The objective of this project is to make electrically tunable surfaces in silicon microchannels for the control of fluid flow and catalysis. To accomplish this, self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) are used; SAMs form ultrathin, covalently bound, chemical interfaces of typically a few nanometers thick.
By changing the surface free energy, liquids can be 'pushed' or 'pulled', these electrowetting experiments will be performed on SAMs as they can form well-packed, insulating, and hydrophobic interfaces. This is schematically shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Electrowetting on hydrophobic monolayer
Also it will be tried to use electrostatic interactions to induce a conformational change in the SAM, this way the surface groups (e.g. catalytic groups) of the monolayer could be switched 'on' and 'off'.
Figure 2. Inducing conformational change in SAM
ir. Steffen Onclin
University of Twente
MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
Phone: +31 (0)53 489 2933
Fax: +31 (0)53 489 3595