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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L014696/1
Title: Multi-Functional Nanoscale Platforms: Bridging the Gap between Molecular and Macroscopic Worlds
Principal Investigator: Khlobystov, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Chemistry
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2013 Ends: 31 March 2015 Value (£): 247,281
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The control and manipulation of molecules is one of the fundamental challenges of Nanoscience. In this project we intend to build a nanoscale bridge to the molecular world that would enable the study and fabrication of molecules with atomic precision. The aim is to construct addressable, multi-functional nanoscale platforms based on nanotubes (Multi-Functional Nanotubes, MFNT) that are able to control the physiochemical states of molecules and harness their properties for practical applications.

The confinement of molecules inside nanotubes is known to have profound effects on the positions, orientations, and rotational and translation motions of guest-molecules. However, in most cases nanotubes play the role of a passive container influencing molecular behaviour simply due to the restricted space available, thus leading to static molecular architectures. In this project, we will exploit physical (electrical and thermal conductivity, or optical transparency) and chemical (surface charge and functionality) properties of carbon, TiO2 and BN nanotubes to develop MFNT platforms responsive to external stimuli (heat, light, electric potential, or pH). The MFNT system will serve as a conduit for external macroscopic stimuli, channelling them to the level of individual molecules.

Our approach will enable the addressing of optical, electrical and magnetic states of guest-molecules entrapped within MFNT, which will be gauged by spectroscopy and electron microscopy measurement. The control of chemical reactivity of molecules is particularly important as new, previously unknown chemical transformations triggered inside MFNTs may lead to molecular materials with unique structures and properties that are not accessible by any existing approaches.

This ambitious interdisciplinary project, developing at the boundary of physics, chemistry, and materials science, has the potential to change the way we make and study molecules and could provide revolutionary applications for future technologies.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk