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Posted: April 10, 2008
ESF-FWF conference on chemical control with electrons and photons
(Nanowerk News) The precise control over chemical transformations, both in terms of ‘tuning’ reaction products and allowing site specific chemical control is the subject of one of the most exciting and rapidly developing areas of modern science - introducing the potential for the creation of new materials and the development of new technologies with dramatic implications for advances in such fields as nanotechnology, quantum electronics and biophysics.
Related research is driven by the emergence of new experimental tools and techniques (e.g. ultrafast lasers, electron induced processing and scanning tunnelling microscopes) each of which may provide control of chemical reactions with high selectivity. The first method uses laser pulses with a duration of a few femtoseconds, the timescale on which the atoms in a molecule move, to manipulate molecular wavepackets and control dissociation pathways; the second uses very low energy electrons to dissociate the molecular target at well defined reaction sites while the third methodology uses scanning tunnelling microscopes to manipulate single molecules absorbed on surfaces. Together these three techniques offer the unique ability to select and ‘tune’ chemical pathways allowing us unprecented control over chemical reactions.
This conference "Chemical Control With Electrons And Photons" on November 22-27, 2008 in Innsbruck, Austria, will bring together leading experts from the fields of electron-, laser-, and plasma-driven chemical processing.
Despite their common goals and synergies between the different approaches (e.g in understanding molecular dissociation dynamics and fragmentation patterns) this is the first time in any international research forum that the different communities exploring routes to chemical control will be brought together at a single dedicated research conference. The aim of this meeting is therefore to (i) promote the awareness of a common research basis and (ii) to discuss new opportunities and directions such as facile processes for surface functionalization and nanostructuring that may be developed through collaboration between the different communities. This will include not only research on fundamental aspects of molecular fragmentation and chemical control but also highlight the applications in the areas of surface, material science and the ability to extend such knowledge to the study of biomolecular systems (e.g. in development of DNA as a functional engineering material).