Laboratory for Surface Modification (LSM)

The mission of the Laboratory for Surface Modification is to provide a focus for research in basic and applied studies of high technology surfaces and interfaces.

Leszek Wielunski, 1943 - 2015

It is with great sadness that we share the news that a Director of the Tandem accelerator in the NanoPhysics Laboratory for more than a decade, died in a hospital in Sydney, Australia, last Friday, April 3. Leszek was born in Lublin, Poland, in 1943, got his Masters degree in Moscow in 1968 and his doctoral degree in Applied Physics in Warsaw in 1972. He then began a successful career in ion beam interactions in solids, resulting in more than a hundred publications and many conference presentations. He held positions in, among other places, CalTech, the State University of New York in Albany, NY, NUS in Singapore, and CSIRO in Sydney, Australia before coming to Rutgers in 2002. He was diagnosed with ALS two years ago, but did not let that interfere with his duties here, although moving around became more and more difficult. Last spring, when his illness entered a final stage, he resigned and returned to Sydney, where he had maintained a home. He kept in email contact with us and as late as two weeks ago, long after he could no longer speak, provided us with interpretation of some recent data from the Tandem. Leszek leaves behind his wife Alexandra, his son Andrzej (both in Sydney) and his daughter Alicia (London, UK). The funeral will take place on Monday. We will remember Leszek not just for his professional skills, but for his good humor, his deep interest in all aspects of science (his colloquium attendance record is a model for us all!) and his kindness. Leszek took a special interest in graduate students and was a wonderful support person for several generations of them (and for faculty!), always helpful, always patient, always supportive and always, always with a warm smile.

In recognition of Leszek's many great contributions to the LSM and his very special relationship to our graduate students, the annual prize at the LSM symposium for best poster will now be known as The Leszek Wielunski Prize for best poster presentation.

LSM Searching for Senior Experimentalist

The Laboratory for Surface Modification has an opening for an experimental scientist with exceptional credentials for a faculty appointment at the full professor level.

Please click here for a more detailed description of the position.

New Microscopes Make Rutgers World Leader

Rutgers is now the only university in the world that's home to both a scanning transmission electron microscope and a helium ion microscope. The microscopes help researchers develop nanotechnology used to fight cancer, generate power, and create more powerful electronics. Watch them at work.

Please click here for the video.

New State-of-the-Art XPS Facility at the LSM

The LSM is pleased to announce that it has expanded its suite of sophisticated surface analytical capabilities with the opening of a new, state-of-the-art X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy facility capable of determining surface and near-surface elemental and chemical composition with micon-scale lateral resolution and atomic-layer depth resolution. The facility greatly expands our ability to probe surfaces, interfaces, thin films and nanostructures of interest in a wide range of fields including microelectronics, novel photonics, molecular magnetics, nano-catalysis and biomaterials.

This million-dollar facility for research, education, and training, is comprised of two new instruments manufactured by Thermo Scientific and is housed in the NanoPhysics Laboratory, home of the LSM, on the Busch Campus. Major funding for this acquisition came from a combination of a National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation (NSF-MRI) grant, matching contributions from the central administration and the Institute for Advanced Materials, Devices and Nanotechnology (IAMDN), and a substantial contribution from the LSM itself. One instrument, the K-Alpha, is highly-automated with extremely user-friendly data acquisition and analysis software that is intended for high-quality sample analysis that may be run by the user on a routine basis. The second instrument, the ESCALab 250 Xi, is an extremely powerful tool designed for incisive fundamental studies of surfaces and thin films. The ESCALab is also equipped with additional analytical techniques including ultraviolet photoemission (UPS), ion scattering spectroscopy (ISS), electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), as well as sample heating and cooling. This machine is directly attached to a separate ultrahigh vacuum sample preparation chamber that will enable the combination of in-situ surface modification and sample analysis.

The new facility will be the centerpiece of a cooperative relationship between the LSM and Thermo Scientific that will include scientific exchange and collaborations for research and education. The site will also be used for instrumentation demonstrations and instructional workshops.

For more information about these instruments can be found at the following link LSM XPS Facility. For training and access information, contact the LSM XPS Facility Coordinator, Ryan Thorpe (, the Director of the LSM, Prof. Torgny Gustafsson (, or the LSM Administrative Assistant, Gwen Chupka (