Collaborative Research: Stepwise Functionalization and Surface Modification for ZnO Nanostructure-based Biosensors

Project Details


1264508(Lu) The goal of the proposed research is to perform in-depth scientific understanding of surface and interface chemistry of nanostructured ZnO and MgZnO and biomolecules in order to design and develop the innovative surface functionalization at the molecular level to enable a new generation of biosensors with ultra-high sensitivity and selectivity, and multi-modal operation. This multidisciplinary research will include MOCVD growth of ZnO and MgZnO nanostructures with controlled dimension and morphology, design and experiments of chemical binding of molecular linker layers, comprehensive characterization of the ZnO/organic molecule interfaces, and implementation of the functionalization technology for sensing applications. The main approach includes (i) synthesis of highly ordered ZnO and MgZnO nanostructures with controlled dimension, morphologies, and surface wettability; (ii) Study of the photophysical and chemical properties between these nanostructures and the molecular linker layers designed by using the probe chromophores to achieve unprecedented understanding of the interfacial chemistry, and (iii) Implementation of the interfacial chemistry to design and develop the surface functionalization technology for application in the ZnO nanostructure-based biosensors.

General public statement:

This project will study how molecules important in sensor development, for example antibodies or enzymes, may be immobilized on nanomaterials. Ensuring that biomolecules function well after immobilization is critical to the successful development of biosensors and this proposal will develop new immobilization strategies.

Effective start/end date7/15/136/30/17


  • National Science Foundation: $220,000.00


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