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This feature article describes recent advances in several areas of research involving the interfacial ordering of liquid crystals (LCs). The first advance revolves around the ordering of LCs at bio/chemically functionalized surfaces. Whereas the majority of past studies of surface-induced ordering of LCs have involved surfaces of solids that present a(More)
Many molecular species presented at surfaces can be reported by LCs, including small organic molecules and large biomolecules such as proteins [1, 2]. By combining the use of LCs with surfaces engineered to have nanoscopic topography and well-defined surface chemistry, we have demonstrated the detection of unlabeled proteins at sensitivity limits ≤ 1(More)
The photodissociation of the amide bond by UV light and soft x-rays is investigated by x-ray absorption spectroscopy at the C, N, and O 1s edges. Irradiation leaves a clear and universal signature for a wide variety of amides, ranging from oligopeptides to large proteins and synthetic polyamides, such as nylon. As the π∗ peak of the amide bond shrinks, two(More)
The orientations of liquid crystals (LCs) anchored on monolayers formed from mixtures of chiral versus achiral molecules were compared. Changes in the enantiomeric excess of mixed monolayers of chiral dipeptides gave rise to continuous changes in the orientations of nematic LCs, allowing arbitrary tuning of the azimuthal orientations of LCs over a range of(More)
This study addresses the need for methods that validate the surface chemistry leading to the immobilization of biomolecules and provide information about the resulting structural configurations. We report on the use of near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (NEXAFS) to characterize a widely employed immobilization chemistry that leads to the(More)
Surface-induced ordering of liquid crystals (LCs) offers the basis of a label-free analytical technique for the detection of surface-bound biomolecules. The orientation-dependent energy of interaction of a LC with a surface (anchoring energy of LC), in particular, is both sensitive to the presence of surface-bound molecules and easily quantified. Herein, we(More)
The miniaturization of microelectronic devices has created a demand for new low-dielectric-constant materials to be used as insulating layers between metal interconnects. In this study, a functionalized polynorbornene consisting of a copolymer of decyl norbornene and epoxide norbornene has been investigated as a low-temperature curing dielectric.(More)
We have examined the orientational ordering of nematic liquid crystals (LCs) supported on organized monolayers of dipeptides with the goal of understanding how peptide-based interfaces encode intermolecular interactions that are amplified into supramolecular ordering. By characterizing the orientations of nematic LCs (4-cyano-4'-pentylbiphenyl and TL205 (a(More)
X-ray absorption spectroscopy is used to investigate the photodissociation of the imides PMDI (pyromellitic diimide) and SSMCC (sulfosuccinimidyl 4-(N-maleimidomethyl) cyclohexane-1-carboxylate). PMDI contains only one type of imide, and its photodissociation can be explained by a simple conversion from imide to a mix of imine and nitrile after desorption(More)
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