About Matthew Robert Jones's Work
Organic species routinely interact with inorganic surfaces in a dynamic manner, influencing molecular activity and causing chemical changes in the underlying substrate over time. Understanding these differences in behavior is crucial for improving the performance of catalysts, preventing protein adsorption to medical implants, and synthesizing precision nanocrystals for biomedical or optical applications. However, because of the significant chemical differences between inorganic solids and organic molecules, characterizing the interface between the two is extremely challenging. To address this, my group will develop the tools to label organic compounds with heavy-metal “tags” that will provide contrast in liquid-phase transmission electron microscopy experiments. Tracking the motion of these “tags” over time will indirectly report on the position of the attached molecule, providing unprecedented spatial and temporal information on the single-molecule-substrate interface.