Molecular bioelectronics

The main goal of this research project is the investigation of the structural, electronic, and electrochemical properties of molecular bioelectronic systems, composed of photoreactive proteins on carbon functional surfaces, for energy harvesting applications.
Carbon-based materials, an in particular diamond and graphene, are especially suitable for bioelectronic applications due to a unique combination of properties such as chemical stability in aqueous environment, excellent electrochemical performance, good biocompatibility, and a well-controlled surface modification with functional molecules.
One goal of this project is the development of advanced procedures for the functionalization of carbon surfaces with several organic molecules, aiming at i) optimizing the grafting of photoreactive proteins, and ii) enabling an efficient electron transfer between protein and substrate. 

These hybrid systems are characterized at each step of the fabrication process by using surface sensitive techniques such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), Raman spectroscopy, x-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS), fluorescence microscopy, and electrochemical spectroscopy.

In particular, our work focuses on the use of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS), performed in dry environment and electrolyte solutions. STM and STS can provide both spatially- and energetically- resolved information on electron transfer processes at the protein/substrates interface.

People on the project

Roberta Caterino, Andreas Reitinger, Franz Fuchs, Michael Metzger 

Selected publications

  • Controlling Surface Functionality through Generation of Thiol Groups in a Self-Assembled Monolayer
    S. Q. Lud | S. Neppl | G. Richter | P. Bruno | D. M. Gruen | P. Feulner | M. Stutzmann | J. A. Garrido
    Langmuir, 26(20), 15895-900 (2010)



K. Haenen, University of Hasselt, Belgium

K. Wandelt, Univerisity of Bonn, Germany


EC FP7 Marie Curie Actions Network for Initial Training MATCON
International Graduate School of Science and Engineering IGSEE
Nanosystems Initiative Munich NIM

TUM Technische Universität München TUM Technische Universität München Physik Department Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik TUM Technische Universität München

Upcoming Events

Benno Blaschke
Graphene SGFETs for biosensing applications

poster, Graphene Week 2013, Chemnitz, Germany


Jose A. Garrido
Graphene sensors for bioelectronic applications

plenary talk, Graphene Week 2013, Chemnitz, Germany


Roberta Caterino 
Novel functionalization of diamond surfaces for protein-based hybrid systems

talk, International Conference on Diamond and Carbons Materials, Riva del Garda, Italy


Roberta Caterino
Bio-photovoltaics based on hybrid systems of reaction centers and diamond

talk, International Conference on Diamond and Carbons Materials, Riva del Garda, Italy