2023 BIST Ignite Project: NANOLYMPICS

The NANOswimmer OLYMPICS: Real-Time Tracking of the Photophysics and Photocatalytic Performance of Nanoscale Swimmers

Project overview

The NANOLYMPICS project aims to develop innovative solutions for tackling water contamination, paving the way for a cleaner and healthier environment.

Light-driven nanoswimmers have demonstrated great potential in various applications involving photocatalysis, such as environmental remediation. However, we still lack a comprehensive understanding of their photophysics and how different configurations affect their efficiency. This knowledge gap hinders the development of a rational approach to designing efficient nanodevices.

The NANOLYMPICS team aims to address this challenge by designing and fabricating novel nanoswimmers with diverse configurations. The collaboration, which is led by Group Leaders Nicoletta Liguori (ICFO) and Katherine Villa (ICIQ), will employ state-of-the-art ultrafast spectroscopy to establish a real-time correlation between the photophysics of these nanoswimmers and their distinct efficiencies in photocatalytic reactions. Specifically, the focus will be on studying their photoactivity in environmental remediation, evaluating their ability to degrade model pollutants in water.

This multidisciplinary work relies on diverse knowledge and expertise to gain insight into the complex photophysics dynamics of light-driven motors. The ICIQ team will contribute their knowledge of developing novel nanoswimmers with diverse configurations. This includes expertise in materials science, engineering, and nanotechnology to create innovative designs that optimize photocatalytic performance. The ICFO team will draw on their extensive knowledge in ultrafast spectroscopy and kinetic modeling of time-resolved spectroscopic data, two powerful tools for studying nanomotor behavior.

The outcome of this research will significantly contribute to understanding of nanomotor photophysics. It will shed light on how different configurations influence swimming efficiency and photocatalytic activity. Ultimately, this knowledge will empower researchers to design future nanoswimmers that excel in environmental remediation.

Project members

Nicoletta Liguori

ICFO, Group Leader
Project Leader

Katherine Villa

ICIQ, Group Leader
Project Leader

Rebeca Ferrer Campos

ICIQ, PhD Student

Yufen Chen

ICIQ, Postdoctoral Fellow

Chunyu Li

ICFO, Postdoctoral Fellow

Antonio Sampaoli

ICFO, PhD Student

Katrin Brache

ICFO, PhD Student

BIST centres

Institutional Members of the Board of Trustees