Cluster 1: Nanohybrid Fabrication

Participants focus on fabrication of highly-coherent and highly-ordered three-dimensional nanostructures (3-D nanostructures), and subsequent hybridization with sensors, biomaterials, engineered nanoparticles, nanoribbons, and responsive polymers. Surface properties are investigated and modified to study and influence chemisorption or physisorption processes.

Cluster 1 Research Focii:

Area 1: Glancing Angle Deposition.

The objective of this research is to exploit Glancing Angle Deposition (GLAD) for fabrication of highly-porous ultra-thin films composed of highly-coherent and highly-ordered 3-D nanostructures. A related objective is to develop new approaches in GLAD by using ion-beam-assisted deposition (IBAD) methodology (iGLAD) and ion-beam-assisted self-organization of regular nanopattern to improve order and shape accuracy of 3-D nanostructures. Surface physics topics studied after fabrication include anisotropy of electronic surface states, surface magnetism, surface diffusion, surface reconstruction, surface-enhanced optical, electro-optical, electrical, magnetic, magneto-optical and mechanical processes, and the self-assembly of nanostructures on surface.

Keywords: Highly porous thin films; GLAD, iGLAD; Self-assembly of nanostructures; IBAD, Ion-beam patterning.

Area 2: Surface-chemistry modification.

The objective of this research is to modify and control the chemical properties of 3-D nanostructures by coherent overgrowth of ultra-thin films using physical and chemical vapor phase epitaxy methods, and wet-chemical approaches. Specifically, Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) methods are used for coherent overgrowth with metal, metal oxide, and semiconductor ultra-thin films such as graphene. Wet-chemical approaches are exploited for surface passivation with self-assembled monolayers. Synthesis development includes multivalent amphiphiles as passivating layers and potential linkers.

Keywords: ALD, CVD, Self-assembled monolayers; Surface linkers; Antifouling; Passivation; Graphene nanoscaffolds.

Area 3: Hybridization with nanoparticles, organic functional elements, and responsive polymers.

The objective of this research is to develop and bind specific responsive functional elements onto and/or within 3-D nanostructures. Such functional elements include antibody- and aptamer-based electrochemical sensors, electrochemical DNA sensors, DNA conjugates as agents for DNA delivery to cells, stimuli-responsive functional polymer brushes, and engineered nanoparticles and colloids. Sensor development includes generalizable electrochemical biosensors for detection of DNA, small molecules, metal ions and proteins.

Keywords: Folding-based protein sensors; Folding-based electrochemical sensors; DNA delivery; Cell-instructive surfaces; Stimuli-responsive polymer brushes.


Cluster 1 Recent Research Highlights:

Slanted Columnar Thin Films Prepared by GLAD Functionalized with Polyacrylic Acid Guiselin Polymer Brushes.
Anisotropic Bruggeman Effective Medium Approaches for Slanted Columnar Thin Films.
Large-Scale Solution Synthesis of Narrow Graphene Nanoribbons.
Visualization of magnetic domains in sculpted three-dimensional cobalt nanospirals.
Three-Dimensional Periodic Graphene Nanostructures.
Design and Synthesis of a New Class of Twin-Chain Amphiphiles for SAM-based EC Biosensor Applications.
Optical Properties of Cobalt Slanted Columnar Thin Films Passivated by Atomic Layer Deposition.

Cluster 1 Researchers

Eva Schubert - GLAD, Ion-beam-assisted deposition; 3-D nanostructure materials for energy applications. Alex Sinitskii - Nanomaterial large-scale chemical synthesis. Natale Ianno - Ultra-thin layers. Rebecca Lai - Folding-based (aptamer) sensors; Protein and DNA functionalization; Electrochemical sensors. Angela Pannier - Drug and gene delivery; Cell-instructive surfaces. David Hage - Nano- and microfluidics. Patrick Dussault - Amphiphiles; Antifouling diluents. Andrea Holmes - Dye-based sensors; Nanoscale printing. Scott Darveau - Nanoparticle synthesis. Christopher Exstrom - Nanoparticle synthesis. Ming Han - Hollow core fibers.