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Open Technology Programme Grant for Wouter Roos and Ben Feringa

23 November 2021

Last week NWO announced the results of the latest Open technology Programme (OTP). Prof. Wouter Roos and Prof. Ben Feringa are among the recipients, for their collaborative project on light triggered molecular switches and motors. In their project fundamental research and technology development goes hand-in-hand. This is expected to result in applications in industry and health care such as for instance in soft robotics and for smart drug delivery systems. In total, six research projects received OTP funding. The projects awarded by NWO fund research and development ranging from the monitoring of muscle diseases and a new type of WiFi to molecular motors.

Prof. Roos (left) & Prof. Feringa
Prof. Roos (left) & Prof. Feringa

Light triggered molecular switches & motors: Unravelling the molecular mechanism behind motion at the nanoscale - prof. dr. W.H. Roos and prof. dr. B. L. Feringa, University of Groningen

In their project Feringa and Roos develop a technological approach to decipher the nanoscale dynamics of synthetic molecular machines. Such machines, for instance nanoswitches and nanomotors, have recently gained increasing interest in research and development. By introducing an additional light path in a very fast, nanoscale microscope, it will become possible to trigger motion at will, just by turning the light on and off. Simultaneously the researchers will follow the movement at the single molecule level, shedding light onto the hitherto concealed mechanisms of motion of these tiny objects. The project, which ended at the first place in the overall ranking, does not only combine the fundamental chemistry and physics expertise of the Feringa and Roos labs, it also has a large technology development component. For this, the researchers join forces with the company Bruker that develops advanced Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM). By adapting their system, a High-speed AFM that is capable of observing the fast movements and dynamical changes that molecular motors and switches exhibit, will be developed. Together with the novel features of the motors and switches this will lead to both fundamental new insights and technology applications.

Contact: Prof.dr. Wouter Roos & Prof.dr. Ben Feringa

Last modified:29 November 2021 2.12 p.m.
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