The controlled formation of well organised self-assemblies within multicomponent supramolecular systems remains a challenge for modern chemistry. Herein, the aim of this project is to construct a constitutionally dynamic library containing advanced supramolecular architectures (i.e. a molecular grid, a linear helicate and a macrocycle) through the combination of orthogonal self-assembly and self-sorting, then we intend to take advantage of the dynamic and orthogonal interactions developed to synthesise doubly-dynamic main-chain and crosslinked metallo-supramolecular polymers. A highly complex constitutionally dynamic library (CDL) will be developed. Six dissimilar organic components and three different metal cations are expected to self-sort into a Cu(I) [2x2] grid, a Fe(II) linear helicate and a Zn(II) metallo-macrocycle through the combination of orthogonal self-assembly and self-sorting. This CDL represents a major advancement of the field in term of: 1) the complexity of the orthogonal self-assembly and self-sorting used, 2) the complexity of the metal-directed self-assembly, 3) the complexity of the mixture of supramolecular architectures synthesised. A self-assembling “Janus” metallo-supramolecular polymer based on the self-sorting Cu(I) and Fe(II) complexes developed in the CDL described previously will be studied. This polymer will display both supramolecular and covalent molecular dynamics, allowing for a broad range of features, e.g. orthogonal double dynamics and constitutional dynamics. This polymer is highly innovative as: 1) it can operate via reversible metal-ligand coordination and reversible covalent bond formation or only via the latter, 2) a combination of two orthogonal metal-ligand coordination interactions can be used to induce the polymerisation, 3) these two features will grant the possibility to initiate the polymerization in four different ways leading selectively to different main-chain or crosslinked polymer.
Megatrends such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry-4.0 paradigms, and cloud-based service delivery are combining to push data-center infrastructures to their limits. This applies in particular to Ethernet-based communication networks within large data centers, which limit further scalability of computing power and storage capacity already today. Compact power-efficient transceiver concepts are key to overcome these bottlenecks. SCOOTER aims at what the Ethernet Alliance has recently classified as the “Holy Grail” of the Ethernet ecosystem: Transceivers that enable serial transmission of 100 Gbit/s data streams, while fulfilling the stringent requirements of small-form-factor-pluggable (SFP) packages. The project exploits the concept of silicon-organic hybrid (SOH) integration that combines the economics of large-scale silicon photonic integration with the exceptional performance of organic electro-optic (EO) materials. In a series of experimental demonstrations, we have proven the superior performance of SOH electro-optic modulators, both in terms of speed and power consumption. The SCOOTER transceiver concept is expected to hit a strongly growing multi-billion Euro market. The study aims at an in-depth analysis of market opportunities and competitive boundary conditions, the specification of technical product concepts, as well as the associated IP strategy and risk analysis. The project shall result in a comprehensive business plan that allows to raise funds for the next phase of commercialization through a start-up company. We expect that the envisaged transceivers will not only help to overcome the communication bottlenecks in today’s networks, but may also have transformative impact on the long-term Ethernet roadmap, enabling interface rates of 400 Gbit/s, 800 Gbit/s, 1 Tbit/s, and beyond.
Although numerous evidences from cosmology and astrophysics indicate the existence of Dark Matter (DM), which constitutes about 85% of the whole matter in the universe, its intrinsic nature is still today one of the major mysteries in physics. The lack of the discovery of the so-called Weakly Interacting Massive Particles is shifting the attention to additional, well-motivated, theoretical models that predict DM particles with lower masses. To test these, new extremely sensitive direct detection DM experiments have been developed, which are now starting to explore energies so low that were considered impossible to reach until just a couple of years ago. But these experiments are now observing unpredicted excesses of events, mostly incompatible with a DM signal, in the previously unexplored low energy region. And this irreducible background dramatically limits their sensitivity to new low-mass signals. In this project I propose a novel analysis strategy that will lead to the understanding of the nature of the low energy excess, providing invaluable information to the European and international experiments working on this field. I will also lead and coordinate the data taking campaign necessary for a positive outcome, which will employ world-leading sensitive cryogenic devices developed by the SuperCDMS collaboration, installed in the Cryogenic Underground Test at the world-class underground SNOLAB laboratory. The project will be completed in a leading research group, to which I will bring knowledge on how to efficiently operate a cryogenic detector as well as on how to run a dilution refrigerator. This work will extend my experience, show my research competencies and independence, enhancing the development of my career as a researcher.
Wheat is one of the pillars for nutrition security worldwide, but the prevalence of wheat-related disorders (WRD) is increasing. Taken together, coeliac disease, non-coeliac gluten sensitivity and wheat food allergy may affect up to 10% of European individuals. The causes for this increase are still unknown, but involve the intricate interaction of proteolytically resistant gluten immunoreactive peptides (GIP) from wheat, rye and barley, the human immune system and yet unknown adjuvants. Total GIP can be detected by immunoassays in human plasma, urine and faeces (biosamples) after gluten consumption, but the precise molecular structures have not been clarified so far, because specific analytical methods are missing. The project GLUTENOMICS aims to elucidate the molecular structures of GIP in human biosamples and analyse factors determining their identities and quantities. I aim to achieve this using a combination of different approaches to overcome the analytical challenges by i) creating a comprehensive database of GIP and elucidating factors affecting gluten protein digestibility, ii) developing and validating proteomics methods to detect GIP in human biosamples and iii) establishing relations between the GIP profile of raw materials, foods and human biosamples. My central hypothesis is that gluten structure and content determine its digestibility which, in turn, leads to different GIP profiles in biosamples from healthy individuals and WRD patients. The unique toolbox of methods that I will put in place will provide a fundamentally new understanding of how protein structures govern digestibility and how the resulting peptides pass through the human digestive system. My ambition is to use the findings to tailor grain-based foods towards better tolerability to prevent the initial onset of WRD. Beyond grains, GLUTENOMICS opens significant innovative potential to promote human health through systematically structured, isolated or designed dietary proteins.