Thomas P. Beebe, Jr.

Analytical and Biophysical Surface Chemistry
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Director, Surface Analysis Facility

University of Delaware

175 Brown Laboratory
Newark DE 19716-2522

Phone: (302) 831-1888
Fax: (302) 831-6335

  • Ph.D.,University of Pittsburgh, 1987
    B.A. Franklin & Marshall College, 1982

Research Overview:

My research group focuses on the surface chemistry, surface biology, and surface physics of systems ranging from living neurons, to monolayers on graphite, to air pollution particulates. We engage in multi-disciplinary projects that employ state-of-the-art surface analytical tools including scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS), and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES).

Molecule corrals are nanometer-sized pits that can be formed with a high degree of control on the basal plane of highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG). They have a number of unique features that make them useful for several purposes: (1) They can be produced by a simple benchtop oxidative process in an oven operating in the ambient air, producing CO2 (g); (2) They can be produced with a diameter from one nanometer to several microns by varying the total reaction time used to produce them, and they can be produced in both monolayer-deep and multilayer-deep versions, with depth control; (3) They are produced in an inherently parallel process, covering the entire surface; (4) They can be produced with a density that ranges from less than 1 per µm2 to more than 100 per µm2; (5) Once formed, they can be used in a range of diverse applications and fundamental studies. Using patterned arrays of molecule corrals, we are currently working on templated nanostructures and controlled polymerization of corral-bound molecular arrays, producing novel nanostructures with conductivity along molecular chains.