Experimental Solid State Physics, Surface Science, Electron spectroscopy, organic thin films, molecular switches and motors, organic-inorganic hybrids, 2D solids
Member audit committee Applied Physics programmes TU Delft, TU Einhoven and University of Twente (2021); Evaluation panel member abroad: the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) 2020 and the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation, 2018-2021; Member of the International Advisory Committee for the African Strategy of Fundamental and Applied Physics of the African Academy of Science since 2020; Member of the Scientific Advisory Committees of the Max Planck Institute Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Hamburg 2020-2026; the SOLARIS National Synchrotron Radiation Centre, Kraków, since 2018; the Centre of Advanced Materials, Heidelberg University, since 2017; the HFML-FELIX Collaborative Alliance (2020-2023).
Prof. Rudolf specialised in Solid State Physics during her university studies. As research fellow she moved into the field of Surface Physics. She has been interested in different aspects of surface analysis (electronic structure with direct and inverse photoemission spectroscopy, electron energy loss, X-ray absorption and autoionisation spectroscopies; vibrational properties of adsorbed atoms and molecules by high resolution electron energy loss and infrared spectroscopies, surface crystalline structure by low energy electron diffraction and scanning tunnelling microscopy). Very recently she has also focused on time-resolved electron diffraction studies. Petra Rudolf has extensively used synchrotron radiation techniques. Her main research interests have been catalytic reactions at metal surfaces, adsorption of alkali metals on metallic, semiconducting and semimetallic surfaces, adsorption and self-assembly on surfaces of supramolecular architectures such as catenanes and rotaxanes, and the characterisation of clay nanocomposites and of ultrathin films of fullerene-based materials. Over the recent years her research interest has been divided between synthetic molecular motors and switches on surfaces to create new functional surfaces that harness and reveal mechanical motion at the single molecule level and at the macroscopic scale, organic thin films for molecular electronic applications, organic-inorganic hybrid thin films and (pillared) graphene for spintronics, hydrogen storage, catalytic and biomedical applications as well as environmental remediation.
1995 Doctorat en Sciences – groupe des Sciences Physiques [PhD in physics] plus grande distinction avec félicitations du jury (summa cum laude), supervisor: Prof. Roland Caudano, University of Namur, Belgium Thesis title: “Structural, vibrational and electronic properties of ultrathin C60 films on metallic substrates”.
1987 Laurea in Fisica [equivalent to MSc in Physics] 110/110 con lode (summa cum laude), supervisor: Prof. Andrea Frova, Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy, Thesis title: “Silicio amorfo idrogenato depositato mediante fasci ionici” (Hydrogenated amorphous silicon deposited by ion beams).
● Feb/20 – present Dean of Graduate Studies at University of Groningen (2 year half time mandate in addition to the academic tasks & heading the Surfaces and Thin Films group at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials)
● 2014-2018 Director of the Graduate School of Science and Engineering at the University of Groningen (4-year mandate full time, in addition to the academic tasks & heading the Surfaces and Thin Films group at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials)
● 2003-2014 Full Professor and since 2014 Senior Full Professor of Experimental Solid State Physics at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, The Netherlands (tenure position)
● 2003-08 Editor-in-Chief of the European Physical Journal B (part-time in addition to teaching and research duties at the University of Groningen)
● 2002-03 Consultant to the European Commission (DGXII) for assistance and monitoring of contracts in Materials Science (part-time, in addition to teaching and research duties at the Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix de Namur and at the Materials Science Centre, University of Groningen)
● 2002-03 Chef de travaux, Maître de Conférences (tenure position), 1998-2002 Premier assistant, Maître de Conférences (tenure position) and 1997-98 Assistant, Maître de Conférences at the Physics Department of the Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix de Namur.
● 1995-97 Senior research assistant of the National Fund for Scientific Research (Belgium) at the Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Spectroscopie Electroniques of the Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix de Namur, from 1996 onwards Maître de Conférences.
● 1994-95 Senior research fellow at the at the Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Spectroscopie Electroniques Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix de Namur, Belgium.
● 1991-93 Senior research fellow at the TASC-INFM laboratory, Trieste, Italy.
● 1990-91 Guest scientist at the AT&T Bell Laboratories in the Soft-X-Ray Spectroscopy group working on the Dragon beamline at the National Synchrotron Light Source, Brookhaven, N.Y., U.S.A.
● 1989-1990 Research fellow at the TASC-INFM laboratory, Trieste, Italy.
● 1987-89 Research fellow of the AREA di Ricerca, Trieste, Italy, and, for the last four months, at the AT&T Bell Laboratories in the Soft-X-Ray Spectroscopy group at the National Synchrotron Light Source, Brookhaven, U.S.A.
● 1987, Scientific collaborator of Dr. Carlo Coluzza and Prof. A. Bianconi, Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy.
● 2020 Elected foreign corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the Institute of Bologna
● 2018 Elected President of the European Physical Society for the Biennium April 2019-April 2021.
● 2016 Elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences and Engineering (acatech)
● 2015 Elected member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts
● Appointed Officer of the Order of Orange Nassau by H. M. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (2013)
● Fellow of the American Physical Society (2010) and of the Institute of Physics (2001); Lid van verdienst of the Dutch Physical Society (2006); Socio Benemerito of the Italian Physical Society (2018)
● 2007 EU DESCARTES Prize for the work on Molecular Machines
● 2008 Professeur Invité of the Institut Universitaire de France
● 2000 – 2001 President of the Belgian Physical Society
Services/Management tasks (mainly activities in last 5 years)
● Editor of Surface Science Reports (since 2019); member of the Editorial Board of Carbon Trends (since 2020); of La Rivista del Nuovo Cimento (since 2020), of Europhysics Letters (14/18) and of the New Journal of Physics (11/16), Chair of the Board of Directors of EPL since 2020; External Advisor of the European Physical Journal B since 2008.
● Member of the Executive Board of the Dutch Physics Council since 2020; Member of the Board of Directors of the Dutch Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM, 11/16); Member (04/07) and Chairperson (07/12) of the Board of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials;
● Chairperson of the Surface and Interface Section of the Condensed Matter Division of the European Physical Society (SIS-CMD-EPS) (10/18); Chair of Board of the European Conferences on Surface Science (10/18).