Rudolf M. Tromp

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Dr. Rudolf Maria "Ruud" Tromp (born 3 September 1954, Alkmaar)[1] is a scientist at IBM Research Division, Thomas J. Watson Research Center and a Physics Professor at Leiden University.[1]


  • 1982 Ph.D. in physics from the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands)
  • 1982, completed a thesis on medium-energy ion scattering (MEIS) studies of the structure of silicon surfaces.


In 1983 he joined IBM at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center, where his scanning tunneling microscopy studies revealed the Si(001) dimer structure for the first time, as well as the spatial distribution of the Si(111) (7 × 7) electronic surface states and their relation to the underlying atomic structure. Using MEIS he co-invented “surfactant-mediated epitaxial growth,” a technique which allows much- improved control over the morphology of epitaxial films and superlattices.

More recently, his studies have focused on the dynamics of surface and interface processes such as phase transitions, chemisorption and etching, epitaxial growth, and aspects of nanotechnology. Ultrahigh-vacuum transmission electron microscopy and low-energy electron microscopy allow detailed, real-time, in situ observations of such processes with high spatial resolution. Using those techniques, the studies have shed new light on the thermodynamics of epitaxial growth, the dynamic evolution of the surface morphology of epitaxial films, the self-assembly of quantum dots, the spatio-temporal character of first- and second-order phase transitions at surfaces, etc. He has also developed a novel Low Energy Electron Microscopy instrument, including energy filtering and aberration correction.


Dr. Tromp is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Vacuum Society and of the Boehmische Physical Society.


  1. ^ a b 2003 Davisson-Germer Prize in Atomic or Surface Physics Recipient Presentation by American Physical Society
  2. ^ Past Winners of the Nottingham Prize retrieved 12 December 2010
  3. ^ Past MRS Medal Winners retrieved 12 December 2010
  4. ^ Medard W. Welch Award retrieved 12 December 2010
  5. ^ MRS Fellows Retrieved 12 December 2010