STM images of Mn(III)-tetraphenyl porphyrin (main), Ni(II)-diphenyl porphyrin (left) and C60 (right)

Research Interests

  • Organic molecular self-assembly
  • Determination of surface reactivity and charge transfer using Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM)
  • Observation of chemical reactions by STM
  • Atomic- and subatomic-resolution STM
  • Formation of extended molecular networks
  • Multi-component molecular monolayers
  • Commercialisation & innovation
  • Utilising low-cost sensors for condition monitoring
  • Innovative solutions for the power grid & energy sector

My PhD thesis (The Physico-Chemical Properties of Fullerenes and Porphyrin Derivatives Deposited on Conducting Surfaces) focusses on using STM and complementary techniques such as NEXAFS and DFT simulation to probe the physical and chemical properties of organic molecules when deposited on a range of substrates. Most of my work was based on two families of molecules, C60 fullerenes and transition-metal porphyrins. The surfaces I looked at were Ag(111), Ag/Si(111)-(√3×√3)-R30°, and WO2/W(110).

Heat map showing the concentration of public Dublin Bikes across Dublin city centre

Data visualisation (Dynamic Dublin)

I am very interested in novel ways to present data, and in 2012 I formed a team to explore ways to visualise the traffic patterns of Dublin Bikes (shared bike scheme) around the city. As part of HACK THE CITY at the Science Gallery, from July to September 2012, thousands of members of the public had a chance to explore our data using a custom-designed flash app and to contribute to future Dublin planning by suggesting new sites for Dublin Bikes stations.



In April 2014 I was chosen as the Nanosciences Fondation's NanoArt laureate for my "Nano-landscape" image. The nanoscopic world mirrors the macroscopic. Seen here is a valley and plateau on the surface of a silver crystal, imaged by Scanning Tunneling Microscope. The small hillocks are the height of a single atom and the "waves" in the sea are actually individual molecules which self-assemble into ordered structures. The study of such self-organisation is key for the future of electronics, which may be made up of circuits comprised of single molecules. Although this image is more than 1000 times smaller than the width of a hair, it could be mistaken for a rocky outcrop jutting into the sea.

PhD Thesis

The Physico-Chemical Properties of Fullerenes and Porphyrin Derivatives Deposited on Conducting Surfaces
The University of Dublin, Trinity College; Submitted September 28, 2013; Defended November 11, 2013
Barry E. Murphy, Advisor: Prof. Igor V. Shvets; Download:

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Transport Gap Opening and High On-Off Current Ratio in Trilayer Graphene with Self-Aligned Nanodomain Boundaries
ACS Nano, 2015, 9 (9), pp 8967-8975; August 24, 2015
Han-Chun Wu, Alexander N. Chaika, Tsung-Wei Huang, Askar Syrlybekov, Mourad Abid, Victor Y. Aristov, Olga V. Molodtsova, Sergey V. Babenkov, Dmitry Marchenko, Jaime Sánchez-Barriga, Partha Sarathi Mandal, Andrei Varykhalov, Yuran Niu, Barry E. Murphy, Sergey A. Krasnikov, Olaf Lübben, Jing Jing Wang, Huajun Liu, Li Yang, Hongzhou Zhang, Mohamed Abid, Yahya T. Janabi, Sergei N. Molotkov, Ching-Ray Chang, and Igor V. Shvets

Homolytic Cleavage of Molecular Oxygen by Manganese Porphyrins Supported on Ag(111)
ACS Nano, 2014, 8 (5), pp 5190-5198; April 26, 2014
Barry E. Murphy, Sergey A. Krasnikov, Natalia N. Sergeeva, Attilio A. Cafolla, Alexei B. Preobrajenski, Alexander N. Chaika, Olaf Lübben, and Igor V. Shvets

Rotated Domain Network in Graphene on cubic-SiC(001)
Nanotechnology, 2014, 25, 135605; March 4, 2014
Alexander N. Chaika, Olga V. Molodtsova, Alexei A. Zakharov, Dmitry Marchenko, Jaime Sánchez-Barriga, Andrei Varykhalov, Sergey V. Babenkov, Marc Portail, Marcin Zielinski, Barry E. Murphy, Sergey A. Krasnikov, Olaf Lübben, Igor V. Shvets, and Victor Y. Aristov

