Morin, Sylvie

Sylvie Morin

Full Professor
Ph.D. (Ottawa)

Department(s): Chemistry

Office: 346 Petrie Science & Engineering Building (PSE)
Phone: (416)736-2100 ext. 22303

Lab: 011, 015, 333, 344 Petrie Science & Engineering Building (PSE)

Research Fields
Chemical and Condensed Matter Physics

Graduate Program Appointment
Full Member: Eligible to supervise M.Sc. or Ph.D.

Research Types

Research specialization
Surface science; Thin films; Preparation and characterization of novel nanomaterials and devices.

My research aims at creating new thin films and nanostructured materials that possess interesting properties that can be used as sensors, solar energy harvesting devices, and electronic components. Ultimately our research goals are to understand the formation of these materials and to relate their structures and morphology to their electrochemical/electronic, catalytic or/and magnetic properties. These studies are critical for implementing thin film and nanostructure technologies because the surface and interface effects often dominate and alter significantly familiar bulk properties in these low dimensionality systems. In search of novel film materials, our work has focussed on the exploration of electro-deposited thin films and nanostructures as well as the use of efficient surface modification methods such as formation of alkanethiol self-assembled monolayers and the hydrosilylation reaction to incorporate relevant functionalities at gold and hydrogen-terminated silicon surfaces, respectively. The latter can be employed as platforms for Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption and Ionization Mass Spectrometry (MALDI MS) analysis. The implementation of surface-sensitive techniques outside vacuum, such as surface X-ray scattering, scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), or atomic force microscopy (AFM), provides new knowledge on the structure and morphology of these low dimensionality materials. We also use other surface-sensitive methods such as Attenuated Total Reflectance FTIR (ATR FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), to characterize these materials.

All of our research projects deal in one way or another with low dimensionality systems and the importance of changes in material properties due to the creation or presence of interfaces. We are currently engaged in several projects: (a) the investigation of the effect that dye functionalities and novel hole transport materials have on solar cell responses in dye-sensitized solar cells; (b) the study of the formation of epitaxial bismuth on conductors and semiconductors; (c) the growth and characterization of ternary alloy semiconductors on nanoporous films; (d) dye adsorption processes at well-defined semiconductor surfaces; (e) surface modifications for the creation of functional surfaces for tissue imaging. Collaboratively, we have engaged in the characterization of systems relevant to biology, such as protein-DNA complex formation for antibiotic resistance, protein nanotube structure and morphology, RNA structure of the tomato bushy stunt virus, and aptamer self-assembly for sensing applications.