Joerg Lahann

Professor of Chemical Engineering

3414 GG Brown
T: (734) 763-7543






Dynamically Switching Surfaces

Our research on reversibly switching surfaces was featured in an article in Science (J. Lahann, et al., A Reversibly Switching Surface, January 17, 2003, 299, 371-374.) These "smart surfaces" can reversibly switch properties in response to an external stimulus. To demonstrate these findings, a surface design was developed that can be changed from water-attracting to water-repelling with the application of a weak electric field. Designed as a switch, single-layered molecular-level machines are aligned on a surface using self-assembly and then are flipped between defined microscopic states. This type of surface design may offer a new paradigm for interfacial engineering as it amplifies reversible conformational transitions at a molecular level to macroscopic changes in surface properties without altering the chemical identity of the surface.
Highlights (Click an image for more information)
  • Dynamically Switching Surfaces

    Dynamically switching surfaces are engineered with the ability to change from hydrophobic to hydrophilic at the flip of a switch.