Nanostructures and Plasmonics

Creating surface patterns at nanoscale is a key step for different scientific and technological objectives. We apply colloidal monolayers as templates and masks to create optically, mechanically and biologically active substrates. This colloidal lithography approach allows for the preparation of high quality surface pattern over macroscopic dimensions. Our current focus is the design of plasmonic materials with tailored light-matter interactions.

Colloidal Lithography

Colloidal lithography serves as a simple yet efficient tool to obtain wafer-scale nanostructuring. The process takes advantage of the ability of colloidal particles to form ordered monolayer structures at liquid interfaces. We transfer these monolayers to solid substrates, which serve as nanoscale templates to create complex surface structures by a combination of (angular) deposition and etching steps. We develop new fabrication methods to increase the portfolio of available structural motifs and improve assembly and deposition techniques.

Plasmonic Nanostructures

In the Vogel lab, we develop colloidal lithography methods to create macroscopic arrays of complex plasmonic nanostructures with tailored optical properties. We currently focus on the hybridisation of resonances within plasmonic molecules, chiroptical plasmonics and lattice related effects such as surface lattice resonances. Our work enables access to large-area high quality substrates with unique optical properties without relying on state-of-art clean room technologies.

Eric S.A. Goerlitzer, Reza Mohammadi, Sergey Nechayev, Kirsten Volk, Marcel Rey, Peter Banzer, Matthias Karg, Nicolas Vogel
Chiral Surface Lattice Resonances
Advanced Materials, 2020, 32, 2001330 

Cell-Surface Interactions

New biomaterials for medical implants, tissue engineering and drug delivery are often prepared from polymer/nanoparticle composite materials are applied as particulate coatings and therefore inherently feature a nanostructures surface topography. Especially in the field of bone tissue engineering, where the adhesion of cells with the underlying substrate is crucial for the function of an implant, a detailed understanding about the influence of surface topography is required. We use colloidal self-assembly and molecular surface functionalization to create model surfaces with tailored surface topographies and functionalities to investigate cell-surface interactions and gain fundamental knowledge about the response of mammalian cells to different feature sizes and geometry. We can further include functional properties and external stimuli to manipulate the cellular behavior, for example using light-induced heating of plasmonic structures to transiently create pores in cell walls to deliver active cargos.