SAMOS (Self-Assembled Materials On Surfaces) Giorgio Contini Lab


Mission

The research interest of SAMOS Lab focus on two-dimensional nanostructured materials mainly based on molecular self-assembly on surfaces, and on how to control their size, shape and composition. Aim of the laboratory is to develop organic molecular structures on surfaces that are of particular importance for molecular electronic devices, sensors and catalysis.

 

Research Activities

Surface-confined polymerization

The polymerization of functional molecules on surfaces is a very promising bottom-up strategy to build one- and two-dimensional (1D, 2D) conjugated polymers, new alternative materials to graphene, presenting some advantages in comparison to inorganic materials in economic terms and for their possible use in flexible electronics. The Aim is the production of polymers with tunable electrical conductibility to be used as active media into electronic devices and photonics. Through the appropriate choice of the monomer is possible to obtain a polymer with different geometries and the resulting change in the characteristics of the electric charge transport in the device.

Main activities are focused on the application of the Ullmann and Schiff methods for the realization of polymeric structures, respectively in ultra high vacuum and under liquid. Ullmann method involves the use of molecules containing halogen atoms that detach through the interaction with the catalytic surface leaving dangling bonds for the polymerization. The other polymerization method, occurring at the solid-liquid interface utilizes the formation of Schiff-base functionalities in a condensation polymerization approach, obtained in a two-step reaction involving complementary functionalities, amino and aldehyde.

Electrochemical devices for biological application

The aim of the project is the study and the fabrication of low-cost portable electrochemical biosensors for a real-time and easy to use detection of biomarkers in inflammatory ophthalmic diseases.
To achieve this goals a multidisciplinary approach is pursued by a team with different backgrounds (biologists, physicists, engineers and ophthalmologists). The SAMOS Lab is mainly involved in the implementation of different structured pattern to efficiently functionalize the surface of the sensors.

Chiral surfaces by absorption of chiral molecules

The goal of this research is to realize a chiral system that presents stereospecific catalyst properties obtained by organic molecules adsorbed on metals and semiconductors. The creation of a chiral system can be done by formation of a chiral film by molecular self-assembly on surfaces.

A molecule that cannot be superimposed on its mirror image is chiral and exist in right and left-handed forms called enantiomers. Enantiomers differ each other only for their different response to circular polarized radiation and because interact differently with other chiral molecules. This second property is chemically more relevant. When two chiral molecules interact, the interaction is regulated by their enantiomeric forms; a completely different interaction may be observed. This phenomenon is crucial for chemical and biological systems. Chirality is important for living systems, because almost all the proteins made up of amino acids, are chiral. Proteins interact differently with the two enantiomers form of a molecule and then each enantiomer will have a different effect on living systems. The final aim is the realization of complex chiral interfaces (HOST), devoted to interfacing with chiral molecule corresponding to the reactive part of large biological components (GUEST).

 

Experimental Apparatus

The ultra-high-vacuum (UHV) apparatus at SAMOS Lab has been designed to investigate the structure and reactivity of surfaces with particular attention to organic molecules adsorbed on metal and semiconductor surfaces. Molecules can be deposited on the sample, previously treated to obtain a clean and reconstructed surface (by annealing and Ar ion sputtering facilities). Low energy electron diffraction (LEED) and mass spectrometer are used to control the samples. After the preparation, the samples can be transferred in the analysis chamber, equipped with a Al-Mg X-ray source, an electron gun and a five-channeltrons VG electron analyzer, were X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) can be done. The preparation and analysis chambers share the same manipulator. A fast entry lock and a supplementary chamber for samples treatments are present.

20160112_130116

Intership, Laurea and PhD theses done at SAMOS Lab

  • 2018/2019, Chiara Ceccarelli, Bachelor degree Thesis, Material Science, Physics Dep., “Tor Vergata” Univ., Rome, Italy
  • 2018/2019, Federico Frezza, Bachelor degree Thesis, Material Science, Physics Dep., “Tor Vergata” Univ., Rome, Italy
  • 2018/2019, Michele Moriconi, Bachelor degree Thesis, Material Science, Physics Dep., “Tor Vergata” Univ., Rome, Italy
  • 2017/2018, Benjamin Genc, Master degree Intership, Photonic, Technische Hochschule Wildau, Berlin, Germany
  • 2017/2018, Dominik Dettmann, Master degree Thesis, Photonic, Technische Hochschule Wildau, Berlin, Germany
  • 2016/2017, Dominik Dettmann, Master degree Intership, Photonic, Technische Hochschule Wildau, Berlin, Germany
  • 2015/2016, Matteo Cucchi, Bachelor degree Thesis, Material Science, Physics Dep., “Tor Vergata” Univ., Rome, Italy
  • 2014/2015, Nicola Rana, Master degree Thesis, Material Science, Physics Dep., “Tor Vergata” Univ., Rome, Italy
  • 2011/2015, Marco Di Giovannantonio, PhD Thesis in Physics, Physics Dep., “Tor Vergata” Univ., Rome, Italy
  • 2012/13, Stefano Tebi, Master degree Thesis, Material Science, Physics Dep., “Tor Vergata” Univ., Rome, Italy
  • 2012/13, Gianluca Galeotti, Master degree Thesis, Material Science, Physics Dep., “Tor Vergata” Univ., Rome, Italy
  • 2011/12, Riccardo Gatti, Bachelor degree Thesis, Material Science, Physics Dep., “Tor Vergata” Univ., Rome, Italy
  • 2010/11, Marco Di Giovannantonio, Master degree Thesis, Material Science, Physics Dep., “Tor Vergata” Univ., Rome, Italy
  • 2008/09, Francesco Di Giacomo, Bachelor degree Thesis, Material Science, Physics Dep., “Tor Vergata” Univ., Rome, Italy
  • 2008/09, Marco Di Giovannantonio, Bachelor degree Thesis, Material Science, Physics Dep., “Tor Vergata” Univ., Rome, Italy
  • 2004/05, Simone Sanna, Master degree Thesis, Material Science, Physics Dep., “Tor Vergata” Univ., Rome, Italy
  • 2002/03, Simone Sanna, Bachelor degree Thesis, Material Science, Physics Dep., “Tor Vergata” Univ., Rome, Italy
  • 2002/04, Simona Irrera, PhD Thesis in Chemistry, Chemistry Dep., “La Sapienza” Univ., Rome, Italy

 

International and National Collaborations

Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Énergie, Matériaux et Télécommunications, Université du Québec, Varennes, Québec, Canada

Department of Chemistry, McGill University, Montreal, Québec, Canada

Institut Jean Lamour, UMR 7198, Université Lorraine/CNRS, Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy, France; Synchrotron SOLEIL, Gif sur Yvette, France

Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany

Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York, United States

Physik Department, Technische Universität München, Garching, Germany

Physics Department, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Roma, Italy

Chemistry Department, Univ. of Pavia, Pavia, Italy; Sincrotrone Trieste, Trieste, Italy

Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche e Farmaceutiche, Univ. Trieste, Trieste, Italy

Chimica e Tecnologie del Farmaco Dep., Univ. of Roma “La Sapienza”, Roma, Italy

Physics, Applied Engineering and Chemical Science and technology Dip.s, Univ. Roma Tre, Roma, Italy

ENEA Frascati Research Centre, Frascati, Roma, Italy

Istituto Officine Materiali, CNR, Trieste, Italy

Istituto di Famacologia Traslazionale, CNR, Roma, Italy

Istituto Microelettronica e Microsistemi, CNR, Roma, Italy

Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, CNR, Monterotondo S., Roma, Italy

IRCCS Fondazione GB Bietti, Roma, Italy