Marcin Majda

Marcin Majda

Emeritus Professor of Chemistry

office: B40 Hildebrand
phone: 510-642-8961
fax: 510-643-0003
lab: B30/32 Hildebrand
lab phone: 510-642-9179
student/post doc office: B30/32 Hildebrand

Research Group
Recent Publications

Research Interests

Bioanalytical Chemistry - Antibody-Antigen Equilibria in a Field of Magnetic Forces: Protein Micro-Array Sensors

Electrochemistry - Dynamic Properties of Amphiphiles at the Air/Water Interface

Our research concerns two parallel projects. In the bioanalytical area, our long term goal is the design of reagentless, disposable protein and DNA micro-array sensors capable of performing simultaneous, multi-component immunoassay analysis using smaller samples and requiring less involved procedures than currently existing techniques while providing equal or superior sensitivity. At a fundamental level we ask whether the application of mechanical forces with magnetic tweezers can be used to shift the position of chemical equilibria such as those governing antibody-antigen binding. This question is a central aspect of the sensor array as it provides a driving force in an otherwise unfavorable competitive exchange reaction, increasing the expected sensor sensitivity. We also investigate the effects of spatial confinement on such equilibria.

In the area of interfacial chemistry we investigate dynamic behavior of monolayer assemblies at liquid/gas and solid/liquid interfaces. We are interested in understanding how composition and structure of monolayer assemblies affect the dynamics of such processes as long range electron tunneling, lateral molecular diffusion and vectorial proton transport. Our underlying goal is to address issues relevant to the behavior and functioning of biological membrane systems. For example, Langmuir techniques, Brewster angle microscopy (BAM), 2D electrochemical methods, and electron spin resonance spectroscopy are used to study lateral mobility of lipids at the air/water interface in order to understand physical properties of lipid monolayers and to probe the water liquid-vapor interfacial region. We want to learn about the dynamic properties of this important interfacial region and to understand how they differ from the properties of bulk water. Likewise, we want to understand what types of interactions determine phase behavior and the lateral dynamics of lipid monolayer films on the water surface. How does their mobility depend on their immersion depth, surface density and on the physical properties of the interfacial water region?


  • Born 1951
  • M. Sc. Warsaw University (1974)
  • Ph. D. Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (1980)
  • Research Associate, University of Illinois (1980-82)
  • Associate Faculty Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Member, American Chemical Society, Electrochemical Society, and Society for Electroanalytical Chemistry
  • Joel H. Hildebrand Chair in Chemistry (1982-1984)
  • College of Science Alumni Achievement Award, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (2002)