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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


January 2021
A new article on dysferlin has been published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry B by SurfLab researchers in collaboration with researchers from the Oregon State University: 

Direct Evidence That Mutations within Dysferlin’s C2A Domain Inhibit Lipid Clustering

Direct Evidence That Mutations within Dysferlin’s C2A Domain Inhibit Lipid Clustering

January 2021
Lars Schmüser, Thaddeus Golbek and Tobias Weidner have published an article about spectroscopy of particles surfaces in Biointerphases:   

Windowless detection geometry for sum frequency scattering spectroscopy in the C– D and amide I regions

January 2021 
Seema Kumari is joining our group as a Research Assistant. Welcome, Seema!

November 2020 - Siad Dahir Ali
Siad Dahir Ali is joining our group as a Research Assistant. Welcome Siad!

October 2020 - James Pickering
James Pickering has joined our group as a postdoc. Welcome James!

August 2020 - Kris Strunge
Kris Strunge starts his PhD project in our group. Welcome Kris!

September 2020 - Article in Langmuir

Surflab researchers with collaborators from the University of Washington, Seattle, have published an article in Langmuir. 

The study highlights news methods to determine protein structure at interfaces:

Orientation and Conformation of Proteins at the Air-Water Interface Determined from Integrative Molecular Dynamics Simulations and Sum Frequency Generation Spectroscopy

June 2020 - Paper in Nano Letters

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 ...

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