The aim of our research is to fabricate suitably functionalized, micro- and nanoscale structured model systems using preferably wet chemical methods and to analyze their properties and interactions with biological molecules and systems (e.g. cells) with high resolution microscopic methods. The insight obtained is exploited for the development of improved methods in sensor applications and surface modifications, e.g. for the control of cell - surface interactions.
The central global research questions revolve around the impact of the local chemical composition and structure on the micro- and nanoscale on chemical and physical processes at surfaces and in constrained geometries, such as for instance chemical reactions and intermolecular interactions.
In this respect, the control of surface structure and properties of the fabricated systems by suitable synthesis and modification are indispensible on the one hand. On the other hand the spatially highly resolved analysis of the physicochemical aspects of the functionality of the systems is of central importance. Quantitative atomic force microscopy (AFM) and its combination with different complementary techniques play a crucial role in our research.
Within our global areas of research our current activities are focused on 3 main directions, namely:
- Organic (bio)chemical reactions at surfaces, in confinement and in constrained geometries;
- Processes on 2D and 3D platforms with nanoscale chemical and structural definition, in particular molecular recognition at biointerfaces and cell surfaces;
- Dynamic processes in confinement & in constrained geometries and compositional analyses by highly resolved AFM in combination with optical methods.