Julianne Gibbs-Davis

Associate Professor
BA Arizona State University
PhD Northwestern University

E3-52 Chemistry Centre
(780) 492-7140

Group website:


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.


Selected Publications

Gibbs-Davis, J. M.; Kruk, J. K.; Konek, C. T.; Scheidt, K. A.; Geiger, F. M. "Jammed Acid-Base Reactions at Interfaces," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 15444-15447.

Gibbs-Davis, J. M.; Schatz, G. C.; Nguyen, S. T. "Sharp Melting Transitions in Polymer-DNA Hybrids Without Aggregate Dissolution: Proof of Neighboring-Duplex Cooperativity", J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 15535-15540.

Stokes, G. Y.; Gibbs-Davis, J. M.; Boman, F. C.; Stepp, B. R.; Condie, A.; Nguyen, S. T.; Geiger, F. M. "Making 'Sense' of DNA", J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 7492-7493. Highlighted in Chemical & Engineering News, June 4, 2007.

Gibbs-Davis, J. M.; Hayes, P. L.; Scheidt, K. A.; Geiger, F. M. "Anion Chelation by Amido Acid Functionalized Fused Quartz/Water Interfaces Studied by Nonlinear Optics", J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 7175-7184.

Bertin, P. A.; Gibbs, J. M.; Shen, C. K.-F.; Thaxton, C. S.; Russin, W.; Mirkin, C. A.; Nguyen, S. T. "Multifunctional Polymeric Nanoparticles from Diverse Bioactive Agents." J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 4168-4169.

Gibbs, J. M.; Park, S-J.; Anderson, D. R.; Watson, K. J.; Mirkin, C. A.; Nguyen, S. T. "Polymer-DNA Hybrids as Electrochemical Probes for the Detection of DNA," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 1170-1178.