2D material nanophotonics
Defects in materials can give rise to many intriguing physical properties. This holds particularly true for 2D materials, where defects can significantly influence the electrical, optical, mechanical and/or magnetic performance. We work on quantum emitters in 2D materials as 'nanobeacons' that are promising for biomolecule sensing and super-resolution imaging applications.
Through a 'defects by design' approach, we are developing a novel single-molecule fingerprinting scheme that can differentiate analytes with minute chemical differences.
Acoustic tweezers are versatile devices that spatially and temporally manipulate matter through the interaction of sound waves with solids, liquids and gases. We are developing standing and travelling wave devices for transport, patterning and actuation of biomolecules in a massively parallel, contact-free and non-invasive manner.
We study the generation structured acoustic wavefields using scanning acoustic force microscopy and track the motion of analytes in 3D using optical nanoscopy during actuation.
2D material and DNA origami nanopores and nanoactuators
Nanopore technologies are emerging single-molecule devices capable of confining, sequencing and probing structural and dynamic features of individual molecules.
Within the ERC-funded SIMPHONICS project, we explore 2D material membranes for protein sequencing applications.
Within the NWO-funded MechanoPore project, we are exploring mechanically-adaptable nanopores to enable delivery of macromolecules across cellular-membranes. By uniquely combining DNA origami nanotechnology, machine-inspired design and synthetic biology we aim to answer fundamental biophysics questions regarding the 1) dynamics of the conformational changes, 2) the force balance at the membrane/nanopore interface and 3) the design of a fast and programmable trigger mechanism. We use fast-scan AFM imaging, acoustic tweezers and fluorescence microscopy to characterize these biocompatible nanoactuators in collaboration with the Cees Dekker Lab (Bionanoscience Department, TU Delft) .