Cucurbitrils for Hardwired Optical and Electronic Self-assembly

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

We aim to grow specific-sized metal and semiconductor nanoparticles inside rigid molecular cages called cucurbiturils, and subsequently assemble them into functional nano-chains. Combining these filled cages with well-defined connector molecules allows us to precisely define particle geometries, particle separations and particle interfacing. This in turn enables the robust construction of plasmonic optical antennae at visible wavelengths, room-temperature single-electron-tunnelling transistors and combined photovoltaics. Such functional properties open up novel alternative methods for directed assembly using irradiation with precisely-tuned lasers, nano-electrochemistry or ac-electric fields. This approach will constitute the basis of a new nanotechnology platform for organic-inorganic ordered nano-composites.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We have shown how a rigid molecule can glue together gold nanoparticles with precise sub-nanometre gaps, to confine light in tiny volumes. This concentration allows a host of new properties, including sensing small molecules at very low concentration.
Exploitation Route Yes, and we are exploring these with medical researchers, and companies.
Sectors Chemicals,Environment,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

URL http://www.np.phy.cam.ac.uk/publications
 
Description We have developed new technologies for sensing. These have been patented and we are developing biomedical applications, and working with companies.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Chemicals,Environment,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Company Name Base4 
Description Spin-out producing a new ultra-high speed DNA sequencing technology 
Year Established 2010 
Impact second tranche of funding, having hit milestones
Website http://www.base4.co.uk
 
Description Naked Scientist interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact interview on our work recorded with Naked Scientist
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description SET for Parliment 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Laura Brooks represented our work at SET in Parliment, won 2nd prize
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Science Society talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Talk for the Cambridge University Science Society
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Stoner lecture, Leeds 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact JJB gave the Stoner lecture on translating research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description exibit in Cambridge Science Museum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact built polymer opals exhibit as part of Cambridge Science Museum display
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016