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New experimental concepts in the manipulation of matter at the nanoscale

English title New experimental concepts in the manipulation of matter at the nanoscale
Applicant Krishnan Madhavi
Number 166244
Funding scheme SNSF Professorships
Research institution Department of Chemistry University of Zurich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Physical Chemistry
Start/End 01.06.2016 - 31.05.2018
Approved amount 730'163.00
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All Disciplines (8)

Discipline
Physical Chemistry
Chemical Engineering
Microelectronics. Optoelectronics
Biochemistry
Biophysics
Other disciplines of Physics
Material Sciences
Condensed Matter Physics

Keywords (4)

confined soft matter; electrostatics; colloidal information; single molecule trap

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
A novel approach to measuring and manipulating single molecules in solution
Lay summary

Any bit of matter in a liquid is pummelled by forces from the surrounding bath of liquid molecules. So a minute particle in a fluid is always wandering off and after a while finds itself at a random location far from where it started. Fascinating things could be done if nanoscopic particles or molecular-scale entities - nearly a million times smaller than the width of a strand of hair - could be made to stay at the same location for long spells of time. One could measure the physical properties and behaviour of single molecules in solution as well as use single nanoparticles to perform useful functions such as data storage. We have recently developed the ability to trap single biological molecules in solution without the application of external fields. Our trap depends sensitively on the electrical charge carried by the molecule. Within the scope of this proposal we will develop new methods to study the behaviour of single trapped molecules in solution and measure their physical properties such as size, electrical charge, and three-dimensional structure. The ability to perform high-sensitivity, high-precision measurements on single molecules will not only have novel and important fundamental impact but also foster the development of ultra-sensitive biomedical detection and analytics at the nanometer scale. 

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 24.02.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Entropic trapping of a singly charged molecule in solution
Ruggeri Francesca, Krishnan Madhavi (2018), Entropic trapping of a singly charged molecule in solution, in NanoLetters.
Spectrally resolved single-molecule electrometry
Ruggeri Francesca, Krishnan Madhavi (2018), Spectrally resolved single-molecule electrometry, in Journal of Chemical Physics, 148, 123307.
A simple model for electrical charge in globular macromolecules and linear polyelectrolytes in solution
Krishnan Madhavi (2017), A simple model for electrical charge in globular macromolecules and linear polyelectrolytes in solution, in Journal of Chemical Physics, 205101.
Lattice diffusion of a single molecule in solution
Ruggeri Francesca, Krishnan Madhavi (2017), Lattice diffusion of a single molecule in solution, in Physical Review E, 96, 062406.
Measured electrical charge of SiO2 in polar and nonpolar media
Kokot Gasper, Bespalova Maria, Krishnan Madhavi (2017), Measured electrical charge of SiO2 in polar and nonpolar media, in Journal of Chemical Physics, 194701.
Single-molecule electrometry
Ruggeri Francesca, Zosel Franziska, Mutter Natalie, Różycka Mirosława , Wojtas Magdalena, Ożyhar Andrzej, Schuler Benjamin , Krishnan Madhavi (2017), Single-molecule electrometry, in Nature Nanotechnology, 488.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Dr. Roland Netz, Freie Universität Berlin Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Prof. Dr. Ben Schuler, Institute of Biochemistry, University of Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Soft matter at interfaces 2018 Workshop, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Ringberg Castle Talk given at a conference SINGLE-MOLECuLE ELECTROMETRY: Visualizing molecular electrostatics and 3D conformation in an optical microscope 30.04.2018 Tegernsee, Germany Krishnan Madhavi;
Molecular Biophysics Subgroup Symposium, Annual Meeting of the American Biophysical Society Talk given at a conference SINGLE-MOLECLE ELECTROMETRY: Visualizing molecular electrostatics and 3D conformation in an optical microscope 17.02.2018 San Francisco, California, United States of America Krishnan Madhavi;
Symposium on “Hot Topics in the Life Sciences”, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry Talk given at a conference SINGLE-MOLECLE ELECTROMETRY: Visualizing molecular electrostatics and 3D conformation in an optical microscope 04.12.2017 Göttingen, Germany Krishnan Madhavi;
Colloquium at Dept. of Chemistry, Chalmers University of Technology Individual talk CONTROL, MANIPULATION AND MEASUREMENT OF MATTER AT THE NANOMETER SCALE: FROM SINGLE MOLECULE SCIENCE TO MESOSCOPIC DIGITAL DEVICES 02.11.2017 Göteborg, Sweden Krishnan Madhavi;
Colloquium at Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Bern Individual talk CONTROL, MANIPULATION AND MEASUREMENT OF MATTER AT THE NANOMETER SCALE: FROM SINGLE MOLECULE SCIENCE TO MESOSCOPIC DIGITAL DEVICES 27.09.2017 Bern, Switzerland Krishnan Madhavi;
PicoQuant: 24th International Workshop on “Single Molecule Spectroscopy and Super-resolution microscopy in the Life Sciences” Talk given at a conference The electrostatic fluidic trap: A New approach to single-molecule measurement 15.09.2017 Berlin, Germany Krishnan Madhavi;
Swiss Chemical Society Fall Meeting 2017 Talk given at a conference Single-molecule electrometry 22.08.2017 Bern, Switzerland Ruggeri Francesca;
Swiss Chemical Society Fall Meeting 2017 Poster Detecting Structure and Conformation of Single DNA and RNA Molecules by Escape-Time Electrometry 22.08.2017 Bern, Switzerland Bespalova Maria;
FLOW17: Micro and nanofluidics - fundamentals and applications Talk given at a conference Control, manipulation and measurement of matter at the nanometer scale: from single molecule science to mesoscopic digital devices 04.07.2017 Paris, France Krishnan Madhavi;
FLOW17: Micro and nanofluidics - fundamentals and applications Talk given at a conference Single-molecule electrometry 03.07.2017 Paris, France Ruggeri Francesca;
FLOW17: Micro and nanofluidics - fundamentals and applications Poster Detecting structure and conformation of single DNA and RNA molecules by Escape-Time Electrometry 03.07.2017 Paris, France Bespalova Maria;
Marie Curie ITN NANOTRANS meeting Talk given at a conference Confinement-induced attraction between like-charged entities 27.03.2017 Berlin, Germany Deutschländer Sven;
Research Seminar, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Individual talk Control, manipulation and measurement of matter at the nanometer scale: from single molecule science to mesoscopic digital devices 21.02.2017 Ann Arbor, United States of America Krishnan Madhavi;
Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory Colloquium, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford Individual talk Control, manipulation and measurement of matter at the nanometer scale: from single molecule science to mesoscopic digital devices 23.01.2017 Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Krishnan Madhavi;
Excellence Cluster Symposium: ‘Polymers under multiple constraints’, Department of Physics, University of Leipzig Talk given at a conference Control, manipulation and measurement of matter at the nanometer scale: from single molecule science to mesoscopic digital devices 02.12.2016 Leipzig, Germany Krishnan Madhavi;
American Electrophoresis Society Meeting 2016 Talk given at a conference Control, manipulation and measurement of matter at the nanometer scale: from single molecule science to mesoscopic digital devices 16.11.2016 San Francisco, United States of America Krishnan Madhavi;
Dept. of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, University of Geneva Individual talk Control, manipulation and measurement of matter at the nanometer scale: from single molecule science to mesoscopic digital devices 10.11.2016 Geneva, Switzerland Krishnan Madhavi;
Colloquium, Center for Nanoscience (CeNS), Ludwigs-Maximilian Universität Individual talk Control, manipulation and measurement of matter at the nanometer scale: from single molecule science to mesoscopic digital devices 28.10.2016 Munich, Germany Krishnan Madhavi;
Colloquium, IST Austria, Klosterneuburg, Austria Individual talk Control, manipulation and measurement of matter at the nanometer scale: from single molecule science to mesoscopic digital devices 11.10.2016 Klosterneuburg, Austria Krishnan Madhavi;
Colloquium, Institut Pierre-Gilles de Gennes Individual talk Control, manipulation and measurement of matter at the nanometer scale: from single molecule science to mesoscopic digital devices 26.09.2016 Paris, France Krishnan Madhavi;
Gordon Research Conference on Single Molecule Approaches to Biology, Hong Kong. July 5, 2016 Talk given at a conference High-precision electrometry in a ‟field-free single molecule trap 05.07.2016 Hongkong, Hongkong Krishnan Madhavi;
Biological and Soft Matter Physics Seminar, University of Leiden, Leiden, Netherlands. Individual talk Measuring the properties of macromolecules in a ‟field-free single molecule trap 13.06.2016 Leiden, Netherlands Krishnan Madhavi;


