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.

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 Acting Director of the LSM, Prof. Robert Bartynski (, or the LSM Administrative Assistant, Gwen Chupka (

Thirty-Third Annual LSM Symposium
Thursday, April 11, 2019
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Physics and Astronomy Rm. 330
Busch Campus

The Laboratory for Surface Modification (LSM) will host the Thirty-Third Annual LSM Symposium on Thursday, April 11, 2019. The symposium will focus on experimental and theoretical studies of surfaces, interfaces, thin films and their applications, as well as nanoscale phenomena. We will include both oral and poster presentations; contributed talks will be 15 minutes long (including a short discussion).

The program will include two invited "Highlight Presentations" by two prominent invited speakers:

Professor Christopher Palmstrom, University of California, Santa Barabara

Professor Tim Kaxiras, Harvard University

This meeting is an excellent opportunity for graduate students and postdocs to present their work in a friendly atmosphere. Of course, faculty members are welcome to speak as well. We also encourage participants from other universities to attend and present their work. The final program can be viewed at the following link:

Program available here (pdf format)

Congratulations to Paul Sass, the winner of the "Theodore E. Madey Student Award" for best student oral presentation working with Prof. Weida Wu, titled: "Observation of Magnetic Bubble Domains in the Quasi-2D Kagome Ferromagnetic Weyl Semimetal Co3Sn2S2." 

Congratulations to Alexander Lee, working with Prof. Girsh Blumburg, who received the "Leszek Wielunski Student Award" for best student poster titled: "Resonant Raman Scattering in the Giant Rashba System BiTeI."