This project focuses on the problem of how to extract atomic and molecular level structure information at molecule-solid interfaces from optical "fingerprint" spectra. To this end, the Nanostructures group develops surface-optical spectroscopy methods with high sensitivity and selectivity for interface structures on the nanometre scale.
In their project, the group investigates ordered interfaces of solids with organic molecules, so called hybrid model interfaces, by combining spectral characterisation with quantum-chemical modelling (in cooperation with external partners). Simple model interfaces are required for the ab initio simulations, but with the ongoing rapid development of computer-based modelling techniques, access to increasingly complex structures becomes feasible. Thus, in addition to the UHV-based model interfaces, the group will also address functional semiconductor interfaces in aqueous environments that are, for instance, relevant for biosensor applications.
This project is based on the work of former projects that enables the scientists to design ordered organic structures (nanowires) on nanoscopically structured semiconductor substrates. Using these structures, the group aims to analyse chemical and electronic interactions between organic molecules and solids. Such techniques have a high potential for applications in biomolecular sensor applications, but also for other bioanalytical problems like in quality control of drugs in the pharmaceutical industry.