Research Lines

Our group studies and controls the self-assembly of biological (peptides, proteins, and viruses), organic (polyelectrolytes), and inorganic (nanoparticles) building blocks. The assembly systems are applied to the development of novel nanoscale and microscale devices.

Plant viruses as templates

Plant viruses as templates

The Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) is the textbook example for self-assembly of proteins. We work on additional assembly strategies, such as filling of the 4 nm wide channel by liquids and constructing ultrathin metal and oxide wires, e.g. for virus-based ferrofluids. Our chemical tools are molecular linkers.

Electrospinning of proteins

Electrospinning of proteins

We steer the assembly of proteins, peptides, and other biomolecules by electrospinning to micro- and nanofibers, with diameters down to single molecule sizes. We elucidate assembly mechanisms with rheometry, Raman spectromicroscopy, S(T)EM, infrared spectroscopy, high speed videomicroscopy, etc.

Wetting at the nanoscale

Wetting at the nanoscale

We investigate fluids and wetting of soft matter on the nanoscale, with a special focus on the interaction of water with viruses and other biosurfaces. Our methods comprise AFM and S(T)EM in water vapor.

Ageing of supercapacitors

Ageing of supercapacitors

We disassemble electrodes and other parts of commercial capacitors, and analyze them for very slow (electro)chemical and structural modifications with a broad range of mainly surface science methods.

Bionano Self-Assembly

Bionano Self-Assembly

We establish self-assembly systems of peptide, protein and/or DNA for the development of a wide range applications from electrical devices to drug delivery systems. This project uses many types of biological, chemical and physical techniques to fabricate and analyze the assembled structures and the devices.

Protein Biomineralization

Protein Biomineralization

We study the biomineralization phenomena of assembled proteins and virus capsids on the nanoscale. Our techniques to obtain the data are synchrotron X-ray diffraction and (scanning) transmission electron microscopy, also in liquids.

Research team

Albisteak - Automihiztadura

  • Review: Interface nano-optics with van der Waals polaritons

    An international team, including the leader of the Nanooptics group at nanoGUNE, Rainer Hillenbrand, discusses in ‘Nature’  the state-of-the-art and opportunities for controlling the propagation of nanolight (in form of polaritons) in van der Waals materials with the help of classical refractive optics concepts,…Read more