In the research project the doctoral student will use x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and optical spectroscopy in studies of adsorbates, clusters and growth processes on well-defined single crystal surfaces. Thin film growth and diffusion at metal surfaces are to be studied experimentally to determine which atomic processes are important for the growth process. Activation energies for diffusion and critical nucleus size are to be determined for homoepitaxial growth on cobalt surfaces. Numerical results from kinetic Monte Carlo simulations will be compared to experimental data. Optical, electronic and structural properties of clusters on surfaces will be investigated. Using femtosecond optical spectroscopy details in the interaction between free carriers, clusters and adsorbed molecules will be monitored. The interaction between metal clusters and alumina thin films will be studied. The electronic properties of lanthanum based surface alloys will be studied to gain insight to the alloy formation and the influence of lanthanides on adsorption of gas molecules on catalytically active metals.