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: Tissue regeneration using anti-inflammatory nanomolecules

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Using mosquitos to decrease the mosquito population

Jul 15, 2014

Who would have thought of mosquitoes being put to work to help decrease and control the mosquito population? University of Kentucky professor and researcher Stephen Dobson and his former graduate student, ...

Engineering light-controlled proteins

Jul 03, 2014

(Phys.org) —A University of Wyoming professor has engineered proteins that can be activated by near-infrared light as a way to control biological activities in deep tissues of small mammals.

Using light to change the makeup of plastics

Jul 03, 2014

A FAMU-FSU College of Engineering professor is using rays of light to control the shape of a special type of plastic, a project that could have long-term implications for manufacturing, solar energy harvesting, aerospace ...

Recommended for you

Tissue regeneration using anti-inflammatory nanomolecules

10 hours ago

Anyone who has suffered an injury can probably remember the after-effects, including pain, swelling or redness. These are signs that the body is fighting back against the injury. When tissue in the body is damaged, biological ...

Copper shines as flexible conductor

15 hours ago

Bend them, stretch them, twist them, fold them: modern materials that are light, flexible and highly conductive have extraordinary technological potential, whether as artificial skin or electronic paper.

Nanoparticles may aid oil recovery, frack fluid tracking

16 hours ago

Two Colorado State University researchers are examining how nanoparticles move underground, knowledge that could eventually help improve recovery in oil fields and discover where hydraulic fracking chemicals ...

User comments : 0