Profile of the supervisor

Prof. dr. Petra Rudolf studied Physics at the University of Rome, specializing in Solid State Physics. In 1987 she joined the National Surface Science laboratory in Trieste for 5 years, interrupted by 2 extended periods at Bell Labs, USA. In 1993 she moved to the University of Namur, where she received her PhD and quickly progressed to lecturer and senior lecturer before taking up the Chair in Experimental Solid State Physics at the University in Groningen in 2003.


Surface science, molecular motors and switches, organic and inorganic thin films, 2D solids, inorganic-organic hybrids.

Profile of the research group

The Surfaces and Thin Films group comprises 8 PhD students, two postdocs, a technician and three undergrads. Research topics in the group are molecular motors and switches, 2D solids including graphene, organic and inorganic thin films and inorganic-organic hybrids, which are studied mainly with electron spectroscopiesand synchrotron-based techniques. A recent research interest is astrochemistry, where the composition of the atmosphere in protoplanetary discs is reproduced in the laboratory to study surface chemical reactions on interstellar dust (carbon clustes and silicates) and understand the formation of hydrocarbons.