Short Biography

Christian Schönenberger holds a degree as an electrical engineer in applied sciences (1979) and a diploma in physics (1986). He did his PhD at the IBM Zurich Research Lab in the group of Dr. H. Rohrer and Dr. S. Alvarado. His PhD is entitled "Understanding Magnetic Force Microscopy" which was awarded with a medal from the ETH-Zurich and the Swiss Physical Society price (1991). Subsequently, he worked at the Philips Research Lab. at Eindoven (NL), first as a postdoc, and later as a permanent staff member. In 1994 he was awarded a fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation (Profil-II). Soon afterwards he was elected to a full chair at the Univ. of Basel (1995). Since then, Christian Schönenberger has setup a group whose research focuses on charge transport in nanoscaled devices. He has co-authored over 80 refereed journal publications. He has participated in several EU programs and is currently directing the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Swiss-NSF center on Nanoscale Science and Technology:

CV (pdf)


Research Summary

We are interested in electrical properties of nanoscaled devices. On the one hand, these devices are fabricated along traditional lines employing state-of-the-art electron-beam lithography and conventional material systems (e.g. semiconductors and metals). On the other hand, chemical methods, such as assembly, electrochemical template growth in nanopores and the manipulation of nano objects (colloids and molecules) have been used as well. Key results in this area have been STM studies of self-assembled monolayers, single-electron tunneling in nanoclusters at room temperature, and electrical measurements on single DNA strands. In the field of metallic and semiconducting nanostructures our focus has been on fluctuation phenomena (shot noise) and correlation spectroscopy of quantum-coherent systems (e.g. quantum cavities). With regard to Molecular Electronics, the group has several years of experience in electrical studies of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Multi- and single-walled CNTs have been studied with key results including the Aharonov-Bohm effect in CNTs, interaction effects in CNTs as quantum wires and quantum dots, Fano resonances, superconducting proximity and spin injection. We have pioneered the electrochemical gating of molecular conductors by studying the intrinsic conductance properties of CNTs in various electrolytes, emphasizing the importance of the environment in molecular systems. This work has been continued using small synthesized molecules trapped between Au contacts in mechanically controllable break junctions.


