Nanomaterials surfaces and interfaces dominate most physicochemical and biological processes occurring within functional nanomaterials. Interfaces can be engineered to tune the function and stability of nanostructures, their biological activity but also induce complex assembly at the meso- and the microscale, providing access to a range of bio-nano interactions.
The group has profound expertise in functional properties of local surface and interfaces within nanostructured solids. This includes:
- characterization and engineering of defects and impurities in metal oxide nanostructures,
- study of charged surfaces in the context of photoelectrochemical applications, and metal/semiconductor
- synthesis and study of nanostructured materials for surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy and biosensing
Various methods are employed to generate pure and nanoparticle composites in the form of dry powders, colloidal dispersions or thin nanostructured films with specific chemical, optical and electronic properties. Furthermore, our research aims at the understanding of growth and stability of these metastable nanoscale solids in order to determine their potential use and reliability under realistic operation conditions.
One important research area is the unambiguous description of the protein adsorption behavior on synthetic nanomaterials, which depends on the system complexity and physical properties. We focus therefore on the preparation and study of nanoparticles with well-defined properties. Upon transfer of gas-borne nanoparticles into aqueous dispersion the effect of proteins on the agglomeration and dispersion state of metal oxide nanoparticles and the reverse effect of particles on protein conformation and biological activity are addressed.
Department of Chemistry and Physics of Materials
Faculty for Natural Sciences