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Single Molecule Activation and Computing (FOCUS)
Start date: Jan 1, 2011, End date: Mar 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The present project, FOCUS, will build a novel generation of biologically inspired molecular devices (MDs) based on the developments of new photonic tools. These photonic tools will use Plasmon Polariton and two-photon technology, enabling focused light spots with a diameter around 10 nm. FOCUS will also develop new light sensitive molecules that will be selectively activated by our new photonic tools. These new technological innovations will provide a way to control activation of single light sensitive molecules and will allow the investigation of molecular computation in a biological environment and with an unprecedented resolution. On the basis of these investigations and by using the developed new tools, FOCUS will design and test new MDs for amplification and information processing. FOCUS will: i - provide new photonic devices to control single molecules; ii – lay out the basis for understanding molecular computation in biological systems; iii - provide proofs of concept and suggestions for designing new molecular artificial computing systems; iv- build prototypes of these new MDs. FOCUS has formed a highly interdisciplinary consortium composed of nanotechnologists able to fabricate the new photonic devices - i.e. Enzo Di Fabrizio (IIT), Alpan Bek (METU) and Marco Lazzarino (CBM), chemists able to develop the photoswitches and assemble the MDs – i.e. Pau Gorostiza (IBEC) and Ljiljana Fruk (KIT) and biologists able to understand molecular mechanisms – i.e. Vincent Torre (SISSA) and Fabio Benfenati (IIT). The two companies RappOptoElectronic and NT-MDT Europe BV will transform the new tools and devices into marketable products.

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