Wolfgang Theis

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

Research Themes

  • Surface Science at the Nanoscale
  • Alloys including quasicrystals
  • Electron microscopy
  • Epitaxial growth

Research Activity

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).

Qualifications

  • Habilitation in Experimental Physics 2008
  • PhD in Physics, Freie Universität Berlin 1992
  • Diplom in Physics, Freie Universität Berlin 1989

Biography

Wolfgang Theis qualified with a Diplom in Physics at the Freie Universität Berlin in 1989. He completed his PhD project at the Fritz-Haber Institute, 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 postdoc 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, to 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. In 2014 Wolfgang spent a six month sabbatical at the National Center of Electron Microscopy (NCEM) at Lawrence Berkeley Lab, Berkeley, CA, USA. 

Willingness to take PhD students

Yes

PhD projects

Wolfgang Theis’s research interests are surface science and its application to nanoscale structures and high-resolution electron microscopy.

He works on the development of instrumentation and processes 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 of providing 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).

Dr Theis supervises research in surface- and nano-sciences.