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Hans J. Hug, born 1964 in Basel received his Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Basel in the Güntherodt group. During his postdoctoral work at the University of Basel various low temperature scanning force microscopes were designed and built to map vortices in high transition temperature superconductors, domains in ultra thin magnetic films, to image surfaces with true atomic resolution and to measure covalent bonding between single atoms. These world-wide firsts lead to long-term international collaborations with many well-known university and industrial laboratories. After his Habilitation in 2001 Hans J. Hug became an assistant professor at the Department of Physics of the University of Basel. In 2003 he and his team received the Swiss Technology Award for the development of high resolution and quantitative magnetic force microscopy. In 2004, he founded SwissProbe AG to market the high resolution MFM technology developed in his research group. Since then, hr-MFM instruments were sold to industrial and university research laboratories in the USA, China and elsewhere. In 2003, he took a position as the head of the laboratory for Nanoscale Materials Science at the Swiss Materials Science & Technology Institute (EMPA) of the ETH domain in January 2004. In October 2003, Hans J. Hug was promoted to be a Titularprofessor of the University of Basel. Since 2006 he is the head of the Empa Nanotechnology NCCR module 3 program.
The research focuses on nanoscale materials science, particularly on thin magnetic films and atomic and molecular nanosystems on surfaces. Hug's research group research group at the Department of Physics in Basel profits from an intensive collaboration with his research staff at EMPA. A strong emphasis is put on the continued development of new experimental methods, particularly scanning force microscopy to explore nanoscale magnetisms and atomic and molecular nanosystems on solid surfaces in UHV and to a limited extend also in liquid. Among the recent instrumental development is Fabry-Perot interferometric sensor suited to map the flexural and torsional deflection of ultrasmall cantilevers. The Fabry-Perot inteferometric sensor is also used in a new UHV low temperature scanning force microscope located at EMPA, designed to simultaneously measure vertical and lateral forces and tunnel currents during atomic scale scanning force microscopy experiments.