Since early January 2012, Angelika Kühnle, Professor of Physical Chemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, and André Gourdon, Director of the Materials Science Institute CEMES-CNRS in Toulouse, France, have been jointly studying the synthesis of organic molecules on non-conducting surfaces.
The two leading scientists had submitted a successful application for this funding award offered by the German Research Foundation and its French counterpart, the ANR. "It is not easy to get a DFG-ANR funding as the competition is quite fierce."
Both Kühnle and Gourdon plan to support postgraduate researchers in Mainz and Toulouse with the €500,000 they have been awarded. They have also clearly outlined the responsibility for the various aspects of the project. "The work group at CEMES-CNRS is going to produce the starting materials in the form of precursor molecules," explains Kühnle.
"In Mainz, it will then be down to us to get these molecules to react with each other on non-conducting surfaces, which is much more difficult than on conducting surfaces. Then we will use special microscopes to generate images of the newly-created, larger molecules." It is hoped that the results of this 3-year project will contribute towards the development of so-called "molecular wires" to be used for electronic circuitry in devices such as computers.
Angelika Kühnle and her work group also belong to the proposed Cluster of Excellence Molecularly Controlled Non-Equilibrium (MCNE) at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, which has made it through to the decisive final selection round of the German Federal Excellence Competition.
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