Zauscher Lab | Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University

Author Archive

Zauscher CV 2014

Click here to download:  Zauscher CV, March 2014

Proposal funded by Duke’s Energy Initiative Research Seed Fund!

A collaborative and interdisciplinary proposal entitled “Carbon-Supported Earth-Abundant Materials with Tailored Interfaces for Energy Applications” was recently funded by Duke University’s Energy Initiative Energy Research Seed Fund. In this activity, the PIs will leverage their combined expertise in synthesis by Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) (Glass), characterization by Accoustic and Electrochemical Scanning Probe Microscopies (SPM) (Zauscher), and first-principles Atomistic Simulations of interfacial structure and electronic properties (Blum), to fabricate carbon-supported transition metal 2D materials with enhanced properties to improve their efficiency and viability for energy applications.


Zauscherlab Jungle Gym for Asylum AFM

We just finished building a passive vibration damping system for our Asylum MFP-3D. The “jungle gym” like structure doubly isolates the AFM. The weighted frame sits on four air springs, and the AFM, supported by extended bungee cords, floats over the table in the frame. photophoto 1

Congratulations Dr. Hardy!

Greg Hardy passed his Ph.D. defense with flying colors on Thursday March 27, 2014. Congratulations Greg!

Zauscherlab Hike

We took advantage of a sunny, 70Group_Hike_2014F day to skip out and do a short hike along the Eno river.

Enzymatic Polymerization of High Molecular Weight DNA Amphiphiles That Self-Assemble into Star-Like Micelles

Here the link to the polynucleotide micelle paper:

A “Star” is Born

Congratulations to Lei Tang and co-workers for the acceptance of the paper: Enzymatic Polymerization of High Molecular Weight DNA Amphiphiles starthat Self-Assemble into Star-like Micelles, in Advanced Materials!

Congratulations Kate for Winning 3rd Place at the Poster Competition at AVS!

Kate Marusak won 3rd place in the Biointerface Science poster competition at the 60th International Symposium and Exhibition of the AVS in Longbeach, CA.

Her poster was entitled: Cadmium Sulfide Nanoparticles and Thin Films by E. coli Bacterial Precipitation



Congratulations to Kate Marusak, Renpeng Gu, and Qing Tu!

Kate received a fellowship slot on the CBTE NIH Training Grant!

Renpeng and Qing both joined the ranks of the MRSEC Fellows!

Polymeric and Biomolecular Nanostructures: Fabrication by Scanning Probe Lithography

Robert Ferris, Tao Chen, and Stefan Zauscher authored an invited chapter for the new edition of the “Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology,” to be published by Dekker.

Mapping the Stiffness of Nanomaterials and Thin Films by Acoustic AFM Techniques

Zehra Parlak, Qing Tu, and Stefan Zauscher authored an invited book chapter for the “Handbook of Nanomaterials Properties” to be published in the Fall 2013 by Springer Verlag.

Upgrade of MultiMode AFM to Latest Controller and Imaging Modes!

Through the support from Triangle MRSEC, we upgraded our Digital Instruments (VEECO/Bruker) Multimode AFM to Version 8, including PeakForce and Scan Assyst.


QCM paper is selected for IOP Select

The paper “Decoupling mass adsorption from fluid viscosity and density in quartz crystal microbalance measurements using normalized conductance modeling” by Z. Parlak, C. Biet and S. Zauscher, published in Meas. Sci. Technol. 24 (2013) 085301 (9pp), has been selected by Institute of Physics Publishing editors for inclusion in IOP Select. IoP Select is a collection of journal articles, chosen by IOP Editors for their novelty, significance and potential impact on future research.

Triangle SAXS Workshop: Tuesday May 14, 2013 at Duke

Please join us for the Inaugural Triangle SAXS Workshop!

When: Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Where: Duke University
Schiciano Auditorium
Fitzpatrick CIEMAS Building


Parking is available at the Bryan Center.

Click here to register


8:30 – 9:00 Arrival, Coffee

9:00 – 9:05 Welcome (Bob Rose, Mark Walters, Stefan Zauscher)

9:05 – 9:50 Anton Paar SAXSESSmc2 (Gerd Langenbucher, Anton Paar)

9:50-10:00 Questions and Short Break

10:00-10:45 SAXSLAB Ganesha 300XL (Scott Barton and Karsten Joensen, Saxslab)

10:45-11:15 Questions and Coffee Break

11:15-12:00 Soundbites (short presentations by participants about research and interest in SAXS, Wiersma coordinating)

12:00-1:00 Lunch and Networking

1:00-1:30 Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

1:30-2:00 SMIF Tour and SAXS Instrumentation (Mark Walters, Gerd Langenbucher, Scott Barton, Karsten Joensen)

2:00-2:10 Questions and Short Break

2:10-3:10 Talk 1 “Introduction to SAXS, Applications and Data Classification” (Peter Worsch, Anton Paar)

3:10-3:30 Coffee Break

3:30-4:30 Talk 2 “Pore Structure and Fluid Sorption in Ordered Mesoporous Silica: New Insight from in-situ Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering” (Gerhard Findenegg, TU-Berlin)

4:30-5:00 Networking and User Group Meeting (discussion about hands-on workshops on May 15-16, 2013)

5:00 Adjourn

Triangle Small Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS) Update

In an effort, spearheaded by Triangle MRSEC, we received support through the NSF-MRI program for the purchase of Small Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS) instrumentation. The state-of-the-art instruments will serve the greater Research Triangle community for research and education, and will be housed in Duke’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMIF).

