The NN research group (Nanoscale Science and Novel Electronic Materials) is seeking to build bridges between the physical and biological sciences, the hard and soft matter themes. For example, a strong program in crystal and film growth and characterization is crucial for our studies of correlated electron materials; serious research on nanostructures gives us tools to address important issues on biomolecules; similarly, all improvements in spectromicroscopy instrumentation enhance our research on biological samples. Ultimately, biomedical imaging and cell-research benefit from the progress in many sub-areas of condensed matter physics.The vision and the concept of the NN research group has led to the bi-annual organization of a conference in Dubrovnik: From Solid State to Biophysics.
The subjects of this theme are strongly correlated electronic systems. The physical properties of many of these materials are determined by the interactions between charge, orbital and magnetic degrees of freedom. These characteristics can potentially be used to develop new electronic devices.
We study the growth mechanism of several filamentary nanostuctures (nanotubes, nanowires) and nanoparticles. We address the health hazard related to the large scale production and manipulation of these nanostructures. A experimental set-up has been developed for the measurement of the mechanical response of individual nanofilaments.
This subject is a natural continuation of our activity on carbon nanotubes and fullerenes. We gained knowledge and elaborated experimental techniques by working on carbon materials, and we applied them to biostructures. The main tools are ESR, AFM, Photonic Force Microscope and infrared spectroscopy.