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Starting Grant 2015 - Sofie Cambré

Order in one dimension: Functional hybrids of chirality-sorted carbon nanotubes

The hollow structure of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with a wide range of diameters forms an ideal one-dimensional host system to study restricted diameter-dependent molecular transport and to achieve unique polar molecular order. For the ORDERin1D project, I will capitalize on my recent breakthroughs in the processing, filling, chiral sorting and high-resolution spectroscopic characterization of empty and filled CNTs, aiming for a diameter-dependent characterization of the filling with various molecules, which will pave the way for the rational design of ultraselective filtermembranes, sensors, nanofluidic devices and nanohybrids with unseen control over the structural order at the molecular scale.

In particular, I recently found that dipolar molecules naturally align head-to-tail into a polar array inside the CNTs, after which their molecular directional properties such as their dipole moment and second-order nonlinear optical responses add up coherently, groundbreaking for the development of nanophotonics applications.