Surface-confined assemblies

Surface-confined supramolecular self-assembly has proven to be an efficient, bottom-up approach to nanomaterials engineering; producing a wide variety of materials with varied applications in organic devices. Driven by non-covalent interactions, it is possible to construct highly ordered, self-assembled systems on a variety of substrates. However, any functionality that is incorporated, especially in the case of conductive surfaces remains mostly quenched by the close interaction/contact with substrate.

In the group, we aim to exploit and manipulate the processes of molecular recognition to create a wide variety of ‘smart’ molecular building blocks that can form nanoscale, ordered, surface-confined nanoarchitectures.


  • 2022   iSiM Alliance SU, From solution to surface: 2D organisation of fluorescent functionality on graphene-based materials (PI: I. Arfaoui, scientific partners: L. Sosa Vargas, P. Rudolf)
  • 2019   MiChem Alliance SU, Supramolecular Nano-engineering of graphenoid surfaces (PI: L. Sosa Vargas, scientific partner: I. Arfaoui)




  • 2022-2025 Melina Vavali (PhD, iSiM Alliance SU project funding)
  • 2018-2021 Quentin Fernez (PhD, Doctoral school funding)
  • 2019-2020 Michele Mattera (Postdoctoral researcher, MiChem Alliance SU project funding)