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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2008-1.1-1 | Award Amount: 4.43M | Year: 2009

Future breakthroughs in the understanding of fundamental biological processes causing major diseases are expected from the development of miniaturized probes or microscopes able to detect and identify a single or a small number of molecules. The SingleMoleculeDetection (SMD) proposal will develop a unique device able to perform simultaneously and in a dynamic way force and spectroscopic measurements. We will design and fabricate novel devices for the generation of plasmon polaritons as well as combine photonic crystals and plasmonic nanolenses. These new devices will be able to detect few/single molecules through Raman, InfraRed and Terahertz (THz) signals and in combination with Atomic Force Microscopy and Optical Tweezer force spectroscopy with a spatial resolution in the sub-10 nm for Raman and IR and sub-100 nm for the THz region. The complete characterization of single unknown molecule will be demonstrated through: i- investigations on the chemical and physical properties of membrane receptors, such as rhodopsin, odorant receptors and ionic channels; ii- identification of new molecules involved in cancer development and metastasis. The new devices will allow the acquisition of THz images and we will explore the possibilities of this new spectral region for biomedical scanning. The SMD proposal is based on an original idea of the coordinator, prof. E. di Fabrizio and will be exploited thanks to the complementary expertise present in the different sites and to a tight coordination between the various groups. The design, fabrication and testing will be performed at UMG, TASC and CBM Integration in a single instrument will be carried out at TASC, CBM, IIT Nanotec, RUB. Validation activities will be performed by all the partners taking advantage of the world leading expertise of the TUDO and the STRATH- AC in spectroscopy of natural and artificial biological systems. The SME NANOTEC and CBM will provide the commercial exploitation of the obtained results.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.35M | Year: 2011

The focus of modern solid-state technology is currently shifting from the single property (electric, magnetic, and elastic) to a coupling of different fields where a coupled materials response can be either used for their characterization or as a basis of novel applications. In the last few years, it became clear that the coupled electromechanical response of the materials (i.e., mechanical deformation under applied electric bias) can be not only used as an universal tool for studying diverse materials classes at the nanoscale but is becoming indispensable for the development of next generation of multifunctional materials (piezoelectrics, ferroelectrics, multiferroics, ionic conductors, and polar biomaterials) and composites on their base. Novel nanoelectromechanical tools (Piezoresponse Force Microscopy - PFM, Electrochemical Strain Microscopy - ESM, and as well their combination with traditional Scanning Probe Microscopies - SPM) have been introduced for studying emergent materials and applications. This has recently led to the substantial progress in the development of novel multiferroics, photovoltaic, biopiezoelectrics and battery materials. The emergent field of nanoelectromechanics requires coordinated action at the European level as further progress in this field largely relies on the education and dissemination of best practices in application of PFM/ESM to a large number of functional materials NANOMOTION is intended to train the next generation of engineers and technologists in the fundamental aspects of the nanoelectromechanics, to apply advanced PFM/ESM tools to study a wide range of functional materials in collaboration with interested industrial partners and to create a European-based pool of researchers in this area.

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