Ioannis Lekkas studied Material Science at the University of Patras. He joined the University of Twente for a Master’s degree in Nanotechnology and then, since April 2013, has been a PhD candidate and ACRITAS fellow in the Nanoscience Group, University of Nottingham. The aim of his project is to fabricate three-dimensional nanostructures via precise manipulation of Group XIV atoms  on silicon surfaces. Ioannis’ inspiration lies in constant learning, with a keen interest in applied physics and nanotechnology.


My name is Morten Møller and I took a Bs.c. in Biochemistry at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. I later obtained a Masters in Nanoscience at the same university. I am currently working with Professor Philip Moriarty at the University of Nottingham on my PhD project which started April 2013 and involves automating several aspects of atomic manipulation processes.



Chiara Paris. I graduated in theoretical chemistry  and computational modelling at  the “Universita’ degli Studi di Trieste”, Trieste (Italy) in 2012. I carried out my Masters thesis work  in the group of Prof. Fernando Martin at the “Universidad Auton oma de Madrid” in Madrid Spain,  working on  ”Computational modelling of the collision between highly charged ions and complex systems”.  At the beginning of September 2013, I started my PhD  in theoretical physics at King’s College London in the group of Prof. Lev Kantorovich. My PhD research  project consists on studying  self-assembly  phenomena and reactivity  of  molecules on crystal surfaces by  the means of ab-intio DFT simulations and molecular simulations (such as eg., kinetic Monte Carlo and ab-initio Molecular Dynamics).


Adrian Mantsch. I am from Bucharest, Romania where I attended the University of Bucharest for my B.Sc and M.Sc. The B.Sc diploma was awarded in 2006, with the title “Degradation of Polyethylene-lactate studied by Chemiluminescence”. I received my M.Sc diploma in 2008, on  the dosimetric characteristics of new thermophosphors.  In ACRITAS I am correlating the morphology and optical properties of polymer chains.


Chiara Rotella obtained her Bachelor degree in Physics in 2010 at the University of Messina (Italy). Then she moved to the University of Trieste to finish graduation doing an MSc in Microphysics and Structure of Matter with a specialization in “Condensed Matter Physics”.  She graduated in 2013 with a title thesis:  “Atomic Force Microscopy based investigation of enzymatic reactions study on DNA nanostructures at different densities”. So she moved to Dublin and joined the Nanoscale Function Group as a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher. Her project, supervised by Prof. Suzi Jarvis  is focused on the characterisation of the interactions and the local aqueous environment of protein monomers at model lipid membrane interfaces. She decided to start a PhD to try to apply all the basic physics theories studied and to make full use of the experimental techniques in order to understand the biological processes at the molecular level. Understanding these processes can be useful, for example, in the medicine field in the absorption of different medicine and drugs for particular diseases.

Alma Salibasic

Alma Salibasic graduated in 2010 from Vienna University of Technology with BSc in Medical Informatics and MSc in Biomedical Engineering (2012). In pursuit of her degree, she held intern positions with Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology where she studied dynamic gene expression of PAI-1 in critical disease, and Institute for Solid State Electronics, where she design and developed an microfluidic system for biotechnological applications. Her master’s thesis project at Austria Institute of Technology explored different nanostructured biosensors for protein biomarkers detection. Presently, her PhD project in biophysics under the supervision of Prof. Suzi Jarvis at University College Dublin, focus on characterization of natural biodhesive material at the molecular level using frequency modulation atomic force microscopy.


My name is Francisco Romero Lairado. I have always been a curious and questioning person, and this is the reason why I studied Physics at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). In the last year of my studies I got involved in research using atomic force microscopy (AFM) operating in air and, specifically Kelvin probe force microscopy (KFPM). Pleased with the beauty of the nanoscale, I decide to take a Masters degree in Condensed Matter and Nanotechnology at UAM. Right after that, I got a PhD position in the ACRITAS project, in Prof. Angelika Kühnle’s group, using NC-AFM in UHV. The goal of my project is to study the electrical properties of molecular self-assemblies, focusing on charge transfer doping for stabilizing fullerene films on hydrogenated diamond surfaces.


Nirmalesh Kumar Sampath Kumar, a native of Salem, Tamil Nadu, India, has been an EU doctoral researcher at the University of Regensburg, Germany, since October 2013. He is working under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Franz J. Giessibl on elucidating the effects of the Phantom force in non-contact atomic force microscopy.
In July 2013, he received his double Master’s degree in Nanoscience specializing in Nanophysics and Nanostructures from the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium and Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble, France. He completed his Masters thesis, studying Dirac-type electronic systems in high magnetic fields, at the French National Laboratory for High Magnetic fields (LNCMI-Grenoble), CNRS, France, under the supervision of Dr. M. Potemski (CNRS) and Prof. Dr. M. Houssa (KUL). In 2011, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical engineering. He is a Erasmus Mundus Scholar and a Chokalingam Scholar.


Tetiana Serdiuk was born in Ukraine in 1989. She received her B.S. in applied physics in 2010 and her M.S. in high technologies in 2012 from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev, Ukraine. During her Masters she made internships in bionanotechnologies at the University of Sussex, UK and the Lyon Institute of Nanotechnologies, France (Semiconductor nanomaterials for bioimaging). Currently she is a PhD student at ETH Zurich (ACRITAS fellow) and she is working on multifunctional high-resolution microscopy and spectroscopy of signaling membrane proteins. Her main scientific interest is focused on the single molecule approaches to study the intra- and intermolecular interactions that guide membrane protein folding and function.


 Estefania Mulvihill was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2009 she received her B.S. in Biotechnology from University of Florence (Italy) and in 2012 her M.S in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology from the same university. During her Master thesis she studied the structural determinants that cause the toxicity of protein aggregates using biophysical and biochemical techniques. Currently, she is a PhD student in Müller’s group, ETH Zurich (ACRITAS fellow). She is working on multiparametric high-resolution imaging of membrane proteins. The aims of her project are the characterization of the topography and nanomechanical properties of single molecules and the study of interactions between single proteins and ligands.


Shadi Fatayer has an undergraduate and a masters degree in Physics from the University of Campinas (Brazil), with an internship at the University of Basel (Switzerland). He has worked on his undergraduate studies with piezoelectric instrumentation. During his master’s studies he worked with X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy in order to analyze different supramolecular assemblies. With the recent results obtained via high resolution atomic force microscopy in the literature, he decided to venture at this exciting field for a PhD. Now at IBM Zürich, his goal is to gather fundamental understanding of thick NaCl films and their defects.


Adam Wykrota is an Early Career Researcher at Oxford Instruments Omicron Nanotechnology, Germany. His aim is to develop an Atom Tracking Module for SPM applications and to contribute to the daily work of the Omicron Applications Team. Adam received his M.D. from Poznan University of Technology, Poland. After his more than 8 years at university he moved to Germany, where he was granted an ESR position. In addition to research and development work related responsibility privately Adam is interested in traveling and learning about other cultures, meeting new people and exchanging ideas with varying points of view for all of which working at an international scientific company offers great opportunities.