NSF Grants Nanotechnology Project: Molecular Photosensor to be Developed

July 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: FAU to develop unmanned marine vehicles for bridge inspections

Related Stories

Fed agency blames giant hack on 'neglected' security system

June 16, 2015

The agency that allowed hackers linked to China to steal private information about nearly every federal employee—and detailed personal histories of millions with security clearances—failed for years to take basic steps ...

Recommended for you

The sound of music, according to physicists

July 30, 2015

Joshua Bodon is sick of hearing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." More specifically, he's sick of hearing one 25-second clip of the song repeated more than 550 times.

Unusual red arcs spotted on icy Saturn moon Tethys

July 30, 2015

Like graffiti sprayed by an unknown artist, unexplained arc-shaped, reddish streaks are visible on the surface of Saturn's icy moon Tethys in new, enhanced-color images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

0 comments

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.