Atomically resolved STM imaging with a diamond tip: simulation and experiment
Nanotechnology, 2014, 25, 025706; January 17, 2014
Victor Grushko, Olaf Lübben, Alexander N. Chaika, Nikolai Novikov, Egor Mitskevich, Alexei Chepugov, Olga Lysenko, Barry E. Murphy, Sergey A Krasnikov and Igor V. Shvets

Writing with atoms: Oxygen adatoms on the MoO2/Mo(110) surface
Nano Res. 2013, 6, (12), pp 929-937; December 1, 2013
Sergey A. Krasnikov, Olaf Lübben, Barry E. Murphy, Sergey I. Bozhko, Alexander N. Chaika, Natalia N. Sergeeva, Brendan Bulfin, and Igor V. Shvets

Analytical Model of CeO2 Oxidation and Reduction
J. Phys. Chem. C, 2013, 117 (46), pp 24129–24137; October 16, 2013
Brendan Bulfin, Arran J. Lowe, Kevin A. Keogh, Barry E. Murphy, Olaf Lübben, Sergey A. Krasnikov, and Igor V. Shvets

Correlation between charge-transfer and rotation of C60 on WO2/W(110)
Nanoscale, 2013, 5, pp 3380-3386; April 20, 2013
Sergey I. Bozhko, Sergey A. Krasnikov, Olaf Lübben, Barry E. Murphy, Kevin Radican, Valery N. Semenov, Han-Chun Wu, Egor A. Levchenko, Alexander N. Chaika, Natalia N. Sergeeva, and Igor V. Shvets

Finite element method simulations of heat flow in fixed bed solar water splitting redox reactors
Int. J. Hyd. En. 2012, 37 (13) 10028–10035; July 2012
Brendan Bulfin, Barry E. Murphy, Olaf Lübben, Sergey A. Krasnikov, and Igor V. Shvets

Self-assembly of Fe nanocluster arrays on templated surfaces
J. Appl. Phys. 2012, 111, 07B515; March 5, 2012
Olaf Lübben, Sergey A. Krasnikov, Alexei B. Preobrajenski, Barry E. Murphy, Sergey I. Bozhko, Sunil K. Arora, and Igor V. Shvets

Growth and ordering of Ni(II) diphenylporphyrin monolayers on Ag(111) and Ag/Si(111) studied by STM and LEED
J. Phys.: Condens. Matter, 2012, 24, 045005; February 4, 2012
Barry E. Murphy, Sergey A. Krasnikov, Attilio A. Cafolla, Natalia N. Sergeeva, Nikolai A. Vinogradov, John P. Beggan, Olaf Lübben, Mathias O. Senge, and Igor V. Shvets

Rotational transitions in a C60 monolayer on the WO2/W(110) surface
Phys. Rev. B 84, 195412; 3 November 2011
Sergey I. Bozhko, Sergey A. Krasnikov, Olaf Lübben, Barry E. Murphy, Kevin Radican, Valery N. Semenov, Han Chun Wu, Brendan Bulfin, and Igor V. Shvets

Fe Nanoclusters on the Ge(001) Surface Studied by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy, Density Functional Theory Calculations and X-Ray Magnetic Circular Dichroism
Nano Res. 2011, 4 (10) 971-978; October 2011
Olaf Lübben, Sergey A. Krasnikov, Alexei B. Preobrajenski, Barry E. Murphy, and Igor V. Shvets

Self-assembly and ordering of C60 on the WO2/W(110) surface
Nano Res. 2011, 4, (2), pp 194-203; February 2011
Sergey A. Krasnikov, Sergey I. Bozhko, Kevin Radican, Olaf Lübben, Barry E. Murphy, Sundar-Raja Vadapoo, Han-Chun Wu, Mohamed Abid, Valery N. Semenov, and Igor V. Shvets