Nanostructured surface and interface is the focus of multi-interdisciplinary research areas involving chemistry, physics, material science and biology. In nature, examples of superior performance originating from the nanostructures at surface or interface are countless, such as the ‘lotus effect’, structural color of butterfly wings, structures and functions of biological membrane, to name just a few. Withinthis research direction, developing and improving the fabrication strategy and understanding the corresponding mechanism for hierarchically ordered nano- structures are essential, with an emphasis on the structure-property relationship, adjusting and optimizing the diffusion, interaction, assembly and reaction of functional molecules on the structured surface. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) are utilized to visualize the above mentioned process at atomic scale in real space.
1. Controllable assembly of functional materials on the structured surface
By using ordered nanoscale structures as the template, the mechanism of typical metal colloidal nanoparticles assembly and conductive polymer in-situ growth within nanoscale spatial confinement can be investigated. The serial strategies with our own characteristics can be developed to achieve precisely controlled and ordered assembly of functional materials.
2. Interface structure-controlled synthesis (or integration) of nanocomposite materials
We investigate the formation of metal-organic frameworks via assembling metal ions with organic ligands on various interfaces, developing metal-organic framework-based devices and nanocomposite materials, and exploring their applications in catalysis, sensing, etc.
3. Functional molecular materials and structured surfaces
We aim here to achieve patterned growth of organic semiconductors on structured surfaces, and to optimize physical and device properties. The ultimate goal is to develop a general method which is compatible with modern lithography methodology to achieve complex functional organic molecular architectures.
4. On-surface chemistry
In recent years, ‘on-surface chemistry’ or ‘on-surface reaction’ has become a new concept to create robust, ordered molecular structures that may also exhibit novel properties. We have demonstrated that the metallic crystal surface plays an important, even determinative role for surface reactions. We will systematically study the reaction mechanisms, reaction processes, and intermediate states, as well as characterize the molecular electronic states and catalytic activities.
Editor: Danting Xiang