The research conducted within the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry is directed towards the study of organic reactivity at the forefront of 21st century chemistry, specifically at the overlap of nanotechnology, chemical biology, and organic synthesis.
In micro- and nanotechnology the goal is to come to really tiny devices, with the aims of e.g. increased speed and sensitivity of analysis. In such miniature devices the area becomes relatively very large (increased area/volume ratio), and as such 'cries out' for increased control over surface properties. In our lab we are closely observing surfaces, and develop or fine-tune their chemistry to allow functionalization with (bio-)organic materials. These can either be covalently attached, or deposited as a thin layer on top of the surface. This has e.g. led to novel functionalizations of glass, Si, SiC and Cu surfaces with a range of bio-functional moieties.
In this area we are both interested in the fundamental aspects as well as in the application thereof in practically relevant devices. Examples thereof include protein-repelling microsieves, non-oxidizing silicon, switchable liquid crystals, tailor-made microchannels with oligosaccharides that selectively capture toxic antibodies, and micropatterned, biofunctional Cu for biosensing purposes, leading to both highly cited scientific papers as well as five patents since 2005.
Apart from using these reactions, we also try to develop novel routes, partially to allow milder surface chemistry, but also to open new entries to long-known compounds. Our aim here is to use the toolbox of bio-organic chemistry to further develop the area of bio-based synthesis, so as to allow the use of agrochemicals and (preferably) currently unused agrochemical wastestreams as building blocks for bulk synthesis.
For further information contact prof. dr. Han Zuilhof or any of the scientists found under the more specific research group headings.