David Shiga (Science News)

How atoms move during a quantum corral construction ?

S.-W. Hla, K.-F. Braun, K.-H. Rieder, “Single-Atom Manipulation Mechanisms during a Quantum Corral Construction”,  Phys. Rev. B 67 (2003) 201402(R).



Inducing reaction one molecule at-a-time

S.-W. Hla, L. Bartels, G. Meyer, K.-H. Rieder, Inducing All Steps of a Chemical Reaction with the Scanning Tunneling Microscope Tip: Towards Single Molecule Engineering”, Phys.Rev. Lett. 85 (2000) 2777-2780.

Media News: Single molecules react via microscope tip by Elizabeth Wilson (Chem & Engg News Top Story), Single molecule chemistry (Physics Today). [Read other stories here.]

Copy right: Saw-Wai Hla (Ohio University)