Selected Publications

C. Schönenberger has more than 100 publications (with over 4300 citations), below is a small selection.

  1. Aharonov-Bohm Oscillations in Carbon Nanotubes, A. Bachtold, C. Strunk, J.-P. Salvetat, J.-M. Bonard, L. Forro, T. Nussbaumer, and C. Schönenberger, Nature 397, 673 (1999).
  2. Electrical Conduction through DNA Molecules , H.-W. Fink and C. Schönenberger, Nature 398, 407 (1999).
  3. The 1/3-shot noise suppression in diffusive nanowires, M. Henny, S. Oberholzer, C. Strunk and C. Schönenberger, Phys. Rev. B 59, 2871-2880 (1999).
  4. The Fermionic Hanbury-Brown and Twiss Experiment, M. Henny, S. Oberholzer, C. Strunk, T. Heinzel, K. Ensslin, M. Holland, and C. Schönenberger, Science 284, 296 (2000).
  5. The Electrochemical Nanotube Field-Effect Transistor, M. Krüger, M. Buitelaar, T. Nussbaumer, C. Schönenberger and L. Forró, Appl. Phys. Lett. 78, 1291 (2001).
  6. Suppression of Tunneling into Multi-Wall Carbon Nanotubes, A. Bachtold, M. de Jonge, K. Grove-Rasmussen, P.L. McEuen, M. Buitelaar and C. Schönenberger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 166801 (2001).
  7. A quantum dot in the Kondo regime coupled to superconductors, M. R. Buitelaar, T. Nussbaumer, and C. Schönenberger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 89, 256801 (2002).
  8. Crossover between classical and quantum shot noise in chaotic cavities, S. Oberholzer, E. V. Sukhorukov, and C. Schönenberger, Nature 415, 765 (2002).
  9. Quantum Shot Noise, C. Beenakker and C. Schönenberger, Physics Today 56 (5), 37-42 (2003).
  10. Multiple Andreev Reflections in a Carbon Nanotube Quantum Dot, M. R. Buitelaar, W. Belzig, T. Nussbaumer, B. Babic, B. Bruder, and C. Schönenberger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 057005 (2003).
  11. Kondo effect in carbon nanotubes at half filling, B. Babic, T. Kontos, and C. Schönenberger, Phys. Rev. B 70, 235419 (2004).
  12. Electrical conductance of atomic contacts in liquid environments, L. Grüter, M.T. Gonzalez, R. Huber, M. Calame, and C. Schönenberger, Small 1, 1067 (2005).
  13. Shot-noise and conductance measurements of transparent superconductor / two-dimensional electron gas junctions, B.-R. Choi, A. E. Hansen, T. Kontos, C. Hoffmann, S. Oberholzer, W. Belzig, C. Schönenberger, T. Akazaki, and H. Takayanagi, Phys. Rev. B 72, 024501 (2005).
  14. Electric field control of spin transport, S. Sahoo, T. Kontos, J. Furer, C. Hoffmann, M. Gräber, A. Cottet, and C. Schönenberger, Nature Physics 1, 99-102 (2005).
  15. Positive cross-correlations in a normal-conducting fermionic beam-splitter, S. Oberholzer, E. Bieri, and C. Schönenberger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 046804 (2006).
  16. Controlling spin in a ballistic electronic interferometer with spin-active interfaces, A. Cottet, T. Kontos, W. Belzig, C. Schönenberger, and C. Bruder, Europhys. Lett. 74, 320-326 (2006).
  17. Reversible formation of molecular junctions in two-dimensional nanoparticle arrays, J. Liao, L. Bernard, M. Langer, C. Schönenberger, and M. Calame, Adv. Mat. 18, 2444 (2006).
  18. Molecular States in Carbon Nanotube Double Quantum Dots, M. R. Gräber, W. A. Coish, C. Hoffmann, M. Weiss, J. Furer, S. Oberholzer, D. Loss, and C. Schönenberger, Phys. Rev. B 74, 075427 (2006)
  19. Even-odd effect in Andreev Transport through a Carbon Nanotube Quantum Dot, A. Eichler, M. Weiss, S. Oberholzer, and C. Schönenberger, A. Levy Yeyati, J. C. Cuevas, and A. Martin-Rodero, Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 126602 (2007).
  20. Electrical Conductance of Molecular Junctions by a Robust Statistical Analysis, M. T. Gonzalez , S. Wu, R. Huber, S. J. van der Molen, C. Schönenberger, and M. Calame, Nano Letters 6, 2238-2242 (2006).
  21. Even-odd effect in Andreev Transport through a Carbon Nanotube Quantum Dot, A. Eichler, M. Weiss, S. Oberholzer, and C. Schönenberger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 126602 (2007).
  22. Feedback controlled electromigration in four-terminal nano-junctions, Zheng-Ming Wu, M. Steinacher, R. Huber, M. Calame, S. J. van der Molen, and C. Schönenberger, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 053118 (2007).
  23. Electrical conductance of conjugated oligomers at the single molecule level, R. Huber et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 130, 1080 (2008).
  24. Large oscillating non-local voltage in multi-terminal single-wall carbon nanotube devices, G. Gunnarsson, J. Trbovic, and C. Schönenberger, Phys. Rev. B 77, 201405(R) (2008).
  25. Molecular Junctions based on Aromatic Coupling, S. Wu, M. Z. Gonzalez, R. Huber, S. Grunder, M. Mayor, C. Schönenberger, and M. Calame, Nature Nanotechnology 3, 569 (2008)
  26. Giant g-factor fuctuations in InAs Nanowire Quantum Dots, S. Csonka, L. Hofstetter, F. Freitag, S. Oberholzer, J. Nygard, and C. Schönenberger, Nano Letters 8, 3932 (2008)