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Issue 5, 2014
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Single-molecule diffusion in a periodic potential at a solid–liquid interface

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Abstract

We used single-molecule tracking experiments to observe the motion of small hydrophobic fluorescent molecules at the interface between water and a solid surface that exhibited periodic chemical patterns. The dynamics were characterized by non-ergodic, continuous time random walk statistics. The step-size distributions displayed enhanced probability of steps to periodic distances, consistent with theoretical predictions for diffusion in an atomic/molecular scale periodic potential. Surprisingly, this general behavior was observed here for surfaces exhibiting characteristic length scales three orders of magnitude larger than atomic/molecular dimensions, and may provide a new way to understand and control solid–liquid interfacial diffusion for molecular targeting applications.

Graphical abstract: Single-molecule diffusion in a periodic potential at a solid–liquid interface

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Aug 2013, accepted on 04 Dec 2013 and first published on 04 Dec 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52160E
Citation: Soft Matter, 2014,10, 753-759
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    Single-molecule diffusion in a periodic potential at a solid–liquid interface

    M. J. Skaug, A. M. Lacasta, L. Ramirez-Piscina, J. M. Sancho, K. Lindenberg and D. K. Schwartz, Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 753
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52160E

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