Dr Cyrus Hirjibehedin

Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics

Dr Cyrus Hirjibehedin

Address: Room 2C3, London Centre for Nanotechnology, 17-19 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AH, United Kingdom
Phone No: +44 (0)20 7679 2617
Fax No: +44 (0)20 7679 0595
Extension: 32617
Dr Cyrus Hirjibehedin profile photo

Research areas of interest include:

  • Magnetic Nanostructures
  • Dopants in Semiconductors
  • Low Dimensional Quantum Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Electronics and Spintronics
  • Many-body quantum phenomena, including quantum Hall effects and Kondo screening


Research Images

My group's research focuses on understanding the electronic and magnetic properties of nanoscale structures and exploring how they might be used to make the smallest possible devices for information processing, data storage, and sensing. The primary tools that we use are low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopes. These state-of-the art instruments allow us to image individual atoms and molecules on surfaces; probe their structural, electronic, and magnetic properties; and even arrange them into new configurations.

You can find out more by visiting the Hirjibehedin Research Group.

For an overview of our work, you can watch a recent invited lecture on YouTube.

Research Profile

Selected Publications

News & Views - Magnetic atoms: The makings of a Hund's metal
Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin
Nature Nanotechnology 10, 914 (2015)

Tunable magnetoresistance in an asymmetrically coupled single-molecule junction
Ben Warner, Fadi El Hallak, Henning Prüser, John Sharp, Mats Persson, Andrew J. Fisher, and Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin
Nature Nanotechnology 10, 259 (2015)

High-temperature antiferromagnetism in molecular semiconductor thin films and nanostructures
Michele Serri, Wei Wu, Luke R. Fleet, Nicholas M. Harrison, Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin, Christopher W.M. Kay, Andrew J. Fisher, Gabriel Aeppli, and Sandrine Heutz
Nature Communications 5, 3079 (2014)

Control of single-spin magnetic anisotropy by exchange coupling
Jenny C. Oberg, M. Reyes Calvo, Fernando Delgado, María Moro-Lagares, David Serrate, David Jacob, Joaquín Fernández-Rossier, and Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin
Nature Nanotechnology 9, 64 (2014)

News & Views - Spintronics: How to live longer
Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin
Nature Physics 9, 756 (2013)

Quantum engineering at the silicon surface using dangling bonds
S.R. Schofield, P. Studer, C.F. Hirjibehedin, N. J. Curson, G. Aeppli, and D.R. Bowler
Nature Communications 4, 1649 (2013)

Studying atomic scale structural and electronic properties of ion implanted silicon samples using cross-sectional scanning tunneling microscopy
Philipp Studer, Steven R. Schofield, Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin, and Neil J. Curson
Applied Physics Letters 102, 012107 (2013)

Site-Dependent Ambipolar Charge States Induced by Group V Atoms in a Silicon Surface
Philipp Studer, Veronika Brázdová, Steven R. Schofield, David R. Bowler, Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin, and Neil J. Curson
ACS Nano 6, 10456 (2012)

Charge-density waves in the graphene sheets of the superconductor CaC6
K.C. Rahnejat, C.A. Howard, N.E. Shuttleworth, S.R. Schofield, K. Iwaya, C.F. Hirjibehedin, Ch. Renner, G. Aeppli, and M. Ellerby
Nature Communications 2, 558 (2011)

Spin excitations of a Kondo-screened atom coupled to a second magnetic atom
A.F. Otte, M. Ternes, S. Loth, C.P. Lutz, C.F. Hirjibehedin, and A.J. Heinrich
Physical Review Letters 103, 107203 (2009)

The role of magnetic anisotropy in the Kondo effect
Alexander F. Otte, Markus Ternes, Kirsten von Bergmann, Sebastian Loth, Harald Brune, Christopher P. Lutz, Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin, and Andreas J. Heinrich
Nature Physics, 4, 847 (2008)

The Force Needed to Move an Atom on a Surface
Markus Ternes, Christopher P. Lutz, Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin, Franz J. Giessibl, Andreas J. Heinrich
Science 319, 1066 (2008)

Large Magnetic Anisotropy of a Single Atomic Spin Embedded in a Surface Molecular Network
Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin, Chiung-Yuan Lin, Alexander F. Otte, Markus Ternes, Christopher P. Lutz, Barbara A. Jones, Andreas J. Heinrich
Science 317, 1199 (2007)

Spin-Coupling in Engineered Atomic Structures
Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin, Christopher P. Lutz, Andreas J. Heinrich
Science 312, 1021 (2006)

All Publications

Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin is a Reader, the UK equivalent of an Associate Professor, in the London Centre for Nanotechnology, Department of Physics & Astronomy, and Department of Chemistry at University College London (UCL).  His group's research is focused on understanding the electronic and magnetic properties of nanometer-scale structures and exploring their potential applications in future paradigms of information processing, data storage, and sensing.  The primary tools that he uses for his research are low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopes, some of which operate in high magnetic fields.  These systems are able to image, manipulate, and probe structures on surfaces at the scale of individual atoms.

Dr Hirjibehedin received a B.S. in both Physics and Computer Science from Stanford University in 1997, after which he earned a Ph.D. in Physics from Columbia University in 2004.  His dissertation research – conducted at both Columbia and Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies under the guidance of Professor Aron Pinczuk – was a study of novel interaction effects in low dimensional electron systems formed in semiconductor quantum structures.

In 2004, Dr Hirjibehedin became a postdoctoral Research Staff Member at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in the Low-Temperature Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Group.  Working with Drs. Don Eigler and Andreas Heinrich, he used the atom-manipulation and spin-excitation-spectroscopy capabilities of a low-temperature high-field scanning tunneling microscope to study the onset of cooperative magnetic behavior in atomically-precise low-dimensional structures.

Career History

  • Reader (Associate Professor), UCL (2013-present)
  • Lecturer (Assistant Professor), UCL (2007-2013)
  • Postdoctoral Scientist, IBM Almaden Research Center (2004-2007)
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies (1998-2004)


  • Ph.D. in Physics, Columbia University (2004)
  • M.Phil. in Physics, Columbia University (2000)
  • M.A. in Physics, Columbia University (1999)
  • B.S. in Physics and Computer Science, Stanford University (1997)

Awards and Honors

  • Outstanding Innovation Award, IBM Almaden Research Center (2007)
  • Bravo Team Award, IBM Almaden Research Center (2006)
  • Charles Townes Fellow, Columbia University (2003)
  • Jerry Selvaggi Scholar, Columbia University (2002)
  • Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAAN) Fellowship, Columbia University (1999-2001)
  • David Starr Jordan Scholar, Stanford University (1993)

External Positions


  • American Physical Society
  • Institute of Physics