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.

Boris Yakshinskiy, 1948 - 2015

Boris, a long term member of our department, suffered a devastating heart attack last Thursday. He was found unconscious in a parking lot close to the Werblin center, never regained consciousness and died at St. Peter's hospital on Saturday. Boris was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1948. He obtained his M.S. (1972) and Ph. D. (1986) degrees from the Ioffe Institute in his hometown, where we subsequently held several research positions. His thesis work involved stimulated desorption experiments from tungsten surfaces. This led to his coming to Rutgers in 1996, first as a post- doc to work with Ted Madey. While most of his time then was concerned with UHV based surface science, his best known work is a Nature paper on alkali desorption from moon rocks, as part of a project to probe how alkali atoms are produced in tenuous planetary atmospheres. After Madey passed away, he worked with Bob Bartynski studying resist materials and photon- and electron-induced chemistry on mirror surfaces for EUV lithography applications. Later, he was in charge of the Rutgers Tandem lab and performed elemental analysis for many different groups, at Rutgers and elsewhere. His most recent notable achievement was the development, with Len Feldman and others, of a technique to detect and quantify hydrogen content in ultrathin films, with a sensitivity of a hundredth of a monolayer, orders of magnitude better than competing techniques. Boris was an experimentalists experimentalist, with superb "hands" and an ability to make experiments work, and work correctly. He guided the research of many graduate students and post-docs, and made sure they exerted the same rigorous standards to their data as he did. His wife, daughter and granddaughter survive him.

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 (