EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N016874/1
Title: Transformable nanophotonic surfaces: fusing synthetic biology with nano-engineering to create physically reconfigurable optical materials
Principal Investigator: Clark, Dr A
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: School of Engineering
Organisation: University of Glasgow
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 01 May 2016 Ends: 30 April 2017 Value (£): 98,239
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 Dec 2015 EPSRC Physical Sciences Materials and Physics - December 2015 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Nanophotonics is a term used to describe the interaction of light with objects (usually metals) that have nanometer scale dimensions. Harnessing these interactions has enabled an unprecedented degree of optical control at these sub-microscopic levels, opening the door to a raft of new devices, materials and surfaces based on the unique physics unlocked by the engineering and organisation of nanophotonic structures. However, as we are reaching the limit of what traditional fabrication techniques can achieve, there is the need to develop new techniques for the assembly nanophotonic particles if we are to maintain our current rapid progress in this area and develop the smart optical surfaces and devices of the future. The aim of this project, based at The University of Glasgow's School of Engineering, is to introduce a new fabrication and manipulation tool-set to the field of nanophotonics; a tool-set based on synthetic-biology which has the capability to not only assemble nanophotonic surfaces using biological interactions, but to have those surfaces remain biologically active such that they can reconfigure their nanoscale geometries in response to different molecular cues.

This technology will be made possible by fusing traditional 'top-down' lithography with a reconfigurable 'bottom-up' self-assembly method based on interaction of DNA nanopatterns with site-specific recombination enzymes. By selectively patterning a nanophotonic surface with DNA we will be able to manipulate the placement of individual metallic nanoparticles within that array through the action of said enzymes; creating photonic interactions that alter the optical properties and output of that surface. The addition of particular synthetic biology machinery and tools will allow us to remove, swap or relocate these nanoparticles to other specifically engineered points on the surface, eliciting a new optical response. Representing a new platform technology, the augmentation of nanophotonic surfaces with synthetic biology to will open up new avenues of materials research and device generation based on reconfigurable nano-architectures.

Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.gla.ac.uk