Stefan Zauscher

Image of Stefan Zauscher

Sternberg Family Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

My research lies at the intersection of surface and colloid science, polymer materials engineering, and biointerface science, with four central areas of focus: 1. Fabrication, manipulation and characterization of stimulus-responsive biomolecular and bio-inspired polymeric nanostructures on surfaces; 2. Nanotechnology of soft-wet materials and hybrid biological/non-biological microdevices; 3. Receptor-ligand interactions relevant to the diagnostics of infectious diseases; 4. Friction of soft-wet materials, specifically the role of glycoproteins on friction in diarthroidal joints. These four broad lines of inquiry deal with fundamental behaviors of soft-wet materials on surfaces and interfaces. The design and fabrication of these interfaces using "smart" polymeric and biomolecular nanostructures, and the characterization of the resulting structures, are critically important for the development of biomolecular sensors and devices and for bioinspired materials. Key approaches and tools I use in my research are: bottom-up organization on the molecular scale, through self-assembly, in-situ polymerization, and manipulation of intermolecular interactions; topdown fabrication, through scanning probe nanolithography; stimulus-responsive polymers; molecular recognition; and new approaches to sensing and manipulation. This research supports Duke's Pratt School of Engineering strategic initiative to expand research in soft-wet Materials Science.

Appointments and Affiliations
  • Sternberg Family Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science
  • Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
  • Professor in the Department of Chemistry
  • Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative
Contact Information:

  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin at Madison, 1999
  • M.S. Oregon State University, 1992

Curriculum Vitae
Research Interests:

Nano-mechanical and nano-tribological characterization (elasticity, friction, adhesion) of materials including organic thin films; self-assembled monolayers, polymeric gels, and cellulosics; Fabrication of polymeric nanostructures by scanning probe lithography; Colloidal probe and atomic force microscopy; Single molecule force spectroscopy applied to ligand-receptor binding; Biomolecular nano- and micro sensors


Nanomaterial manufacturing and characterization
Polymer and Protein Engineering
Sensing and sensor systems

Courses Taught:
  • BME 493: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 494: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 529: Theoretical and Applied Polymer Science (GE, BB)
  • BME 791: Graduate Independent Study
  • EGR 391: Projects in Engineering
  • EGR 393: Research Projects in Engineering
  • ME 492: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 514: Theoretical and Applied Polymer Science (GE, BB)
  • ME 555: Advanced Topics in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 759: Special Readings in Mechanical Engineering
  • MENG 550: Master of Engineering Internship/Project
  • MENG 551: Master of Engineering internship/Project Assessment

Representative Publications: (More Publications)
    • Tjong, V., Zhang, J., Chilkoti, A., Zauscher, S, Stimulus Responsive Polymers as Intelligent Coatings for Biosensors: Architectures, Response Mechanisms, and Applications (2012).
    • Chen, Tao and Jordan, Rainer and Zauscher, Stefan, Extending micro-contact printing for patterning complex polymer brush microstructures, POLYMER, vol 52 no. 12 (2011), pp. 2461-2467 [doi] [abs].
    • Yang, Ye and Erb, Randall M. and Wiley, Benjamin J. and Zauscher, Stefan and Yellen, Benjamin B., Imaginary Magnetic Tweezers for Massively Parallel Surface Adhesion Spectroscopy, NANO LETTERS, vol 11 no. 4 (2011), pp. 1681-1684 [doi] [abs].
    • Chen, Tao and Jordan, Rainer and Zauscher, Stefan, Polymer brush patterning using self-assembled microsphere monolayers as microcontact printing stamps, SOFT MATTER, vol 7 no. 12 (2011), pp. 5532-5535 [doi] [abs].
    • Ferris, R., Hucknall, A., Kwon, B.S., Chilkoti, A., Zauscher, S., Field-Induced Nanolithography for Patterning of Non-Fouling Polymer Brush Surfaces, Small (Accepted, 2011).
Professional Society Service:
  • American Chemical Society (ACS):
    • - Division of Polymer Chemistry (POLY)
    • - Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE)
    • - Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry (COLL)
    American Vacuum Society (AVS)
    • - Biomaterial Interfaces Division (BID)
    Materials Research Society (MRS)