Shadi Fatayer, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor of Applied Physics

Research Interests

Professor Fatayer's research interests are centered on understanding the fundamental properties of atomically precise systems adsorbed on surfaces (e.g. individual defects, single atoms, individual molecules and small molecular assemblies) from a physics and chemistry perspective.

To accomplish such a goal, Fatayer's research group uses scanning probe microscopy under ultra-high vacuum and low temperature. The group focuses on expanding the existing approaches to investigate systems on top of insulating materials. 

Additionally, the group characterizes molecular ensembles of applied interest with atomic resolution and single-molecule specificity.

Selected Publications

  • Fatayer, S., Albrecht, F., Tavernelli, I., Persson, M., Moll, N. and Gross, L.
    Probing molecular excited states by atomic force microscopy
    Physical Review Letters, 126, 176801 (2021)
  • Fatayer, S., Albrecht, F., Zhang, Y., Urbonas, D., Pena,D., Moll, N. and Gross, L.
    Molecular structure elucidation with charge-state control
    Science, 365, 6449 (2019)
  • Fatayer, S., Schuler, B., Steurer, W., Scivetti, I., Repp, J., Gross, L., Persson, M. and Meyer, G.
    Reorganization energy upon charging a single molecule on an insulator measured by atomic force microscopy
    Nature Nanotechnology, 13, 376–380 (2018)
  • Schuler, B., Fatayer, S., Mohn, F., Moll, N., Pavlicek, Meyer, G., Pena, D. and Gross, L.
    Reversible Bergman cyclization by atomic manipulation
    Nature Chemistry, 8, 220–224 (2016)
  • Steurer, W.*, Fatayer, S.*, Gross, L. and Meyer, G.
    Probe-based measurement of lateral single-electron transfer between individual molecules.
    Nature Communications 6, 8353 (2015)
    *Equally contributing authors


  • ​Postdoctoral Researcher, IBM Research - Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, 2019-2022
  • PhD in Natural Sciences, ETH Zurich, 2019
  • Predoctoral Researcher, IBM Research - Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, 2014-2018
  • MSc. in Physics, University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil, 2012-2014
  • BSc. in Physics, University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil, 2008-2011

KAUST Affiliations

  • KAUST Solar Center (KSC)
  • Division of Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE)

Research Interests Keywords

atom manipulation single molecules insulating films Surface Science