Actuation and characterisation at the single bond .. (ACRITAS)
Actuation and characterisation at the single bond limit
Start date: Oct 1, 2012,
End date: Mar 31, 2017
"Scanning probe microscopy(SPM) has now evolved to the point where not only is imaging and manipulation with single atom resolution achievable but the state of the art in the field involves sub-molecular and sub-atomic resolution: individual chemical bonds can be resolved, their properties measured, and their spatial symmetry exploited.SPM is, however, increasingly a victim of its own success. The wide availability of commercial instruments means that the technique is now very commonly seen as a routine imaging and characterisation tool. This unfortunately engenders a mindset amongst young researchers where they see an SPM as a ""black box"" and typically have a superficial understanding of the operating principles, theoretical principles, and current (or ultimate) limits of the technique. In turn, this ""black box"" mentality has severe implications for the health and competitiveness of the SPM - and, by extension nanoscience and nanotechnology - sectors in the ERA which rely fundamentally on creative innovation.ACRITAS directly counters this decline in the skills base and creativity of young researchers by providing an exciting and challenging environment for SPM training, spanning the public and private sectors and redefining the state of the art.A defining aspect of the network is its integration of scanning probe groups whose research is carried out under what might be termed `extreme' conditions (ultrahigh vacuum, cryogenic temperatures) with teams of scientists who focus on interactions and control in biologically relevant environments. Although both communities use the same types of experimental techniques, there has traditionally been rather little communication between the two, largely because of different disciplinary biases. ACRITAS will act as a new and important bridge between the physical- and life sciences in advanced SPM and will thus be unique in the training it provides in a field which underpins a vast amount of 21st century science"
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