Molecular Recognition at Buried Solid/Liquid Interfaces
Many systems, from the cellular environment to biosensors and heterogeneous catalysis, involve noncovalent interactions between species in solution and those confined to a membrane or solid. Directly monitoring such binding events is difficult because few techniques are sensitive to interactions at an interface and are instead overwhelmed by the sea of molecules in the bulk. However, using surface specific nonlinear optical techniques such as second harmonic generation (SHG) and sum frequency generation (SFG), we can selectively observe interfacial binding allowing us to characterize the thermodynamic and kinetic parameters governing these processes without the use of bulky labels, in situ and in real time.
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