NSF Grants Nanotechnology Project: Molecular Photosensor to be Developed

Jul 10, 2004

Florida Tech researchers have earned a $100,000 National Science Foundation grant for a nanotechnology project, to develop a molecular photosensor. The photosensor will be based on compounds, such as Vitamin A, found in mammalian retinae.
Dr. Joel Olson and Dr. Nasri Nesnas, assistant professors of chemistry, earned the grant to develop the technology, which can be useful in the fabrication of miniscule cameras--the size of a grain of sand--requiring very little power.

Such a camera could be put to medical, military and national security uses. It could be the "eyes" of a nanorobot sent into an artery to remove plaque, for example. Many such tiny cameras might "dust" an area as an army advances, for reconnaissance. "These are far-reaching but conceivable ideas," said Olson.

Also collaborating on this multidisciplinary project are Dr. James Mantovani, assistant professor of physics and Dr. Syed Murshid, assistant professor of electrical engineering. They also are Florida Tech faculty members.

Olson and Nesnas received an additional $25,000 grant from the Florida Solar Energy Center to expand this work. They will extend their research into the study of porphyrin molecules, which partly compose the chlorophyll molecule, a photoreceptor present in green plants.

Nanotechnology involves complex devices built to atomic precision using molecular machine systems. This powerful technology is expected to have profound impacts on fields from medicine and the environment to space transportation and homeland security.

Source: Florida Institute of Technology

Explore further: Nano-capsules designed for diagnosing malignant tumours

Related Stories

High-tech sensors help kids keep eye on aging parents

May 05, 2015

Each time 81-year-old Bill Dworsky or his 80-year-old wife Dorothy opens the refrigerator, closes the bathroom door or lifts the lid on a pill container, tiny sensors in their San Francisco home make notes ...

Bendable glass devices

Apr 27, 2015

A special class of glass materials known as chalcogenide glasses holds promise for speeding integration of photonic and electronic devices with functions as diverse as data transfer and chemical sensing. ...

Recommended for you

Researchers first to create a single-molecule diode

May 25, 2015

Under the direction of Latha Venkataraman, associate professor of applied physics at Columbia Engineering, researchers have designed a new technique to create a single-molecule diode, and, in doing so, they ...

Engineering phase changes in nanoparticle arrays

May 25, 2015

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have just taken a big step toward the goal of engineering dynamic nanomaterials whose structure and associated properties can be ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.