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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R011079/1
Title: From rings to nanostructures
Principal Investigator: Winpenny, Professor RE
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 January 2018 Ends: 31 December 2022 Value (£): 1,463,518
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Synthetic Methodology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
13 Sep 2017 EPSRC Physical Sciences - September 2017 Announced
17 Oct 2017 EPSRC Physical Sciences Fellowship Interview Panel October 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The modern world works because of the huge developments in electronics over the last fifty years. The many devices we take for granted - mobile phones, tablets, laptops - are all dependent on the ability of the electronics industry to make smaller and smaller components on which the performance of these devices depends. For fifty years the industry has been able to double the number of components per chip every two years; this astonishing performance is colloquially known as Moore's Law, named after Gordon Moore the founder of Intel.

This project is to use chemistry in a unique way to extend Moore's Law further in the future. The applicant's group has a remarkable control over the synthesis of a class of compounds known as heterometallic rings. These rings show huge promise in two areas related to Moore's Law. Firstly, they can be used in the fabrication of the types of nanostructures already used by the electronics industry. The electronics industry uses lithography to write nanostructures, and our ring materials can be used to create the pattern used for lithography. Through our chemistry we can meet many of the requirements of this industry already, in terms of the resolution of the pattern written, how smooth the edges of the lines of the pattern are, and, in particular, how resistant the material is to the conditions used to "etch" the underlying silicon substrate to make the nanostructures. Our materials out-perform all competitor materials in one or more of these parameters. The main task for the Fellowship will be to increase the speed with which our materials can be written so that they will be adopted by the electronics industry. The industry is hugely dependent on this speed, i.e. how many "chips" can be made every hour is a key factor in the profitability of companies such as Intel.

Secondly, we can use our rings as possible qubits for quantum information processing (QIP). QIP would be a new means of carrying out certain computational tasks (e.g. searching directories, breaking codes) and a qubit is the equivalent for QIP of a bit in classical computing. Our synthetic control allows us to bring together many qubits - which are magnetic - in one supramolecule, and during the Fellowship we will develop equivalent but non-magnetic hosts into which we can insert these multiple qubit supramolecules. This will allow us to make materials where individual qubits only speak to neighbouring qubits under our control, and hence we can begin to think about carrying out simple computational tasks. No other group could seriously propose this synthetic work.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk