Prof. Dr. Barbara A. J. Lechner


Functional Nanomaterials



Academic Career and Research Areas

The group of Barbara Lechner investigates the dynamic restructuring of functional nanomaterials under realistic conditions, e.g. model catalysts under reactive gas atmospheres. To this purpose, they place a scanning tunneling microscope with high temporal and spatial resolution directly into gas mixtures. By using small clusters with a precisely defined number of atoms, they investigate how the structure of metal particles and oxide supports changes under these conditions and influences the function of the material.

Prof. Lechner studied Chemistry at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, where she obtained her M. Sc. degree in 2008. She pursued her Ph.D. studies in Physics at the University of Cambridge, UK. As a postdoc, she joined the group of Prof. Miquel Salmeron at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, CA, and in 2016, she became a group leader at the Chair of Physical Chemistry at the Technical University of Munich. In October 2020, Lechner was appointed Rudolf Mößbauer Professor at TUM, leading a research group in functional nanomaterials.


    • ERC Starting Grant (2019)
    • Scholarship in the Young Academy of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (2018)
    • Marie Skłodowska Curie Scholarship (2017)
    • Max Auwärter Prize (2016)
    • Springer Thesis Prize (2013)

    S. Kaiser, F. Maleki, K. Zhang, W. Harbich, U. Heiz, S. Tosoni, B. A. J. Lechner, G. Pacchioni, F. Esch, "Cluster Catalysis with Lattice Oxygen: Tracing Oxygen Transport from a Magnetite (001) Support onto Small Pt Clusters", ACS Catal. 11, 9519-9529 (2021).


    B. A. J. Lechner, F. Knoller, A. Bourgund, U. Heiz, F. Esch: “A microscopy approach to investigating the energetics of small supported metal clusters”. J. Phys. Chem. C. 2018; 122, 22569.


    B. A. J. Lechner, X. Feng, P. J. Feibelman, J. I. Cerdà, M. Salmeron: “Scanning tunneling microscopy study of the structure and interaction between carbon monoxide and hydrogen on the Ru(0001) surface”. J. Phys. Chem. B. 2017; 122, 649.


    B. Zugic, L. Wang, C. Heine, D. N. Zakharov, B. A. J. Lechner, E. A. Stach, J. Biener, M. Salmeron, R. J. Madix, C. M. Friend: “Dynamic restructuring drives catalytic activity on nanoporous gold-silver alloy catalysts”. Nat. Mater.. 2017; 16, 558.


    P. Rotter, B.A.J. Lechner, A. Morherr, D.M. Chisnall, D. Ward, A.P. Jardine, J. Ellis, W. Allison, B. Eckhardt, G. Witte: “Coupling between diffusion and orientation of pentacene molecules on an organic surface”. Nat. Mater.. 2016; 15, 397.