Karsten Pohl

Karsten Pohl
Physics & Materials Science
DeMerritt Hall 327
9 Library Way
Durham, NH 03824
(603) 862-4197


  • Ph.D. Physics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1997
  • Diplom Physics, Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, Germany, 1991


Karsten Pohl completed his doctorate in surface physics with Prof. E. Ward Plummer, by studying the electronic and geometric surface structure of hydrogen adsorption on beryllium surfaces with a combination of photoelectron spectroscopies and low-energy electron diffraction. After working with Drs. Robert Hwang and Norman Bartelt at Sandia National Laboratories in California on strain effects in ultrathin film self-assembly on metal surfaces as a post-doctoral fellow, developing a novel scanning tunneling microscope in the process, he joined the Faculty of the University of New Hampshire in 2000, where he is a Professor in the Department of Physics and the Materials Science Program. His group explores molecular and stress relaxation driven self-assembly processes yielding novel nano-materials and the electronic properties of reduced dimensional systems, involving experimental tools such as scanning probe microscopy, photoelectron spectroscopy, and low-energy electron microscopy or LEEM, as well as extensive numerical modeling. Dr. Pohl is a founding member of the NSF-Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing at UNH and has received an Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation in 2002. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Genua, Italy in 2007.

Teaching Interests:

Karsten Pohl teaches a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in Physics and Materials Science, both experimental and theoretical. Recent offerings included calculus-based General Physics (Honors), Thermodynamics, Optics, Quantum Mechanics, Solid State Physics, Thin-Film and Surface Science, Statistical Physics, as well as Mathematical Physics. He is advising senior undergraduate and Ph.D. theses in Surface Science.

Research Areas:

  1. Surface Science & Nanotechnology
  2. Nanoscience at Surfaces: Investigation of the interplay of structural and electronic properties of self-assembling nanostructured surfaces and strained interfaces (with atomic resolution)
  • Novel electronic properties of reduced-dimensional systems
  • Self-Assembly of molecular species at surfaces and interfaces
  • Graphene and two-dimensional strained heterostructures
  • Organic photovoltaics
  • Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and spectroscopy (STS)
  • Low energy electron microscopy (LEEM) and spectroscopy

Select Publications:

  • “Highly-ordered assembly of single-domain dichloropentacene over large areas on vicinal gold surfaces,” J. Wang, I. Kaur, B. Diaconescu, J.-M. Tang, G. Miller, and K. Pohl, ACS Nano 5, 1792 (2011)
  • “Spatially-resolved structure and electronic properties of graphene on polycrystalline Ni,” J. Sun, J.B. Hannon, R.M. Tromp, P. Johari, A.A. Bol, V.B. Shenoy, and K. Pohl, ACS Nano 4, 7073 (2010)
  • “Molecular self-assembly of functionalized fullerenes on a metal surface,” B. Diaconescu, T. Yang, S. Berber, M. Jazdzyk, G.P. Miller, D. Tománek, and K. Pohl, Physical Review Letters 102, 056102 (2009)
  • “Low-energy acoustic plasmons at metal surfaces,” B. Diaconescu, K. Pohl, L. Vattuone, L. Savio, Ph. Hofmann, V.M. Silkin, J.M. Pitarke, E.V. Chulkov, P.M. Echenique, D. Farías, and M. Rocca, Nature 448, 57 (2007)
  • “An ultrahigh vacuum fast-scanning and variable temperature scanning tunneling microscope for large scale imaging,” B. Diaconescu, G. Nenchev, J. de la Figuera, and K. Pohl, Review of Scientific Instruments Review of Scientific Instruments 78, 103701 (2007)
  • “The origins of nanoscale heterogeneity in ultra-thin films,” J.B. Hannon, J. Sun, K. Pohl, and G.L. Kellogg, Physical Review Letters 96, 246103 (2006)