Department of Chemistry

Matthew Zimmt

Concentration Advisor: AB Chemistry track, Professor of Chemistry
GeoChem 421
Research Interests Nanoscience, Self-assembly, Scanning microscopies, Organic synthesis


Research Statement 

Self-Patterning Self-Assembled Monolayers. We are investigating structure-function relationships in molecules that form self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on surfaces. We have implemented strategies for spontaneous patterning of monolayers formed from mixtures of organic molecules that self-assemble on conductive surfaces. These self-patterning, self-assembled monolayers control assembly of single component and multi-component nanoparticle mixtures at surfaces. We are investigating the optical and magnetic properties of the patterned nanoparticle assemblies as a function of composition and geometry. 

Functional Architectures for Control of Electron Transfer at Electrodes. We are preparing molecules with novel architectures that align on electrode surfaces, individually or as part of larger aggregates, and modulate electron transfer in and out of the electrode. The alignment of these 1 – 3 nm sized molecules is probed using Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Individual molecules' conformations is modulated by interaction with the strong electric field near the STM tip. This interaction is being explored for purposes related to Molecular Electronics. 

Bioactive Fluorescent Nanoparticles for Glycoprofiling. We are developing assays to distinguish malignant, benign, and healthy cells based on the identities of the carbohydrates presented on their surface. Literature precedent indicates changes in cell surface carbohydrates upon transformation from healthy to various cancerous states. These glycoprofiling assays employ panels of fluorescent nanoparticles functionalized with key lectins to quantify the carbohydrates present at cell surfaces. (In collaboration with Professor Amit Basu). 


  • 1985 - Ph.D., Photochemistry: Columbia University 
  • 1985 - M.Ph., Photochemistry: Columbia University 
  • 1982 - M.A., Chemistry: Columbia University 
  • 1981 - B.Sc., Chemistry: Case Institute of Technology


  • Fang C, Zhu H, Chen O, Zimmt MB Reactive two-component monolayers template bottom-up assembly of nanoparticle arrays on HOPG.. Chem. Commun. 2018; 54 (58) : 8056-8059. 
  • He J, Myerson KJ, Zimmt MB Zipping and unzipping monolayers: switchable monolayer oligomerization and adhesion via thiol-disulfide interconversion. Chem. Commun. 2018; 54 (29) : 3636-3639. 
  • He, Jian, Fang, Chen, Shelp, Russell A., Zimmt, Matthew B. Tracking Invisible Transformations of Physisorbed Monolayers: LDI-TOF and MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry as Complements to STM Imaging. Langmuir/Langmuir. 2017; 33 (2) : 459-467.
  • Wei, Xiaoliang, Tong, Wenjun, Fidler, Vlastimil, Zimmt, Matthew B. Reactive capture of gold nanoparticles by strongly physisorbed monolayers on graphite. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. 2012; 387 (1) : 221-227 . 
  • Xue, Yi, Zimmt, Matthew B. Tetris in monolayers: patterned self-assembly using side chain shape. Chem. Commun. 2011; 47 (31) : 8832.
  • Tong, Wenjun, Xue, Yi, Zimmt, Matthew B. Morphology Control and Monolayer Patterning with CF 2 Groups: An STM Study † . J. Phys. Chem. C. 2010; 114 (48) : 20783-20792. .
  • Wang, Yaqi, Gildersleeve, Jeffrey C., Basu, Amit, Zimmt, Matthew B. Photo- and Biophysical Studies of Lectin-Conjugated Fluorescent Nanoparticles: Reduced Sensitivity in High Density Assays † .The Journal of Physical Chemistry B. 2010; 114 (45) : 14487-14494. 
  • Tong, Wenjun, Wei, Xiaoliang, Zimmt, Matthew B. Dipolar Control of Monolayer Morphology on Graphite: Self-Assembly of Anthracenes with Odd Length Diether Side Chains. J. Phys. Chem. C. 2009; 113 (39) : 17104-17113. 
  • Tong, Wenjun, Wei, Yanhu, Armbrust, Kurt W., Zimmt, Matthew B. Dipolar Side Chain Control of Monolayer Morphology: Symmetrically Substituted 1,5-(Mono- and diether) Anthracenes at the Solution−HOPG Interface. Langmuir. 2009; 25 (5) : 2913-2923. 
  • Wei, Yanhu, Tong, Wenjun, Zimmt, Matthew B. Self-Assembly of Patterned Monolayers with Nanometer Features:  Molecular Selection Based on Dipole Interactions and Chain Length. J. Am. Chem. Soc.. 2008; 130 (11) : 3399-3405. 
  • Wei, Yanhu, Tong, Wenjun, Wise, Cynthia, Wei, Xiaoliang, Armbrust, Kurt, Zimmt, Matthew. Dipolar Control of Monolayer Morphology:  Spontaneous SAM Patterning. J. Am. Chem. Soc.. 2006; 128 (41) : 13362-13363  
  • Yeh JI, Zimmt MB, Zimmerman AL. Nanowiring of a redox enzyme by metallized peptides. Biosensors and Bioelectronics. 2005; 21 (6) : 973-8.
  • Koebel, Matthias, Zimmt, Matthew B. Photothermal Readout of Surface-Arrayed Proteins:  Attomole Detection Levels with Gold Nanoparticle Visualization. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B. 2005; 109 (35) : 16736-16743. 
  • Koebel, Matthias M., Zimmt, Matthew B. Temporal position encoding photoacoustics: A technique for surface absorber mapping. J. Appl. Phys.. 2005; 98 (11) : 116104. 
  • Troisi, Alessandro, Ratner, Mark A., Zimmt, Matthew B. Dynamic Nature of the Intramolecular Electronic Coupling Mediated by a Solvent Molecule:  A Computational Study. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004; 126 (7) : 2215-2224. 
  • Wei, Yanhu, Kannappan, Kavita, Flynn, George W., Zimmt, Matthew B. Scanning Tunneling Microscopy of Prochiral Anthracene Derivatives on Graphite:  Chain Length Effects on Monolayer Morphology. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004; 126 (16) : 5318-5322.
  • Yang, Yan, Zimmt, Matthew B. Shape Amphiphiles in 2-D: Assembly of 1-D Stripes and Control of Their Surface Density. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B. 2015; 119 (24) : 7740-7748.
  • Yang, Yan, Zimmt, Matthew B. Shape-Directed Patterning and Surface Reaction of Tetra-diacetylene Monolayers: Formation of Linear and Two-Dimensional Grid Polydiacetylene Alternating Copolymers. Langmuir. 2015; 31 (45) : 12408-12416.
  • Kim, Min Kyoung, Xue, Yi, Pašková, Tereza, Zimmt, Matthew B. Monolayer patterning using ketone dipoles. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys.. 2013; 15 (30) : 12466.
  • Xue, Yi, Kim, Min Kyoung, Pašková, Tereza, Zimmt, Matthew B. Odd or Even? Monolayer Domain Size Depends on Diyne Position in Alkadiynylanthracenes. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B. 2013; 117 (49) : 15856-15865. 
  • Xue, Yi, Zimmt, Matthew B. Patterned Monolayer Self-Assembly Programmed by Side Chain Shape: Four-Component Gratings. J. Am. Chem. Soc.. 2012; 134 (10) : 4513-4516.