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Paul Ashby


Staff Scientist, Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures





B.S., Westmont College

Ph.D, Harvard University, Charles Lieber
"Intermolecular and Interfacial Forces: Elucidating Molecular Mechanisms using Chemical Force Microscopy"

Postdoctoral Fellow Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Miquel Salmeron

Research Interests

My research group aims to characterize the dynamic behavior of soft materials at interfaces with high spatial and temporal resolution. We rely heavily on scanned probe microscopy and develop high-speed AFM techniques and probes to investigate these materials. We are refining encased cantilever probes for work in liquids. They have lower noise while maintaining high resonance frequency for gentler and higher resolution imaging. We also develop scan methods and image processing tools to created accurate higher resolution images from sparse data. We have achieved 10 times faster frame rates using spiral scanning.


Imaging of membrane protein complexation and dynamics with ultrasmall cantilever AFM

Gentle imaging of soft materials in solution with amplitude modulation atomic force microscopy: Q control and thermal noise

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is an indispensable technology for nanoscience due to its versatility and fine resolution. While AFM routinely produces high resolution images of hard materials, imaging of soft materials in solution, such as proteins and other biological structures, remains elusive because tip-sample interaction forces can cause deformation and obscure topographical information. Read full research paper

Water adsorption and structure of initial monolayers on well ordered organic functionalities (collaborators Zhi Liu (ALS), Miquel Salmeron)

In situ photoelectron spectroscopy study of water adsorption on model biomaterial surfaces

The molecular nature of adsorption at biomaterial surfaces is poorly understood although adsorption of gases, aerosols, and ions and molecules from solution is of fundamental importance at all kind of tissue surfaces. Fundamental questions such as the structure and hydrogen-bonding configuration of water, the chemical binding to the interface, and the extent of water dissociation at a biomaterial surface are largely unknown. Read full research paper

Solvation of well defined hydrophilic organic interfaces

Structure of aqueous electrolyte solutions at solid-fluid interfaces (collaborator Alberto Striolo University of Oklahoma)

Mechanical characterization of nanocrystal superlattices (collaborator Elena Shevchenko ANL)

Selected Publications

All Publications by Paul Ashby in Foundry database »