Research Guides

Department of Chemistry University of Oxford

Prof Stephan Rauschenbach


Since 2017       Prof. of Physical Chemistry, University of Oxford
2007-2017      Group leader, Electrospray Ion Beam Deposition Lab, Department 
                                 Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research, Stuttgart.
2007                Dr. sc. (PhD) in Physics, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).
2004 –2007   PhD student, Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research
1997-2003      Study of Physics at the University of Augsburg, ETH Zürich, TU München  



My research is focused on the fabrication and investigation of complex molecular systems with atomic precision. This encompasses the preparation of individual synthetic or biological molecules in an atomically controlled environment on solid surfaces in ultrahigh vacuum using electrospray ion beam deposition (ES-IBD), a preparative mass spectrometry method based on electrospray ionization (ESI). In this environment the atomically resolved imaging of individual molecules and their assemblies by scanning probe microscopy (SPM) is possible (see Figure below). We further employ the unique properties of ES-IBD to fabricate novel, covalently bonded molecular surface coatings by hyperthermal collisions with the surface.

(for more detail go to the group website)

a list of topics, methods, and key publications is given below.

High-resolution STM micrograph of an unfolded protein.


Investigation of Molecular Structure and Function

Structure and Conformation of Biological Molecules

Macromolecular Nanostructures

Hyperthermal Chemical Reactions



Electrospray Ion Beam Deposition

Scanning Probe Microscopy

Intense Electrospray Ion Sources



[1] S. Rauschenbach, F. L. Stadler, E. Lunedei, N. Malinowski, S. Koltsov, G. Costantini and K. Kern: Electrospray Ion Beam Deposition of Clusters and Biomolecules. Small 2, 540-547 (2006)
[2] S. Rauschenbach, R. Vogelgesang, N. Malinowski, J. W. Gerlach, M. Benyoucef, G. Costantini, Z. Deng, N. Thontasen and K. Kern: Electrospray Ion Beam Deposition: Soft-Landing and Fragmentation of Functional Molecules at Solid Surfaces. ACS Nano 3, 2901-2910 (2009)
[3] Z. Deng, N. Thontasen, N. Malinowski, G. Rinke, L. Harnau, S. Rauschenbach and K. Kern: A Close Look at Proteins: Submolecular Resolution of Two- and Three-Dimensionally Folded Cytochrome c at Surfaces. Nano Lett. 12, 2452-2458 (2012)
[4] S. Kahle, Z. Deng, N. Malinowski, C. Tonnoir, A. Forment-Aliaga, N. Thontasen, G. Rinke, D. Le, V. Turkowski, T. S. Rahman, S. Rauschenbach, M. Ternes and K. Kern: The Quantum Magnetism of Individual Manganese-12-Acetate Molecular Magnets Anchored at Surfaces. Nano Lett. 12, 518-521 (2012)
[5] G. Dubey, R. Urcuyo, S. Abb, G. Rinke, M. Burghard, S. Rauschenbach and K. Kern: Chemical Modification of Graphene via Hyperthermal Molecular Reaction. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 13482-13485 (2014)
[6] M. Pauly, M. Sroka, J. Reiss, G. Rinke, A. Albarghash, R. Vogelgesang, H. Hahne, B. Kuster, J. Sesterhenn, K. Kern and S. Rauschenbach: A hydrodynamically optimized nano-electrospray ionization source and vacuum interface. Analyst 139, 1856-1867 (2014)
[7] G. Rinke, S. Rauschenbach, L. Hanau, A. Albarghash, M. Pauly and K. Kern: Active Control of Protein Conformation on Metals by Hyperthermal Surface Interaction. Nanoletters 14, 5609-5615 (2014)
[8] S. Abb, L. Harnau, R. Gutzler, S. Rauschenbach & K. Kern: Two-dimensional honeycomb network through sequence-controlled self-assembly of oligopeptides. Nature Communications 7, 10335 (2016)
[9] C. Cervetti, A. Rettori, M. G. Pini, A. Cornia, A. Repollés, F. Luis, M. Dressel, S. Rauschenbach, K. Kern, M. Burghard, and L. Bogani: The classical and quantum dynamics of molecular spins on graphene. Nature Materials 15, 164-168 (2016)
[10] S. Rauschenbach, M. Ternes, L. Harnau & K. Kern: Mass Spectrometry as a Preparative Tool for the Surface Science of Large Molecules. Annu. Rev. Anal. Chem. 9, 16.1–16.26 (2016)
[11] J.-N. Longchamp, S. Rauschenbach, S. Abb, C. Escher, T. Latychevskaia, K. Kern & H.-W. Fink: Imaging proteins at the single molecule level. PNAS (2016) 114, 1474-1479
[12] S. Rauschenbach, G. Rinke, R. Gutzler, S. Abb, A. Albargash, D. Le, T. Rahman, M. Dürr, L. Hanau & K. Kern: Molecular Nanostructures through Two-Dimensional Folding of Polypeptides at Surfaces. ACS Nano (2017) 2017, 11, 2420-2427