Karsten Pohl

Phone: (603) 862-4197
Office: Physics, Demeritt Hall Rm 327, Durham, NH 03824
Karston Pohl

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 & Astronomy 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.

Prof. Pohl’s research group is studying the fundamental properties of low-dimensional materials; in particular the interplay between electronic, magnetic, and structural behavior of novel 2D materials at the atomic scale and their interaction with organic molecules. His expertise includes scanning probe microscopy and low-energy electron - spectroscopies, - diffraction, and - microscopy, as well as photoemission spectroscopy and the modeling of electron - surface interactions. These novel materials will allow to dramatically reduce power consumption, weight, and size, while enhance efficiency and durability of crucial electronic devices. They will find application in revolutionizing technologies in areas such as novel flexible sensing devices, high-frequency electronics, and photovoltaics.


  • Ph.D., Physics, University of Pennsylvania
  • Diploma, Physics, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Research Interests

  • Condensed Matter
  • Electronic Materials
  • Materials Sciences
  • Nanotechnology
  • Photovoltaic Materials
  • Solid State Physics
  • Surface Science

Courses Taught

  • PHYS 407: General Physics I Recitation
  • PHYS 407H: Honors/General Physics I
  • PHYS 408: General Physics II Recitation
  • PHYS 999: Doctoral Research

Selected Publications

Jin, W., Schiros, T., Lin, Y., Ma, J., Lou, R., Dai, Z., . . . Jr, O. R. M. (2018). Phase transition and electronic structure evolution of MoTe2 induced by W substitution. PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 98(14). doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.98.144114

Larson, A. M., van Baren, J., Kintigh, J., Wang, J., Tang, J. -M., Zahl, P., . . . Pohl, K. (2018). Lateral Standing of the Pentacene Derivative 5,6,7-Trithiapentacene-13-one on Gold: A Combined STM, DFT, and NC-AFM Study. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 122(22), 11938-11944. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.8b03633

Grady, M., Dai, Z., & Pohl, K. (2018). PLEASE: The Python Low-energy Electron Analysis SuitE – Enabling Rapid Analysis of LEEM and LEED Data. Journal of Open Research Software, 6(1). doi:10.5334/jors.191

Dai, Z., Jin, W., Yu, J. -X., Grady, M., Sadowski, J. T., Kim, Y. D., . . . Pohl, K. (2017). Surface buckling of black phosphorus: Determination, origin, and influence on electronic structure. PHYSICAL REVIEW MATERIALS, 1(7). doi:10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.1.074003

Jin, W., Vishwanath, S., Liu, J., Kong, L., Lou, R., Dai, Z., . . . Jr, O. R. M. (2017). Electronic Structure of the Metastable Epitaxial Rock-Salt SnSe {111} Topological Crystalline Insulator. PHYSICAL REVIEW X, 7(4). doi:10.1103/PhysRevX.7.041020

Diaconescu, B., Pohl, K., Vattuone, L., Savio, L., Hofmann, P., Silkin, V. M., . . . Rocca, M. (2007). Low-energy acoustic plasmons at metal surfaces. NATURE, 448(7149), 57-59. doi:10.1038/nature05975

Monig, H., Sun, J., Koroteev, Y. M., Bihlmayer, G., Wells, J., Chulkov, E. V., . . . Hofmann, P. (2005). Structure of the (111) surface of bismuth: LEED analysis and first-principles calculations. PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 72(8). doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.72.085410

Pohl, K., Bartelt, M. C., de la Figuera, J., Bartelt, N. C., Hrbek, J., & Hwang, R. Q. (1999). Identifying the forces responsible for self-organization of nanostructures at crystal surfaces. NATURE, 397(6716), 238-241. Retrieved from http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/

Pohl, K., Cho, J. H., Terakura, K., Scheffler, M., & Plummer, E. W. (1998). Anomalously large thermal expansion at the (0001) surface of beryllium without observable interlayer anharmonicity. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 80(13), 2853-2856. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.80.2853

SPRUNGER, P. T., POHL, K., DAVIS, H. L., & PLUMMER, E. W. (1993). MULTILAYER RELAXATION OF THE MG(0001) SURFACE. SURFACE SCIENCE, 297(1), L48-L54. doi:10.1016/0039-6028(93)90004-4

Most Cited Publications