The focus of the research in our group lies on electron transport in nanostructures. We are mainly interested in the electron transport properties of structures as small as single-molecule junctions and small assemblies of atoms. We investigate mechanisms by which this current interacts with the ionic degrees of freedom of the nanoscale conductor, leading to mechanical switching, or possibly a dc-current driven nanomotor.
Other nanoscience projects include the fabrication and investigation of topological insulator behavior in atomically thin Bi films; the search for possible type-II Mott insulator behavior in thin films of unconventional superconductors; the fabrication and characterization of piezo-electric nanorods for enhanced oil recovery; and quantum transport characteristics of filamentary conductors in resistive memory devices.
Jan van Ruitenbeek lecturing at the RBNI winterschool at Ein Gedi, 2010