Laboratory for Surface Physics and Electron Spectroscopies

at Boston University


Welcome to the homepage of the Surface Physics Laboratory at Boston University.

The surface physics group at Boston University has been one of the pioneers in neutral helium atom scattering from solid surfaces since the mid 1980s, and our facility is one of seven worldwide. The technique is the surface equivalent of thermal neutron scattering from bulk crystals, which has provided valuable information about bulk dynamics and structural phase transitions over the past three decades.

You can find the following information on this website: our research projects, our experimental facilities, our publications, how to contact us, and information about the current and former members of our group.

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Recent News

February 24, 2014

Click here to take a look at our recent paper describing how one can effectively translate between electron and phonon perspectives in topological insulators to consistently determine quasiparticle-phonon coupling!

July 1, 2013

Our most recent work on the topological insulator Bi2Te3 has appeared in Physical Review B. Click here for the report. We have again found strong electron-phonon coupling that we believe could be a manifestation of a broader electron-boson excitation coupling that these novel materials experience. Not only is this type of coupling interesting from an applications perspective, but it could serve as a testing ground for examining the origins of the fine structure constant, with the speed of light replaced by the Fermi velocity.

May 3, 2012

Check us out in Physical Review Letters again! Our recent work in quantifying the electron-phonon coupling on the surface of Bi2Se3 has been published. We determine a numerical value for the dimensionless electron-phonon coupling constant for a specific phonon branch by examining the imaginary part of the phonon self energy. Since electron-phonon interaction is the dominant scattering mechanism for electrons at the surface, a detailed understanding is essential if these materials are to ever find technological applications. The article can be found here.

October 28, 2011

We have recently published an article on our most recent work regarding the topoligical insulator Bi2Se3 in Physical Review Letters! In this paper we examine how the massless Dirac fermions interact with the surface phonon modes. We notice an absence of the usual Rayleigh waves and instead find an unusual convex, isotropic dispersion curve including a strong Kohn anamoly at 2kf. Click here to have a look!