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Posted: May 2, 2010
CRANN nanotechnology labs win 3.2m euros funding
(Nanowerk News) Three of Trinity College Dublin's CRANN PIs were last week announced as award winners under Science Foundation Ireland’s Principal Investigator Programme. Prof Martin Hegner (TCD), Dr Justin Holmes and Prof Michael Morris (UCC) were awarded the funding amongst 27 pioneering projects supporting strategic work in the life science, information communications technology and sustainable energy sectors.
Announcing the funding, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O’Keeffe TD said the selected projects had “the capacity to create new jobs in the ‘smart’ economy because they targeted high-growth areas at the cutting-edge of innovation”. Director General of SFI, Professor Frank Gannon, said that “by selecting excellent researchers, we can develop key partnerships with leading industries in Ireland, as well as producing high-quality publications and highly-skilled workers”.
Prof. Martin Hegner was awarded in excess of €1.4m. His research is in the rapidly advancing area of bionanotechnology, where biology provides the inspiration, and often the materials, for the design of new technologies at very small scales. There are two main themes to this research project: in the first part, state-of-the-art techniques will be used to understand the mechanics and forces existing in motor proteins and mitochondria, which are viewed as ideal biological models for utilisation in future nanotechnology-designed devices. The second theme utilises very small electromechanical systems and cantilever-based sensors and diagnostic devices for areas such as vaccine screening and immunological assays.
Dr Justin Holmes and Prof Michael Morris were awarded in excess of €1.8m. They develop material platforms or templates which enable reproducible growth of arrays of nanowires. In this way nanowires can be synthesised from the bottom up instead of the existing top-down lithography approach. This technology will enable continued miniaturisation, energy efficiency and performance of electronic devices.