Awards

Title Year
Nernst-Haber-Bodenstein Prize 2016

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
138961 New experimental concepts in the manipulation of matter at the nanoscale 01.06.2012 SNSF Professorships

Abstract

The aspiration to study Nature’s building blocks in isolation can be traced back over 200 years to the diaries of the first german Professor of Experimental Physics, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, where he envisioned future experiments “suspending the constituents of matter free”. In the last 100 years Lichtenberg’s dream has turned into reality opening up a number of new research fields. In particular the last few decades have witnessed unprecedented advances from quantum optics to biophysics that were a direct consequence of newly acquired abilities to spatially trap and manipulate single entities in free space or solution. Examples include the development of ion traps, and the manipulation of colloidal objects in strongly focused light beams that led to the Bose-Einstein Condensation experiment; both areas were recognized with Nobel Prizes in Physics in 1989 and 1997 respectively.Trapping a single atom or molecule offers us the unique opportunity to study the individual components of matter, above and beyond the average properties of an ensemble, and free of strong interactions with immobilizing surfaces. While the external field-based approach has had revolutionary impact, these methods fail in a vital physical regime namely for small objects at room temperature. Thus while it has been possible for decades now to trap and experiment with cold ions and atoms, a whole class of Nature’s building blocks, i.e., biological macromolecules in aqueous solution had evaded similar control. In 2010 we reported the development of the electrostatic fluidic trap that addressed the long-standing problem of trapping in the regime of warm, small entities in solution. Starting June 2012, in the first three years of the SNF professorship at the University of Zurich, we have achieved the ability to trap single nanometer-scale macromolecules in room temperature solution and measure their properties such as electrical charge with single elementary charge resolution. On a separate front, we have also demonstrated the ability to store, write and readout information in the spatial state of a single, levitating colloidal particle, introducing a new concept in nanomechanical information.In the upcoming phase we wish to: [1] further advance our molecule trapping, detection and measurement abilities, widening the scope to cover single molecule structural biology studies at the fundamental level, and sensitive detection of minute molecular differences from an applied ‘molecular sensing’ perspective, [2] develop the area of “colloidal information” e.g., build single colloid-based logic circuits and possibly demonstrate rudimentary computation, as well as [3] at the fundamental level, pursue the problem of confinement-induced attraction between like-charged entities that has eluded explanation to date.
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