Two, complementary instruments are on order: a slit-collimated SAXSess MC2 from Anton Paar, and a point collimated GANESHA 300XL+ from SAXSlab. The SAXSess MC2 instrument has very high flux at the sample and will be used for scattering from solutions. The GANESHA 300XL+ is fully automated to cover a broad q-range, and will be used for SAXS, MAXS (medium angle X-ray scattering), WAXS (wide angle X-ray scattering), and GISAXS (grazing incidence X-ray scattering) measurements.

More Information:


Congratulations to Dr. Robert Ferris!

Rob Ferris just passed his Ph.D. Dissertation defense. Congratulations Rob, a job well done!

Greg Hardy wins Best Poster Prize at the 8th Annual CFAR Fall Scientific Retreat!

Congratulations Greg!

Greg presented his poster entitled “VISUALIZING LIPID REACTIVITY OF HIV-1 ANTIGEN AND NEUTRALIZING ANTIBODIES USING ATOMIC FORCE MICROSCOPY” at the 8th annual Center for Aids Research (CFAR) retreat at the Searle Center at Duke University.


Congratulations to Lei Tang and Eric Zhang!

Lei just passed her qualifier, and Eric passed his prelim examination.


Congratulations to Greg Hardy!

Greg recently won a Burroughs Wellcome Fund 2012 Collaborative Research Travel Grant. This grant enables Greg to visit our research partner, Dr. Micheal Hirtz at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Working with Dr. Hirtz we seek to use dip-pen nanolithography (DPN) to write single supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) that mimic components of the native human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) lipid-envelope, and to achieve parallel deposition of SLB islands of different composition directly adjacent to each other using DPN.

NIH Funds Research to Study HIV-1 Neutralizing Antibody Interactions with Lipid Membranes

Prof. Zauscher (PI) and Prof. Munir Alam (Co-PI) received an R21 award from NIH (NIAID) in the amount of $418k for their proposal entitled: HIV-1 Neutralizing Antibody Binding to Viral Membrane Mimics. The research is motivated by the recent identification of broadly neutralizing antibodies from HIV-1 infected subjects, whose antibody attributes include polyreactivity, i.e., the ability to react with both viral and host components, like membrane lipids. The proposed research pairs biophysical techniques with model lipid systems to define and understand the required lipid reactivity of neutralizing antibodies, and has important relevance in HIV-1 vaccine design for the induction of polyreactiv neutralizing antibody responses in humans.

NSF MRI Program Funds SAXS Instrumentation at Duke

Prof. Zauscher (PI), and Co-Pi’s, Dr. Mark Walters, and Profs. Bob Rose (NCSU) and Sergei Sheiko (UNC) received an award in the amount of $560k from the Major Research Instrumentation program of NSF. The grant is entitled: MRI Consortium: Acquisition of X-Ray Scattering Instrumentation – SAXS/WAXS/GISAXS and provides funding for the acquisition of a Small Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS) Instrument.

The SAXS facility will be established at Duke University’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMIF) and will serve three major universities in the area: Duke University, North Carolina State University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The instrument will serve researchers in materials science, structural biology, polymer and colloidal chemistry, chemical and biomedical engineering, and textiles engineering. The instrument capabilities will be broad to address the different needs of the users, and include wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) and grazing incidence small angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS).

Scattering techniques are essential to the research objectives of the newly established NSF Triangle Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), focused on the study of soft matter components for programmable assembly. SAXS also contributes important insights to difficult structural biology problems, including the assembly of protein complexes and conformational flexibility.

ONR Supports Research on Bacterial Synthesis of CdS Thin Films

Profs. Lingchong You (PI) and Stefan Zauscher (Co-PI) received an award from ONR in the amount of $667k for their proposal entitled: Programming Bacteria for Materials Fabrication. The proposed research represents an innovative application of synthetic biology, which enables the development of novel approaches to fabricate functional materials. As a proof-of-concept demonstration You and Zauscher have chosen the bacterial synthesis of CdS thin films because of the potential for their use in photovoltaic and printed microelectronic devices.

Prof. Stefan Zauscher Co-Chairs Gordon Reserach Conference on Biointerface Science

Prof. Zauscher co-chaired the 4th Gordon Research Conference on Biointerface Science in Les Diablerets, Switzerland, May 20 – 25, 2012.

Lei Tang Wins 1st Prize in Triangle Softmatter Poster Competition!

Congratulations Lei!

The poster was entitled: “DNA Block Copolymers and Polypeptide DNA Hybrid Copolymers: Towards Engineering of Biologically Inspired Biomaterials.”

Coauthors were Vinalia Tjong, Ashutosh Chilkoti, and Stefan Zauscher.