Hybrid supramolecular/plasmonic switches based on host/guest chemistry

There is a growing interest for hybrid systems, made out from functional molecules conjugated with metal nanoparticles, due to their unique optoelectronic properties, scaffold capacity and possibility to tailor both material and surface composition. The current challenge is to control the molecular configuration around nanoparticles as a promising route to drive their functionality. In this context, we create novel intelligent nanomaterials based on the synergy of two rapidly evolving research fields – supramolecular self-assembly and plasmonics. Our idea is to link fluorophores and metal nanoparticles through stimuli-responsive organic linkers, whose external modulation will change the NP/fluorophore distance and thereby modulate the resulting luminescence. To this end, we are currently developing hybrid systems based on the reversible supramolecular interactions between β-cyclodextrin and hydrophobic guests, which can respond to electrochemical or light stimuli [1, 2]. The main feature of the proposed hybrid switches will be their external control and possibility to use multiple stimuli. Moreover, the intrinsic reversibility and selectivity of supramolecular interactions will allow to apply mild stimulation, while tuning luminescent properties reversibly and in a wide range. The potential applications of the proposed hybrid switches range from bio-assays to functional nanomaterials for sensing and watermarking.

Related Publications:

  • G. V. Dubacheva, M. Galibert, L. Coche-Guerente, P. Dumy, D. Boturyn and P. Labbé, Redox strategy for reversible attachment of biomolecules using bifunctional linkers, Chem. Commun. 47:3565 (2011)
  • G. V. Dubacheva, A. Van Der Heyden, P. Dumy, O. Kaftan, R. Auzély-Velty, L. Coche-Guerente, P. Labbé, Electrochemically controlled adsorption of Fc-functionalized polymers on β-CD-modified self-assembled monolayers, Langmuir, 26:13976 (2010)
Background and skills expected: The candidate should be motivated to work in interdisciplinary research team. A background in supramolecular or physical chemistry is required. Experience in organic synthesis is desirable. Skills in optical characterization and nanomaterials would be appreciated. The working language is English or French.
Competences that will be acquired during the internship: The successful candidate will take part in this multidisciplinary project. He/she will have the opportunity to explore different methodological approaches including synthetic (synthesis and functionalization of oligopeptide scaffolds) and surface (nanoparticle functionalization, self-assembly) chemistries and physico-chemical characterization using state-of-the-art equipment of our laboratory (DLS, UV-visible, fluorescence, electrochemistry).