Neils Colloquia on Innovative Science (NCIS)

Friday, September 9, at 3:30 PM in NSC 234. Join us for refreshments in the NSC lobby at 3:15 PM.

"New Developments in Liquid Interfacial Nanoscience"

Dr. Mark Schlossman, Dept. of Physics and Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois Chicago

Current efforts to create novel self-assembled materials with nanoscale features and to understand natural self-assembly processes, such as those important in biological systems, often rely upon understanding relatively weak interactions between molecules that are situated at interfaces. For example, biological membranes exist at the interface between two aqueous regions and provide a dynamic platform for important cell processes such as cell trafficking and cell signaling. Underlying these processes are electrostatic, hydrophobic, and hydrogen-bonding interactions as well asentropic effects associated with the ordering of water and intramolecular degrees of freedom. Recently, we have used x-ray scattering to probe the binding of peripheral proteins to lipid layers, depletion due to hydrophobicity, the dependence of interfacial molecular ordering on intermolecular interactions and intramolecular degrees of freedom,and the arrangement of ions under the action of an interfacial electrostatic potential. We will discuss some of these x-ray studies of liquid interfaces that investigate the role of weak interactions in the ordering of molecules and ions at soft interfaces.