Jacksonville researchers receive grant to make innovations in nanotechnology

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Two University of North Florida professors have received $90,000 to fund research into nanotechnology.

Christos Lampropoulos and Daniel Santavicca each received $35,000 grants from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, with the university kicking in another $10,000 each.

The professors will examine the way electrons spin and how electricity is conducted on a nanowire.

“This funding contributes to a growing research strength at UNF in nanotechnology, which has tremendous applications in everything from creating novel new materials for engineering to designing nano-scale sensing and delivery systems for medicine,” said John Kantner, UNF assistant vice president for research in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs in a news release.

Today’s technology is powered by the charge in electrons; the future of data processing and communication technology could focus on the “spin” of the electron — a quantum physics term relating to the electron’s angular momentum.

Lampropoulos and his students are investigating new materials which may prove valuable in the development of “spintronic” devices. As part of the research, Lampropoulos and his students will attempt to synthesize and then investigate the structural, magnetic and other properties of single-molecule magnets, looking for ways to tweak their performance.

The synthesized magnets will then be arranged — much like a child arranges a bin of Lego blocks — into a variety of solid state materials.

“We can learn a lot from these materials,” Lampropoulos said. “At the very least, we can use this information to better design spintronic devices and quantum computers in the future.”

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