Research Interests:

Experimental and Theoretical Surface Physics

My research is focused on the microscopic and nanoscopic dynamical and magnetic properties of solid surfaces and ultra-thin films. The experimental techniques utilized by my group involve the elastic and inelastic scattering of thermal monochromatic helium atomic beams from clean surfaces and in situ-grown ultra-thin films. In addition to the experimental studies, we have developed large-scale computational and theoretical models to reveal the physics behind observed experimental findings. In addition, we have studied nonlinear properties of surfaces manifested in soliton-like structures and their dynamics in systems such as gold, dynamics of structural phase transitions during the growth of metallic ultra-thin films such as palladium on niobium, quantum localizationdelocalization transition of hydrogen on metallic closed-pack surfaces, surface extraordinary antiferromagnetic transition on NiO surfaces, anomalous antiferromagnetic moments with temperature increase on CoO surfaces, and temperature-dependent structural anomalies on multiferroic surfaces.

Selected Publications:

Measurement of the phason dispersion of misfit dislocations on the Au(111) surface”, E. M. McIntosh, P. R. Kole, M. El-Batanouny, D. M. Chisnall, J. Ellis, and W. Allison, Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 086103 (2013).

“Electron-phonon Coupling on the Surface of the Topological Insulator Bi2Se3: Determined from Surface Phonon Dispersion Measurements”, Xuetao Zhu, L. Santos, C. Howard, R. Sankar, F. C. Chou, C. Chamon and M. El-Batanouny, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 185501 (2012).

“Interaction of Phonons and Dirac Fermions on the Surface of Bi2Se3: A Strong Kohn Anomaly, and associated Online Supplementary Material”, Xuetao Zhu, L. Santos, R. Sankar, S. Chikara , C. Howard, F. C. Chou, C. Chamon and M. El-Batanouny, Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 186102 (2011).

“Frozen spin-wave structure on the NiO(100) surface observed by metastable He-23S scattering”, A. Swan, M. Marynowski, W. Franzen, M. El-Batanouny, and K. M. Martini, Phys. Rev. Lett. 71, 1250 (1993).

“Evidence of Quantum Motion of Hydrogen on Pd(111) Surface in He-Diffraction Data”, C.-H. Hsu, B. L. Larson, M. El-Batanouny, C. R. Willis, and K. M. Martini, , Phys. Rev. Lett. 66, 3164 (1991).

For a full list of publications, please see the attached CV.


  • Jefferson Science Fellow
  • Nottingham Prize in Physical Electronics (1993)