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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V00767X/1
Title: High performance Wide spectral range Nanoprobe (HiWiN)
Principal Investigator: Kolosov, Professor OV
Other Investigators:
Jarvis, Dr SP Mikhaylovskiy, Dr R Fullwood, Dr NJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
FELIX Laboratory University of Liverpool
Department: Physics
Organisation: Lancaster University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 September 2020 Ends: 31 January 2023 Value (£): 745,943
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biophysics Magnetism/Magnetic Phenomena
Materials Characterisation Quantum Optics & Information
RF & Microwave Technology Surfaces & Interfaces
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
22 Jun 2020 EPSRC Strategic Equipment Interview Panel June 2020 - Panel 1 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
We propose to manufacture and commission the 'High performance Wide spectral range Nanoprobe' (HiWiN) using the tunable FEL electromagnetic (EM) radiation source FELIX (EPSRC National Research Facility at Nijmegen, Netherlands). HiWiN will enable area selective nanoscale (20-50 nm) illumination and/or light detection with high power and high intensity MIR-through-THz FEL radiation. HiWiN merges superior power, time signature and ultra-broad spectral tunability of the FELIX source (3 to 150 um) with selective ultra-high efficiency (20-70%) illumination/detection at the nanoscale. HiWiN has the ability to effectively concentrate the moderate to high power, spectrally selected, FEL EM radiation into a nanoscale-sized spot. This enables investigation of a wide variety of light-matter interaction phenomena (chemical reactions, molecular dissociation, nonlinear response). The project is supported by 31 UK research groups from multiple departments in 12 UK universities and the National Physics Laboratory. It is implemented by the multi-institutional collaboration lead by Lancaster University that is renowned for the development of nanoscale characterisation instrumentation that is now commercially available. HiWiN will be unique and world leading with no comparable capabilities existing in the UK or worldwide.

In particular the areas of research advanced by HiWiN will be Quantum Technology and materials where HiWiN will be able to zoom into individual single quantum dots generating THz radiation, to develop digital physical fingerprints to avoid counterfeited medicines, to focus on the special states of materials including two-dimensional materials and topological insulators, and to investigate ultrafast carrier dynamics in RF and THz devices. This research directly contributes to EPSRC growth areas of "Materials for energy applications" and "RF and microwave devices". Another major HiWiN impact area is Catalysis, which is internationally recognised as a critical enabling technology. Power FELs are an essential technology in catalysis allowing spectroscopic observation and initiation of chemical transformations in catalytic processes in real time. The high spatial resolution of HiWiN will provide unprecedented detail on catalytic processes, achieving characterisation of single active catalytic sites, single nanoparticles and enabling new understanding of surface chemical processes and reaction intermediates.

In the biomedical sciences, FELs and HiWiN provide the high power and high throughput essential to obtain high quality near field data in the MIR and THz region and this is particularly useful in the study of biological systems, where the functions, such as cell signalling and metabolism which can be targets for pharmaceuticals, are often controlled by submicron surface structures. It will make possible the characterisation of individual bacteria and complex microbial communities; image and characterise nanoparticles relevant to cancer therapies and Alzheimer biochemistry, and to observe nanoscale changes in biomedical monitoring. The combination of high-quality nanoscale imaging with intense THz radiation will open a new window on a detection of diseases and hydration of the cornea, and the interaction of THz radiation with living cells. The biomedical science programme of HiWiN is well aligned with EPSRC's Healthy Nation Strategy and UKRI Roadmap (Biological and biomedical imaging capability). It addresses many of UKRI's priorities supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund and Technology Touching Life programme.

We expect HiWiN to become a major platform triggering research in the multiple application areas and stimulating new technological solution in advanced scientific instrumentation.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.lancs.ac.uk