9. Apr. 2021

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships allow researchers to make individual research stays. The results published at the beginning of February revealed that a record number of 11,573 projects applied for the call this year, of which 21 Czechs succeeded. The CEITEC Brno University of Technology can proudly boast five successful applicants. Four holders are from the research group of Martin Pumera and one is from the group of Jan Čechal. Projects focus on the development of new unique devices and materials.

  • Holder: Jose Maria Munoz Martin (Spain)
  • Current institutionCEITEC BUT
  • Project: Sustainable design of 3D-printed responsive interfaces for electrically monitoring bistable (supra)molecular switches: towards 3D-printed logic gates (R3DINBOW)
  • Research GroupFuture Energy and Innovation (Martin Pumera)

Jose Maria Munoz Martin focuses his research on the development of a new generation of "intelligent" 3D-printed electronic devices. The need to constantly reduce the size of these devices brings with it the need to find components for molecular-based information processing. Developments in nanotechnologies over the last twenty years have shown that molecules have the ability to perform some logical computational functions. "Current silicon-based semiconductor processors are manufactured on a top-down basis. As part of my project, I use a sustainable bottom-up approach, with supramolecular switches being electrically read from carbon wires printed on a 3D printer,” Jose explains, saying the idea goes hand in hand with the EU's digital strategy to make Europe climate neutral by 2050.

Sanjay Gopal Ullattil deals with the issue of light induced micro and nanomotors (MNMs). In order to be able to apply the light powered MNMs in real world applications, it is necessary to fabricate MNMs those can propel using a most reliable source of light energy. In that direction, the universal energy source, sunlight is the right choice. "We need to implement a unique material that can absorb the maximum of solar spectrum effectively. Therefore, I will use the black version of one of the most efficient photocatalyst, TiO2­­ (black TiO2) in the form of Janus structural combinations with single metals and metal combinations. Their motion behaviour will be thoroughly investigated and will be employed in the photodegradation of one and two-component pollutant systems,” says the scientist. Therefore, as part of the SIMULATOR project, a completely new class of micro and nanomotors will be developed.

Expandable microsupercapacitors (MSC for short) can operate in several mechanical deformations (including stretching, bending, twisting, and compression). These properties are essential for powering wearable electronics and implantable biomedical devices. From the materials science perspective,“ the in situ bonding between flexible porous graphene networks with nanocrystalline diamond using single-stage laser processing can provide a breakthrough in flexible wearable and portable electronic device technology," says Sujit Deshmukh of the project's focus.

In recent years, due to the growing demand for food supplies, the use of toxic pesticides has also increased, even at the expense of a heavily polluted environment. Micro/nanomotors combine the improved physicochemical properties of micro/nanoscale materials with the active motion ability, and have shown great potential for the degradation of toxic substances in the environment. Still, they are not selective. "The MSCA IF MIPhmotors project aims to selectively and sensitively degrade and detect toxic pesticides in water and food using molecular imprinting technique for the preparation of photocatalytic semiconducting micro/nanomotors of various sizes and shapes," describes Mario Urso. The proposed research can be extended to degrade and detect other pollutants.

With silicon-based electronics nearing its limits, spintronics and quantum computing have emerged as technologies promising unprecedented amounts of computational power. Here, the spin of individual atoms or small molecules is used to transfer or process information. In his project, researcher Zdeněk Jakub strives to produce a spintronic device in which the magnetic coupling between the individual spin centres can be efficiently modulated. "This project will provide fundamental insights into the characteristics of weak magnetic interactions and their dependence on external parameters. This is necessary for any further utilization of dense spin-centre arrays; the resulting device will thus serve as an ideal platform for spintronic applications and quantum computing studies," the researcher adds.

Author: Kateřina Vlková

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