Luke Hanley

Professor; Department Head

Website: Hanley's Group Page

Publications and UIC Collaboratory Research Profile


Born 1961; BS, University of Toronto, 1983; PhD, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1988; NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh, 1988-1990; Assistant Professor, UIC, 1990-1996; Associate Professor, UIC, 1996-2001; National Science Foundation Young Investigator, 1994-1999; UIC Teaching Recognition Award, 1997; UIC Junior Scholar, 1995-1998; Adjunct Associate Professor of Bioengineering, UIC, 1998-2001; Guest Associate, Argonne National Laboratories, 1996-1997; Visiting Professor, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, 1998; Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering, UIC, 2001.

Our research lay at the interface of analytical chemistry, mass spectrometry, bioengineering, and surface science. We apply advanced instrumental methods to modify and characterize both biological and materials surfaces in several distinct projects. In some cases, this involves the construction of novel instrumentation. Other cases involve the use of advanced instrumentation located in our laboratory, in UIC’s centralized instrumentation facility known as the Research Resources Center, or in synchrotron radiation research user facilities such as the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Many of these experimental methods involve photon, ion, or cluster interactions with gaseous molecules or solid surfaces that lead to photoionization, photoemission of electrons, sputtering of material from surfaces, or deposition of material onto surfaces.

Regularly updated, detailed information on these projects can be found at our homepage:

Focused Research Interests:

• Laser Desorption Postionization for Mass Spectrometric Imaging is used to probe bacterial biofilms and other complex molecular surfaces. We combine vacuum ultraviolet postionization and chemical derivatization for the selective ionization of small molecule analytes in complex mixtures. C60 ion beams are also used to depth profile these materials. Laser desorption postionization is compared with established methods of imaging mass spectrometry such as matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization and cluster secondary ion mass spectrometry.

• Bacterial Biofilms and the Biofilm-Biomaterial Interface. We are using mass spectrometric imaging and related strategies for the analysis of quorum sensing species and antibiotics in bacterial biofilms. One of the goals of this work is to probe antibiotic resistance mechanisms in biofilms. We are also examining the role of bacterial biofilms in the degradation of dental composites within the oral cavity. We are working on developing new biomaterials that inhibit the growth of bacterial biofilm, in conjunction with the work described above. For example, we are studying methods to improve the ability of dental composites to resist the biofilm formation that leads to caries and contributes to composite
failure under mechanical strain.

• Growing Nanocomposite Materials by Cluster Beam & Ion-Assisted Deposition. Gaseous ions and neutrals such as acetylene ions or semiconductor clusters are used as molecular building blocks for the gaseous deposition of nanostructured composite thin films from the atomic level upwards. Lead sulfide nanocrystal-organic oligomer films are prepared by this method for use in nonlinear optical devices and third generation photovoltaics. We also prepare similar materials by the traditional colloidal methods, for comparison with those prepared by these gaseous deposition methods.

• Applying Advanced Surface Analysis Methods. We have applied many other methods in advanced surface analysis to the above problems. These methods include X-ray and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy, near edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy, X-ray surface scattering, secondary ion mass spectrometry, transmission and scanning electron microscopy, transmission and reflection infrared spectroscopy, linear and nonlinear optical absorption of films, quartz crystal microbalance measurement of film deposition or removal, and X-ray diffraction.



1. “Growth of phenylene vinylene thin films via surface polymerization by ion-assisted deposition”, A.T. Wroble, J. Wildeman, D.J. Asunskis, and L. Hanley, Thin Solid Films 516 (2008) 7386-7392.

2. “Laser desorption 7.87 eV postionization mass spectrometry of antibiotics in Staphylococcus epidermidis bacterial biofilms”, G.L. Gasper, R. Carlson, A. Akhmetov, J.F. Moore, and L. Hanley, Proteom. (special issue on imaging MS) 8 (2008) 3816-3821.

3. “Nonlinear optical properties of PbS nanocrystals grown in polymer solutions”, D.J. Asunskis, I.L. Bolotin, and L. Hanley, J. Phys. Chem. C 112 (2008) 9555-9558.

4. “Light and Molecular Ions: The Emergence of Vacuum Ultraviolet Single Photon Ionization in Mass Spectrometry”, L. Hanley and R. Zimmermann, Anal. Chem. 81 (2009) 4174–4182.
(feature article, cover art & podcast for 1 June 2009 issue).

5. “Cluster beam deposition of lead sulfide nanocrystals into organic matrices”, A.M. Zachary, I.L. Bolotin, D.J. Asunskis, A.T. Wroble, and L. Hanley, ACS Appl. Mater. Interf. 1 (2009) 1770-1777.
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Contact Information

Office: 5417A SES, MC 111
Phone: 312-996-3161
Fax: 312-996-0431