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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.


Nyheder fra SurfLab


August 2020

Kris Strunge starts his PhD project in our group. Welcome Kris!

June 2020

Thaddeus Golbek and Tobias Weidner have a joint paper with researchers from China and Germany in Nano Letters about ageing of 2D materials:

How universal is the wetting aging in 2D materials

Previous studies indicate that 2D materials such as graphene, WS2 and MoS2 deposited on oxidized silicon substrate are susceptible to aging due to the adsorption of airborne contamination. As a result, their surfaces become more hydrophobic. However, it is not clear how ubiquitous such a hydrophobisation is, and the interplay between the specific adsorbed species and resultant wetting aging ...

May 2020

Steven Roeters, Tobias Weidner and collaborators have published a review article about protein structure at interfaces in Chemical Reviews. 

May 2020

New Surflab publication in collaboration with BIRD-C researchers from Vienna about bacterial ice nucleation: "Freezing from the inside: Ice nucleation in Escherichia coli and Escherichia coli ghosts by inner membrane bound ice nucleation protein InaZ".


May 2020

Thaddeus Golbek receives a postdoc fellowship from the Lundbeck Foundation. Congratulations Thaddeus!

April 2020

Fani Madzharova has joined our group as a postdoc. Welcome Fani! 

May 2020

Berit Brøndum Rasmussen has started her PhD project in our group. Welcome Berit!

March 2020

Tadneem Tabassum from Ruhr University Bochum has joined the lab for two months on a research stay.  Welcome  Tadneem!

March 2020

Thaddeus Golbek together with SurfLab researchers and Thomas Poulsen publish a paper in Langmuir entitled: Lasalocid Acid Antibiotic at a Membrane Surface Probed by Sum Frequency Generation Spectroscopy

SurfLabs forskning støttes af:

  • Carlsbergfondet
  • Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre (DHRTC)
  • Det Europæiske Forskningsråd (ERC)
  • Danmarks Frie Forskningsfond - Natur og Univers (FNU)
  • Lundbeckfonden
  • Novo Nordisk Fonden
  • Villum Fonden