The mechanical, electronic, and optical properties of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) render this 2D material interesting for applications in electronics, (photo)catalysis, energy storage, and sensors. In this context, the covalent chemical functionalization of MoS2 represents a robust method to tune its properties by a bottom-up approach. The synergic effects of MoS2 and organic compounds allow the fabrication of organic−inorganic hybrid materials with new or enhanced properties and performance [1].


Schematic illustration of the synthetic approaches for MoS2-functionalization and the application of a photocleavable multifunctional mass tag.

© Brigitte Holzer

Schematic illustration of the synthetic approaches for MoS2-functionalization and the application of a photocleavable multifunctional mass tag.


In this project, we aim for the chemical modification of MoS2 resulting in new functional hybrid materials applicable for heterogeneous single-metal-site (HSMS) catalysis or as photocleavable reporters in laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (LDI-MS) analysis. We aim for a synthetic approach towards a multifunctional photocleavable probe for matrix-free LDI-MS analysis (Figure) permitting the indirect detection of biomolecules by using a photocleavable charged low mass tag as a reporter. This indirect approach ensures gaining mass information of specific analytes within a complex matrix over a wide mass range with high sensitivity and selectivity.


Wet-chemically exfoliated MoS2 will be immobilized on a solid support by layer-by-layer assembly [2]. Tuneable functional groups (e.g. clickable functionalities) will be introduced on MoS2 and allow the integration of well-dispersed active sites forming tuneable nanocomposites for the application in HSMS or LDI-MS. Furthermore, a clickable photocleavable probe will be synthesized bearing a specific mass tag [3], conjugated to a biomolecule of interest and further applied in LDI-MS analysis.


The project will be carried out in close collaboration with the group of M. Marchetti-Deschmann and D. Eder. The obtained materials will be tested as photocleavable mass tags in LDI-MS or organic−inorganic hybrids for (photo)catalysis. Analysis of the immobilized compounds will be realized by XPS with A. Foelske.


Brigitte Holzer is an organic chemist with a background in materials chemistry. Her research focuses on understanding (bio)molecular interactions at the interface between nanomaterials and biological systems. The development of new biosensorics an biomimetic system allows to mimic biological structures. Using synthetic organic chemistry, her group investigates surface modifications on the molecular level. In this context, addressable 2D materials are designed to impart a desired functionality to the surface and enable chemical control of the surface properties in applications such as biosensors, biomaterials and nanotherapeutics.


Group of Prof. Holzer, opens an external URL in a new window


  1. Y. Zhao, S. Ippolito, P. Samorì, Adv. Optical Mater. 2019, 7, 1900286. DOI: 10.1002/adom.201900286.
  2. Y.-K. Kim, L.-S. Wang, R. Landis, C. S. Kim, R. W. Vachet, V. M. Rotello, Nanoscale 2017, 9, 10854-10860. DOI: 10.1039/c7nr02949g.
  3. J. Han, X. Huang, H. Liu, J. Wang, C. Xiong, Z. Nie, Chem. Sci. 2019, 10, 10958-10962. DOI: 10.1039/c9sc03912k.