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Surfaces - It's where the action is:



Interfaces play a deciding role in many aspects of modern chemistry and material science – catalysis, adhesion, sensing, nucleation are all processes driven by interfaces.

We use methods based on static and time-resolved sum frequency generation to probe the orientation, structure and dynamics of molecules at interfaces. Near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy and microscopy are used as complementary tools to probe binding chemistry, surface distribution and molecular structure.



An important part of our research are protein structures at interfaces. Specific proteins can act as Nature’s engineers of both hard and soft tissue. Proteins can ‘sculpture’ biogenic minerals and shape cell membranes. The control interfacial proteins exert over biological surfaces has relevance for disciplines as diverse as cell biology, bio-sensor research, biomimetics and material science. We ask how proteins fold and move at surfaces and how energy flows through protein interfaces.


For technical applications we use chemical modification of surfaces to prevent biofouling and scaling and to reduce friction. The approaches we use are inspired by our studies of the surface chemistry of animals. Can we fabricate self-cleaning surfaces like plants? Stick to walls like a spider? Glue like a frog tongue?

The goal of our research is to understand how molecules operate at surfaces and how we can control interfacial processes at the molecular level.


SurfLab News


October 2019

Article published in Nature Communications by Mette Rasmussen and Tobias Weidner:
"NEXAFS imaging to characterize the physio-chemical composition of cuticle from African Flower Scarab Eudicella gralli"

October 2019

Steven Roeters starts on his postdoc project about the oligomerisation of a-synuclein funded by the Lundbeck Foundation.

September 2019

Thaddeus Golbek, Steven Roeters and Tobias Weidner publish a paper in Biophysical Journal jointly with researchers at Oregon State University entitled "Otoferlin C2F Domain-Induced Changes in Membrane Structure Observed by Sum Frequency Generation". 

July 2019

Lars Schmüser-Steger starts his postdoc project to study the folding of ion channels within lipid membranes. The project is funded by a Lundbeck Foundation postdoc fellowship.

SurfLab research is supported by:

  • The Carlsberg Foundation
  • Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre (DHRTC)
  • The European Research Council (ERC)
  • The Independent Research Fund Denmark - Nature and Universe (FNU)
  • The Lundbeck Foundation
  • The Novo Nordisk Foundation
  • The Villum Foundation