Surfaces exposed to the environment (e.g. the ocean) typically undergo biofouling and corrosion over time. Silicon nanofilaments have the potential to overcome these issues as well as potentially reduce friction of moving boats.
Animals like spiders and frogs can capture their prey using powerful natural glues. These glues are able to stick to both polar and non-polar surfaces, and they can be mechanically activated and deactivated (i.e. they adhere only under force).
Amino acids are chiral molecules and come in both left-handed and right-handed forms. Nevertheless, virtually all living organisms on Earth are exclusively made of left-handed amino acids and nobody knows why.
Diatom cell walls are constructed by a unique protein (Silaffin) whereby the protein organizes minerals into unique structures. By using derivatives of the Silaffin protein, we can create unique bio-mineral surfaces
Sum frequency generation scattering spectroscopy can provide information about the surface physics of particles. What is the surface structure of nanoparticles, water droplets and aerosols? You may be the first to know.
Sum frequency generation spectroscopy can probe molecules at interfaces using femtosecond laser pulses. We are now building a two dimensional SFG experiment which can probe energy transfer and coupling between molecular groups at interfaces.
Bacteria can stimulate the growth of ice and snow using ice nucleating proteins (INPs). They use them to attack plants with frost damage and, when air-borne, they drive cloud seeding and snow precipitation.
Femtosecond laser pulses are altered by all optical components on its path. We need to know the chirp and pulse duration of the mid IR laser pulses. One technique to characterize these is Cross Correlation Frequency-Resolved Optical Gating (X-FROG).