Femtolaser to study molecule energy transfer for nanomachines

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Ultra-fast femtosecond light pulses are to be used to study energy transfer in proteins and molecules at the University of East Anglia (UEA) for future nanomachines and solar power collectors.

With wavelengths ranging from the ultraviolet to the Infrared, scientists will use the femtosecond pulses for 2D electronic spectroscopy experiments to measure how energy is transferred from molecule to molecule. This will aid the design of molecular structures for exploiting solar radiation. A better understanding of how energy is transferred from molecule to molecule will also contribute to the future design of nanomachines.

Steve Meech is professor of chemistry at UEA. He said: ‘With this equipment we will be able to develop experiments which probe in exquisite detail the link between the efficiency of light driven processes in natural and synthetic systems and the underlying molecular architecture.’

Funded by a £466,000 grant from the UK government’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The Council has also provided a further £613,000 for staff and collaborations to drive this research forward.