Daniel Schwartz
Chemical and Biological Engineering


MSE Areas: Interfaces, thin films, molecular self-assembly, biomaterials, liquid crystals, surfactants

The Schwartz group pursues fundamental and application-driven research involving the interactions between molecular adsorbates and surfaces with a particular emphasis on molecular self-organization, biotechnology, nanoscience, catalysis, and single-molecule tracking methods at “wet” interfaces. The direct observation of dynamic molecular behavior at the single-molecule level permits the characterization of heterogeneous interfacial behavior in ways that are inaccessible to traditional ensemble-averaging methods1. In other research, we use liquid crystals (LCs) to detect specific interactions associated with nucleic acids for applications in nucleic-acid based biodetection2. Finally, recent work in collaboration with the Medlin group, we have pursued research involving the effects of thiolate self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on supported metal catalysts. Surprisingly, SAM-coated catalysts exhibit greatly modified selectivity for the hydrogenation of multifunctional reactants.

Selected Publications and Accomplishments

Robert Walder, Nathaniel Nelson, and Daniel K. Schwartz, “Super-Resolution Surface Mapping using the Trajectories of Molecular Probes”, Nature Communications, 2, 515 (2011).
(Highlighted in MRS Bulletin, 37, 105, 2012)

Andrew D. Price, and Daniel K. Schwartz “DNA Hybridization-Induced Reorientation of Liquid Crystal Anchoring at the Nematic Liquid Crystal/Aqueous Interface”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 130, 8188-8194 (2008).
(Highlighted in Chemistry World, 6/262008, “Liquid crystals stand up for DNA detection”)

Stephen T. Marshall, Marykate O’Brien, Brittany Oetter, April Corpu, Ryan M. Richards,
Daniel K. Schwartz, J. William Medlin, “Controlled Selectivity for Palladium Catalysts using Self-assembled Monolayers” Nature Materials, 9, 853-858 (2010).