Methods and compositions are described for immobilizing anti-ligands, such as antibodies or antigens, hormones or hormone receptors, oligonucleotides, and polysaccharides on surfaces of solid substrates for various uses. The methods provide surfaces covered with caged binding members which comprise protecting groups capable of being removed upon application of a suitable energy source. Spatially addressed irradiation of predefined regions on the surface permits immobilization of anti-ligands at the activated regions on the surface. Cycles of irradiation on different regions of the surface and immobilization of different anti-ligands allows formation of an immobilized matrix of anti-ligands at defined sites on the surface. The immobilized matrix of anti-ligands permits simultaneous screenings of a liquid sample for ligands having high affinities for certain anti-ligands of the matrix. A preferred embodiment of the invention involves attaching photoactivatable biotin derivatives to a surface. Photolytic activation of the biotin derivatives forms biotin analogs having strong binding affinity for avidin. Biotinylated anti-ligands can be immobilized on activated regions of the surface previously treated with avidin.