Karsten Pohl

Department Chair and Professor, Physics & Astronomy

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 408: Honors/General Physics II
  • PHYS 718: Condensed Matter Physics
  • PHYS 999: Doctoral Research

Selected Publications

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. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 122(22), 11938-11944. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.8b03633

Dai, Z., Jin, W., Grady, M., Sadowski, J. T., Dadap, J. I., Osgood, R. M., & Pohl, K. (2017). Surface structure of bulk 2H-MoS2(0001) and exfoliated suspended monolayer MoS2: A selected area low energy electron diffraction study. Surface Science, 660, 16-21. doi:10.1016/j.susc.2017.02.005

Miller, R. A., Larson, A., & Pohl, K. (2017). Novel surface diffusion characteristics for a robust pentacene derivative on Au(1 1 1) surfaces. Chemical Physics Letters, 678, 28-34. doi:10.1016/j.cplett.2017.04.018

Kintigh, J., Diaconescu, B., Echegoyen, Y., Busnaina, A., Pohl, K., & Miller, G. P. (2016). Hydrogenation and exfoliation of graphene using polyamine reagents. Diamond and Related Materials, 66, 107-112. doi:10.1016/j.diamond.2016.04.001

Kintigh, J. T., Hodgson, J. L., Singh, A., Pramanik, C., Larson, A. M., Zhou, L., . . . Miller, G. P. (2014). A Robust, High-Temperature Organic Semiconductor. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 118(46), 26955-26963. doi:10.1021/jp505011x

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

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. doi:10.1038/16667

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

Mönig, H., Sun, J., Koroteev, Y. M., Bihlmayer, G., Wells, J., Chulkov, E. V., . . . Hofmann, P. (n.d.). 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., Cho, J. -H., Terakura, K., Scheffler, M., & Plummer, E. W. (n.d.). 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

Most Cited Publications