Molecular Structures of Polymer and Biological Molecules at Buried Interfaces

Presenter: Prof. Zhan Chen (University of Michigan)

Topic: Molecular Structures of Polymer and Biological Molecules at Buried Interfaces

Time: 9:30 AM, Dec.13th( Thursday )

Location:Conference Room B, BLDG 909-1F,Dushu Lake Campus


It is important to elucidate molecular structures of polymer and biological molecules at interfaces because such structures mediate functions of these molecules. However, it is difficult to examine such interfaces in situ in real time due to the lack of appropriate tools. In the recently years, we have used a nonlinear optical laser spectroscopy, sum frequency generation (SFG) vibrational spectroscopy, to investigate molecular structures of interfacial polymer and biological molecules in situ. We have successfully elucidated interfacial molecular structures of polymer materials, antimicrobial peptides, membrane associated proteins, and various enzymes using SFG, supplemented by attenuated total reflectance (ATR)-FTIR and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy as well as all-atom and coarse-grain molecular dynamics simulations. This talk will focus on our recent results on semiconducting polymers, surface immobilized peptides and enzymes, and molecular interactions between 2D materials and biological molecules.


Professor Zhan Chen received his BS degree in Chemistry from Peking University, MS degree in Physics from Chinese Academy of Sciences, PhD degree in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, and did his postdoctoral research in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He then worked at the University of Michigan as an assistant professor (2000-2005), an associate professor with tenure (2005-2009), and was promoted to a full professor with tenure in 2009. Currently he is a professor of chemistry, macromolecular science and engineering, biophysics and applied physics at the University of Michigan. Professor Chen received Beckman Young Investigator Award, Dow Corning Professorship, US National Science Foundation Career Award, and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Invitation Fellowship. He is a senior editor of Langmuir and an associate editor-in-chief of Chinese Chemical Letters. Professor Chen is a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). Professor Chen’s research is focused on the molecular level understanding of structures of polymers and biological molecules at interfaces using nonlinear optical spectroscopic techniques. He published 270 peer reviewed research articles and gave more than 300 invited seminars.