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Directed diffusion across a surface energy gradient

Latest – image makes cover of Macromolecular Rapid Communications (Sept. 2011)

Directed diffusion across a surface energy gradient.

Above a still from the movie depicting the directed diffusion of polymer molecules across a surface energy gradient

The movie was prepared by CookandKaye website design, working directly from preprints of the authors’ scientific manuscript. The movie was released to coincide with the paper’s publication and extensive publicity by the Unviersity of Sheffield (see for example Step Forward For Nanotechnology: Controlled Movement Of Molecules in Science Daily)

The interactive movie uses a stylised polymer chain to depict the actual movement inferred by the research workers from a wide range of nanoscale analytical techniques. Visitors to the site can click through the stages showing adsorption of hte polymer to a hydrophobic surface, followed by directed diffusion towards the hydrophilic surface, and finally desorption back into aqueous solution. At each stage the polymer experiences a different degree of constraint upon its movement, which was reflected in the motion of the stylised chain in the movie. To investigate the final movie, please visit the link below to Dr Mark Geoghegan’s website:

Directed diffusion across a surface energy gradient

Reference: 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).