Research

Functional materials

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This is an image of a Langmuir-Blodgett transfer onto gold

Langmuir-Blodgett transfer onto gold

Our interest lies in the use of thin film coatings for functionalization of surfaces with two main research directions, namely the production of biocompatible coatings and nanopatterned surfaces with a high degree of control over the structure and functionalization of materials.

Nanopatterning of surfaces is a field of rapidly growing importance with applications including fabrication of electronic devices and biotechnology. The use of LB/LS films to create nanostructured surfaces with a variety of patterns, in particular stripes, is well-documented. These transfer films provide the control over morphology but are limited in applications as physisorbed films are easily displaced. Self-assembled monolayer formation from solution using mixtures of long chain thiols has been used as a nanopatterning technique for solid substrates but can lack control over lateral spacings, domain shape and size. It does not enable complex patterns, yet it is experimentally easy, produces stable films and has been used in applications, e.g. biomolecular recognition and selective cell adhesion. We utilize a combination of self-assembly and deposition techniques to achieve controlled fabrication of nanopatterned solid substrates.

To confer biocompatibility, we have synthesized a series of designer lipids with polyphenolic headgroups which should interact with proteins. This combination of the functionality of a polyphenol with the surface activity of a lipid, provides the opportunity to control and manipulate surface properties for the design of specific applications, for example, tethering proteins and cells to surfaces.


 

Concordia University