Seminars and Events

Seminars and Events

Materials Science Factory


16 March 2017, 11:00 h. Salón de Actos

Organic field effect transistors in biosensing and neurosciences

Fabio Biscarini
Life Sciences Dept., Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modena , Italy

Organic bioelectronics is an emerging platform with impact in diagnostics,
loco-regional treatments and theranostics. It is largely based on organic
field effect transistors (OFET) that can be operated as ultra-sensitive
biosensors, transducers of electrical and electrochemical signals from
cells, and stimulators for electroactive cells. Their applications range
from detection of biomarkers in bodily fluids to implants for bidirectional
communication with the central nervous system. Several OFET layouts have
been demonstrated to be effective in aqueous operations, which are
distinguished either by their architecture or by the respective mechanism
of doping by the ions in the electrolyte solution. In this work we discuss
first some fundamental aspects that concern the coupling mechanism of these
devices with the biological systems, in particular we elucidate the role of
the different interfaces into greatly enhancing the sensitivity of these
devices and their capability to amplify very small potential variations at
the interfaces. We also show that this device, operated as a biosensor for
a primary inflammatory citokine, i.e. TNF-alpha, responds
super-exponentially, and not linearly, in current vs analyte concentration
in the sub-nM range. We unify the super-exponential and linear regimes by
means of an alaysis of the density of states of the organic semiconductor
channel upon the change of the electro-chemical potential caused by the
adsorption of TNF-alpha. We finally show that the response is modulated by
the gate voltage applied, and that is possible to measure the association
binding constant of the antibody-antigen recognition, the molar free
energy, and the electrostatic contribution to the

21 February 2017, 15:00 h. Sala de Seminarios, 182

Atomic Force Microscopy in controlled environment: a powerful tool for original experiments on hybrid systems, biomaterials, and biocomposites

David Siniscalco
Université Bretagne Sud, CNRS Centre de Recherche C. Huygens

There is a growing research interest on hybrid systems, biomaterials, and biocomposites because of their industrial application demands. Owing unique properties of these materials make more attractive in electronic, medical and transport applications.
Whatever the application field, a constant need of miniaturization, performance, structure lightening necessitates working and exploring the material properties at nanoscale. To do this, one of the most powerful tool is Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). By using AFM nanoscale tips, which interact with matter due to attractive and repulsive forces, numerous properties can be studied systematically. Due to its strong impact on properties and behaviour, temperature is considered as a key parameter. Indeed, its variations induce a significant change in material behaviour which can be positive (adhesion for example) or negative (electrical change). Consists of tip, micro-lever, photodetector, laser and control loop, the AFM can be used in different modes i.e. tapping, contact, non-contact, and PeakForce QNM. Consequently, a wide selection of measurements can be made under controlled environment (humidity, liquids, temperature, etc.,), and with different purposes such as topography, electrical measurements, force measurements, PeakForce-QNM.

To illustrate the contribution of the technics, different applications are presented. In the first part, a combination of AFM and RX reflectivity is used to understand the structure and interfaces of hybrid nanofilms (Polystyren/Gold) at different temperatures (-20°C to 220°C). In this way, AFM has been used to highlight different properties which are not possible to study by other technics such as electrical behaviour, adhesion and surface characterization with a new method

31 January 2017, 12:00 h. Sala de Seminarios, 182

Unveiling Natural Optical Activity of Disordered Media

F. A. Pinheiro
Instituto de Física, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

The concept of chirality, introduced by Lord Kelvin in order to describe geometrical objects that cannot superimposed with their mirror image, is ubiquitous in the natural world. Despite substantial efforts to understand the optical properties of naturally occurring chiral media and to design artificial ones, disordered media remain an overlooked class of chiral systems. Since disordered systems lack centre and plane of mirror symmetry, they should exhibit natural optical activity. However, previous experimental evidence of natural optical activity in random media has never been attributed to the intrinsic chirality of a random system, but rather to alternative explanations, such as surface contamination by unwanted chiral substances.

Here, we demonstrate natural optical activity due to intrinsic geometric chirality in disordered, diffusive scattering systems, consisting of plasmonic resonators. We employ a microscopic electromagnetic wave transport theory, and derive an expression for the rotatory power and the spatial dichroism of a medium consisting of randomly distributed pointlike scatterers. By means of a systematic statistical analysis of natural optical activity in random media, we argue that the standard deviation of both rotatory power and spatial dichroism are strongly dependent on the density of scatterers and the scattering mean free path. We independently confirm our results by full-wave finite element simulations and show that disordered ensembles of plasmonic nanoparticles can exhibit dichroism more than an order of magnitude higher than in helical configurations with the same particle density.


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