Prof. Dr. Harald Brune

Prof. Dr. Harald Brune

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland

Position: Full Professor and Director of Institute of Physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

Specialization: Exploration of the novel physical and chemical properties; Surface Physics; Tunneling Microscopy; AFM; Epitaxial Growth; Magnetism; Heterogeneous Catalysis.


At the NANOCON´18 conference Harald Brune will present an invited lecture at the session A "The Smallest Permanent Magnets and Possibly Qubits".


Personal Background and Education:
Harald Brune (*1961) studied Physics at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and made his PhD in 1992 in Physical Chemistry with Gerhard Ertl and Jürgen Behm at the Fritz-Haber Institute of the Max-Planck Society in Berlin. He has joined the group of Klaus Kern as a Post Doctoral Fellow at EPFL, where he was nominated Lecturer in 1996, Associate Professor in 1999, and Full Professor in 2003.

He is Fellow of the American and European Physical Society, Hans-Fischer Senior Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study at Technical University of Munich, has been President of the Natural and Engineering Science Division of the Swiss National Science Foundation and now heads the Institute of Physics at EPFL.

He has taught classes in Physics to mechanical and micro electrical engineering students (9 years), classes on Surface- and Nanoscience to Physics Master students (5 years), lectures on Experimental Methods in Physics to Master students in Physics, Materials Science (5 years), Nanoscience to PhD students (5 years), as well as Solid State Physics on the level of Ashcroft-Mermin to 3rd year students in Physics (11 years).


Research Interests and main results:
Research of Harald Brune focuses on the novel physical and chemical properties of nanostructures at single crystal surfaces and on a few monolayer thin graphene, boron-nitride, and oxide films. The nanostructures are either created by self-assembly from deposited atoms, or in the gas phase, where they are size selected and soft-landed onto the substrate of interest. Scanning tunnelling microscopy is combined with spatially integrating techniques assessing magnetic, catalytic, and electronic properties. This way an atomic scale structure and property relationship is established enabling a fundamental understanding and ultimately engineering of functionality. The most recent discovery is single atom magnets, i.e., systems where a single atom exhibits stable magnetization. These systems present the smallest possible magnetic storage unit are candidates for future magnetic quantum bits.