Wolfgang Theis qualified with a Diplom in Physics at the Freie Universität Berlin in 1989.
He completed his PhD project at the Fritz-Haber Institut, Berlin studying surface melting of aluminium single crystals by valence band and core level photoemission using the BESSY synchrotron.
He was awarded an Otto-Hahn-Medal by the Max Planck Society for his Ph.D. thesis. The award included funding for a 12 month postdoctoral position at a lab of his choice, which he took up in the group of Dr Ruud Tromp at IBM, Watson Research Lab, York Town Heights, New York, USA. He studied surface and epitaxial growth dynamics by low energy electron microscopy (LEEM).
Returning to Berlin, Wolfgang worked in the group of Prof. Karl-Heinz Rieder until he was appointed as a lecturer in Birmingham in 2007.
Surface Science at the Nanoscale
Alloys including quasicrystals
Instrumentation and processes are being developed to grow and anneal thin films, interfaces, and embedded clusters on nanoscale sized (10-100nm) apexes of specially prepared tungsten tips.
This is conducted in an ultra-high vacuum (UHV) scanning electron microscope (SEM) with the aim to provide superior samples for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) atomic scale tomography. Similar technology is being developed for thinning and post-processing of focused ion beam (FIB) lift-out pillars in UHV.
This effort is underpinned by ongoing fundamental research in epitaxy and ultrathin film growth dynamics by various surface science methods including low energy electron microscopy (LEEM) and diffraction (LEED).
Rotenberg, Eli, Theis, W., Horn, K., Gille, P (2000), Quasicrystalline valence bands in decagonal AlNiCo, Nature 406: 602
Franke, K. J., Sharma, H. R., Theis, W., Gille, P., Ebert, Ph., Rieder, K. H. (2002), Quasicrystalline Epitaxial Single Element Monolayers on Icosahedral Al-Pd-Mn and Decagonal Al-Ni-Co Quasicrystal Surfaces, Phys. Rev. Lett. 89: 156104
Theis, W., Tromp, R. M. (1996), Nucleation in Si(001) homoepitaxial growth, Phys. Rev. Lett. 76: 2770
Yamada, Y., Rieder, K.-H., Theis, W. (2007), Surface phase transition in H/W(110) induced by tuning the Fermi surface nesting vector by Hydrogen loading, Phys. Rev. Lett. 99: 196105
Franke, K. J. , Gille, P. , Rieder, K.-H., Theis, W. (2007) Achieving epitaxy between incommensurate materials by quasicrystalline interlayers, Phys. Rev. Lett. 99: 036103