The group research focuses on the chemical (elemental and molecular) characterization of functional surfaces and materials. Fundamental and applied research is performed on a wide range of organic functional materials, biological materials and organic devices. The main fields of applications are Molecular Electronics, Functional Polymers, Bio-medical applications and Toxicity in bio-materials.
Current research in brief
Metallic and semi-conducting surfaces are functionalized with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of various molecules with specific properties. Surfaces with dedicated functionalities are obtained that allow surface potential tuning, enhanced compatibility for further organic integration, lowering of the electronic injection barrier or selective spin transfer. Final functional surface macroscopic properties are assessed and correlated to the microscopic molecular information (see more).
Thin functional polymer films fabricated by different routes are developed for main applications in optoelectronics (spin coated films) and bio-sensing (plasma deposited films). The in-depth chemical composition of the films is addressed, as well as the interfaces quality, intermixing, ionic migration, gradient transitions, etc. These pieces of information are then used to interpret the macroscopic observations and adapt the fabrication processes to achieve enhanced functionalities (see more).
The cross-linking of collagen in tissues, the incorporation of drug nano-carriers in the organs and the mutation of bacteria cell surface are currently under study and span over the three main branches of bio-medical applications: detect/study the evolution of a disease, heal a disease and prevent from a disease, respectively. In all three cases, ToF-SIMS characterization is essential, as chemical interactions and reactions play a crucial role in the macroscopic evolution of the processes involved (see more).
Toxicity in bio-materials
The toxicity of nanoparticles (np) on monocellular organisms is studied. While vital and metabolic functions are tested by several dedicated macroscopic techniques, the internalization level of nanoparticles and by-products are evaluated and quantified by ToF-SIMS (see more).