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CAS

Czech Academy of Sciences
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227 Projects, page 1 of 46
  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 628974
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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 101153685
    Funder Contribution: 166,279 EUR

    Dysregulated interactions between biomolecules can lead to changes in cell signalling and gene expression, both common drivers of human disease. A detailed understanding of these interactions is vital for drug development, often targeting such interactions for therapeutic effects. In this project, I aim to develop an optical microscopy tool to observe interactions of highly diverse biomolecules in terms of e.g. weight or size, in real-time on a single-molecule level without the use of labels or immobilization, which limits many current established methods. This will allow the study of dynamic interactions between complex biomolecules of varying sizes and with a wide range of properties. The tool will be capable of researching various biological systems that are not easily accessible by established methods. This could contribute to breakthroughs in the research of severe diseases such as diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer's, or Parkinson's disease.

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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 797688
    Overall Budget: 154,721 EURFunder Contribution: 154,721 EUR

    The coherent extreme ultra violet (EUV) pulses produced via high harmonic generation (HHG) in gases are now the main workhorse for various applications of atomic physics and physical chemistry. As the generation efficiency is very low, the number of applications is limited by the low EUV photon flux. The main ambition of this project is to perform a coherent parametric amplification of the EUV pulses in order to significantly increase the EUV photon flux. Such an achievement would be an enabling technology causing a breakthrough in the field of atomic physics, physical chemistry, biology, material science and probably other fields as well. Applications suffering from poor signal/noise ratio will become widespread as they will not be limited anymore to research labs where the EUV sources are optimized daily. Moreover, higher photon flux opens completely new physics, as the EUV nonlinear optics becomes widely accessible and two-EUV-photon absorption turns out to be routine. Very recently a theoretical study was published on high order parametric generation based on the same number of infrared photons absorbed as in “standard” HHG. However, in contrast to HHG, 3 photons are emitted. We have already obtained preliminary data that suggest the presence of EUV photons of slightly lower energies than those originating from HHG. The photon energy difference corresponds to two photons from THz part of the spectrum and is in agreement with the theory. In the project, we identify our major objectives as work packages: WP1: Detection and optimization of the parametric EUV signature in HHG EUV spatially-resolved spectra. WP2: Study on detection of the THz field originating in HHG. WP3: Injection of externally generated THz beam to boost the high parametric process leading to amplification of EUV.

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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 657424
    Overall Budget: 142,721 EURFunder Contribution: 142,721 EUR

    In this project the interaction of ultrashort laser pulses with semiconductor materials will be investigated on a principally new level by taking into account quantum effects that can emerge in highly-excited non-equilibrium matter. The central goal is to study bi-chromatic irradiation regimes which have been found to be extremely effective, compared to monochromatic laser beams, for various applications from micro-/nanostructuring of surfaces to nanoparticle generation and film deposition. This topic will be addressed through the development of a new powerful large-scale 3D model of laser-matter interaction. For the first time two modeling approaches will be combined, electronic structure theory and classical electrodynamics. Necessary steps to achieve these goals are: • Making an existing classical FDTD model to be self-consistent via introducing feedback to the laser field from the swiftly evolving free electron population; • Extending the model to the large scale 3D domain to account for realistic response of materials to polarized laser light; • Modelling of the action of bi-chromatic laser light on semiconductors at the quantum level based on the time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT); developing a theory of photo-ionization of materials by mixed laser wavelengths; • Bridging classical large-scale simulations of ultrashort pulse excitation of semiconductors with quantum peculiarities of photo-ionization. The key goal of the project is to demonstrate the power of the developed model in predicting the morphology of functionalized surfaces for materials of various properties under new irradiation conditions in collaboration with experimentalists at HiLASE. By providing in-depth understanding of underlying physics, this work will open the way to achieve the control over functionalization of semiconductor surfaces, thus, pushing this field away from empirical methods to a smart computer-predicted technique.

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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 101180610
    Funder Contribution: 166,279 EUR

    This project will develop a new method for spatial manipulation of light by designing and validating assemblies of plasmonic nanostructures and fluorophores to advance visualization of densely packed biological structures and their dynamics. The visualization of densely packed biological structures is extremely challenging, yet crucial for understanding dynamic biological processes in virtually any context; light manipulation at the nanoscale using plasmonic nanoparticles has the potential to magnify nanoscopic sample structure while simultaneously enhancing the optical response beyond the capabilities of current super-resolution microscopy techniques. While the ability of metal nanostructures to enhance the response of fluorophores has been utilized for decades, we are still far from understanding the underlying mechanisms of plasmonic enhancement. To fully exploit the potential of this approach, we need to know how spectral overlap between the plasmonic nanoparticle and the absorption and emission channels of the fluorophore affects the coupling efficiency and spatial projection. To translate these effect into applications, we have to understand how the fluorophore-particle distance affects the far-field projection of the fluorophore. We will use self-assembled DNA, single-molecule localization microscopy, and finite difference time domain electromagnetic simulations to measure, describe and reconstruct sub-diffraction limited shifts in the projection of plasmon-coupled fluorophores. This will let us pave the way to the design of a magnifying device aimed at visualizing densely packed biological structures. Fundamental understanding of plasmonic coupling obtained in this project will be directly applicable in various fields of research by providing a tool for high-resolution visualization of molecular structures and their dynamics in the form of plasmonic assemblies, and enabling precise control over enhancement in fluorescence and Raman systems.

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