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Posted: August 9, 2008

Numerous nanotechnology projects among latest European Research Council grant awards

(Nanowerk News) The European Research Council (ERC) has released details of the first round of recipients of its Advanced Grants in the physical sciences and engineering fields. Some 105 of the almost 1,000 applicants from these disciplines have been allocated funding.
The ERC's Advanced Grants are aimed at experienced researchers with a strong record in groundbreaking research, and the sole criterion on which they are judged is scientific excellence. The ERC received a total of 2,167 applications for its Advanced Grants; details of the successful candidates in the life sciences, and social sciences and humanities fields will be published in the coming months.
The physical sciences and engineering grant recipients will be carrying out research in a diverse range of fields. Their host institutions are located in 19 countries in the EU and the countries which have signed up to the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
For example, Hubertus Fischer of the University of Bern in Switzerland won funding for his MATRICs ('Modern approaches for temperature reconstructions in polar ice cores') project. He plans to develop new methods and techniques for analysing ice cores in greater detail, with the ultimate goal of unravelling how the climate changed in different regions of the world by analysing a single ice core.
Dr Fischer is also involved in the EU-funded EPICA ('European project for ice coring in Antarctica') project, which this year won the Descartes Prize for Transnational Collaborative Research at the European Science Awards.
Another recipient is Professor Leo Kouwenhoven of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. His project is on quantum opto-electronics, and over the course of his five-year project, he hopes to demonstrate the principle of the transfer of quantum information from a single electron to a single photon.
Other subjects covered by the successful applicants include stellar evolution; cleaner internal combustion engines; molecular motors; particle accelerators with intense lasers; number theory; the mathematical modelling of the cardiovascular system; and the dynamics of volcanoes, to name just a few.
The ERC recently published its second call for proposals for its Starting Grants, which are targeted at researchers in the early stages of their career. The second call for proposals for the Advanced Grants is due to be launched in November of this year.
Here is a list of the nanotechnology related projects that received the ERC Advanced Grants:
Video-rate Scanning Probe Microscopy Imaging of Nanostructures on Surfaces, Prof. Besenbacher, Aarhus Universitet, Denmark
Frontiers in Surface Plasmon Photonics - Fundamentals and Applications, Prof. Ebbesen, Université Louis Pasteur, France
Molecular Motors - Controlling movement at the nanoscale, Prof. Feringa, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Advanced Amorphous Multicomponent Oxides for Transparent Electronics, Prof. Fortunato, Faculty of Sciences and Technology of New University of Lisbon, Portugal
Numerical Design of Self Assembly of Complex Colloidal Structures, Prof. Frenkel, Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge, UK
Self-Organized Nanostructuring in Functional Thin Film Materials, Prof. Hultman, Linköpings Universitet, Sweden
Quantum optics using nanostructures: from many-body physics to quantum information processing, Prof. Imamoglu, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland
Solid State/Cold Atom Hybrid Quantum Devices, Prof. Kleiner, Universitä Tübingen, Germany
Quantum Opto-Electronics, Prof. Kouwenhoven, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Synthetic Molecules that Walk Down Tracks: The First Small-Molecule Linear Motors, Prof. Leigh, University of Edinburgh, UK
Attosecond Control of Light and Matter, Prof. L'Huillier, Lund University, Sweden
Regular Arrays of Artificial Surface-Mounted Dipolar Molecular Rotors, Prof. Michl, Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, ASCR v.v.i., Czech Republic
Search for emergent phenomena in oxide nanostructures, Prof. Netzer, Austria
Neuron Networking with Nano Bridges via the Synthesis and Integration of Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes, Prof. Prato, University of Trieste, Italy
Exploration of strains in synthetic nanocrystals, Prof. Robinson, University College London, UK
Nonlinear Micro- and Nano-Photonics: nonlinear optics at the micrometer scale and below, Prof. Segev, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
Development of multi-scale molecular models, force fields and computer software for biomolecular simulation, Prof. Van Gunsteren, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland
Inorganic nanotubes and fullerene-like materials: new synthetic strategies lead to new materials, Prof. Tenne, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Molecular spintronics using single-molecule magnets, Prof. Wernsdorfer, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France
Scanning Nano-SQUID on a Tip, Prof. Zeldov, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
For more information, please visit: http://erc.europa.eu/
Source: European Research Council