Our research focus on understanding of the structure and properties of surfaces, and how these properties could affect the dynamical phenomena on surfaces and the properties of thin films relevant to electronic and energy applications. By employing low energy electron microscopy/photoemission electron microscopy (LEEM/PEEM) and complementary scanning probe microscopy (SPM) and theoretical computations, we studied the dynamics of nucleation and film growth, catalysis and phase transition in-situ in real-time. We achieved significant understanding of the mechanism involved in nanoscale molecular film growth and atomistic reaction mechanism in Ti-catalyzed aluminum based hydrogen storage materials. Some of these interesting findings are already published in high impact journals, such as Phys. Rev. Letter, Adv. Materials, J. of Am. Chem. Soc. etc. Currently I am involved in a project on Synchrotron-based PEEM/LEEM of self-assembly of pi-conjugated molecules targeting for catalytic, electronic, magnetic and chemical sensing applications.
A. Al-Mahboob, E. Muller, A. Karim, J. T. Muckerman, C. Ciobanu, and P. Sutter, “Site-dependent activity of atomic Ti Catalysts in Al-based hydrogen storage materials”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 134, 10381 (2012).
A. Al-Mahboob, Y. Fujikawa, J. T. Sadowski, T. Hashizume and T. Sakurai, “Formation of giant crystalline grain via delayed growth process driven by organic molecular anisotropy”, Phys. Rev. B 82, 235421 (2010).
Yuki Tsuruma, Abdullah Al-Mahboob, Susumu Ikeda, Jerzy T. Sadowski, Genki Yoshikawa, Yasunori Fujikawa, Toshio Sakurai, Koichiro Saiki, “Real-Time Observation and Control of Pentacene Film Growth on an Artificially Structured Substrate”, Adv. Materials 21, 4996 (2009)
J. T. Sadowski, G. Sazaki, S. Nishikata, A. Al. Mahboob, Y. Fujikawa, K. Nakajima, R. M. Tromp and T. Sakurai, “Single-nucleus polycrystallization in thin film epitaxial growth”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 046104 (2007).