Dr Pierre Burgos is from Lyon, and studied Physical Chemistry at Nancy. His thesis work was performed partly in France and partly in Ottawa, where he developed a taste for scanning near field optical microscopy (SNOM). After two years in Tucson, he came to Sheffield earlier in 2005. In Sheffield he used SNOM to prepare surfaces with nanoscopic paths with a spatial gradient in surface tension. Polymers are able to diffuse along these paths, a phenomenon that can be measured by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. This EPSRC-funded research was a collaboration with the group of Professor Graham Leggett in the Department of Chemistry, where the expertise in SNOM lies (right). On completion of his contract Pierre secured a staff position at the Central Laser Facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, before moving to Horiba.
Right: To create nanoscopically-sized channels on a substrate, the (gold) substrate is first coated with an alkanethiolate self-assembled monolayer (SAM). Paths along the SAM can be created by UV photo-oxidation through the aperture of a SNOM. The 244 nm light oxides the SAM, which can be removed using a wet chemical etch (also removing the gold lying beneath the SAM). Further details of scanning near-field photolithography can be found on Graham Leggett's pages. The image right was obtained by Dr Shuqing Sun, used here by kind permission.
P. Burgos, Z. Zhang, R. Golestanian, G. J. Leggett, and M. Geoghegan “Directed single molecule diffusion triggered by surface energy gradients” ACS Nano 3 3235-43 (2009)
P. Burgos, M. Geoghegan, and G. J. Leggett “Generation of molecular-scale compositional gradients in self-assembled monolayers” Nano Lett. 7 3747-52 (2007)
American Chemical Society Fall meeting, Boston, USA, August 2007