Group picture during socially distance lunch, June 2021.
From left to right: Yi Ding, Josephine Spiegelberg, Megan Cowie, Yacine Benkirane, Avya Stolow, José Bustamante, Logan Fairgrieve-Park, Catherine Boisvert.
The Grutter group is one of the internationally leading groups in the development of atomic force microscopes (AFM) and its application to understanding how nanoscale objects can be used for information storage and processing (the field commonly known as nanoelectronics). AFMs are a unique tool for the nanoscale: they are capable of imaging, measuring properties and manipulating nano objects such as single electrons, individual molecules or individual neuronal synapses in almost any environment. A dynamic, creative and highly collaborative team builds or adapts AFM hardware to investigate and manipulate:
the behaviour of individual electrons in quantum dots (relevant for quantum information processing or catalysis)
how one or a few single molecules conduct electricity and how this depends on the atomic structure of the contacts and interaction with light (relevant for fundamental understanding of charge transport in molecules or to probe the fundamental limits of organic photovoltaics),
ions by combining electrochemistry and atomic resolution imaging (relevant to fundamental understanding of the solid-liquid interface or the rate limiting diffusionof Li ion in battery cathodes)
individual live neurons (to understand synapse formation or develop a new method to repair neurons after injury or disease).
The Grutter group is motivated by exciting fundamental ‘big’ science questions. It is also interested in translating the scientific discoveries to societal relevance including commercial applications. Past team members have gone on to very successful careers in academia, industry or government.