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University of Ulm

University of Ulm

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229 Projects, page 1 of 46
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101018843
    Overall Budget: 262,949 EURFunder Contribution: 262,949 EUR

    Quantum enhanced magnetometers (QEM) based on nitrogen vacancy centres in diamond provide nanoscale spatial resolution and single atom sensitivity that can achieve magneto-optical imaging, thermometry and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of individual molecules. These have implications in various areas of fundamental science, biomedicine and information storage. One goal of QSENS-NMR is to solve the main challenges which prevent diamond to integrate and scale up thousands of QEM's on a single chip. These consider: challenging diamond waveguide fabrication, incompatibility with the Complementary-Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (CMOS) industry, scalability and commercialisation limitation given by the expensive, time consuming material growth and wafer size of diamond. QSENS-NMR aims to solve these issues by utilising Silicon Vacancy (SiV) defects in 4H-Silicon carbide (4H-SiC) material. Thanks to wafer bonding pieces from 6 inch 4H-SiC and Silicon Dioxide on Silicon wafers, QSENS-NMR will demonstrate waveguide fabrication in a CMOS compatible manner where shallow SiV defects will be implanted using scalable Focus Ion Beam. In such configuration, light can be easily coupled to simultaneously excite multiple defects. Additional fabrication of gold contacts will demonstrate the first on chip spin control and photoelectrical spin readout (PDMR) of single colour centers in SiC. The second goal of QSENS-NMR is to utilise the opportunity to manipulate and measure spin states in order to demonstrate the first submiliHertz NMR spectroscopy with SiC colour centres. By integrating simple, microfluidic channels, multiple samples of water can be delivered to various spatial locations of the chip where high resolution NMR measurements will be achieved using the Quantum Homodyne technique. QSENS-NMR thus paves the way to one day possibly scale up to thousands of NMR sensors on a single chip which can be used as a scalable diagnostic tool for cancer or viral research.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 235086
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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 655598
    Overall Budget: 159,461 EURFunder Contribution: 159,461 EUR

    Today insulin resistance (IR) is reaching pandemic proportions and it is predicted to emerge a leading worldwide morbidity by 2030. Immune cells, including the so-called adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) have key roles in the development of this disease. Pharmacological intervention to shape ATM differentiation and function may be a straightforward approach to prevent or combat IR. However the stem cell origin of ATMs is still unclear, which blocks the development of such prevention or treatment strategies. Recent reports show that some specific sets of macrophages develop from embryonic hematopoietic stem cells (eHSCs) and not from the bone marrow as it was postulated before. Our preliminary studies raise the possibility that eHSCs are present in the mouse and the human adipose tissue and these stem cells replenish the ATMs in adulthood. The major scientific objectives of this project are to (a) address the critical question whether ATMs are derived from eHSCs, and (b) define whether the eHSC-derived ATMs can cause IR. These are novel and non-conventional ideas on the determination of IR and are challenging the current wisdom on ATM origin. The deliverables of this project may open a new path to alleviate or prevent IR through eHSCs.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101088146
    Overall Budget: 2,000,000 EURFunder Contribution: 2,000,000 EUR

    Next-generation energy storage solutions are needed to satisfy the increasing demand for electrically powered devices. Organic electrode materials (OEMs) are promising candidates, constituted of widely available elements, accessible in processes with low CO2 footprint and easily recycled. However, existing OEMs suffer from a lack of porosity, which inhibits counter ion diffusion to the electroactive sites or renders redox processes irreversible, severely limiting their performance. NanOBatt explores a fundamentally new concept for OEMs in order to significantly improve their intrinsic porosity and provide pathways for efficient counter ion diffusion. In NanOBatt I and my team will investigate redox-active conjugated nanohoops and macrocycles with intrinsic porosity as OEMs in next-generation batteries: Redox-active groups can be installed with the desired properties, their extended conjugation and aromaticity stabilize charges, and their rigid 3D shapes and nanometer-sized cavities lead to nanoporous structures, ideally suited to enable fast counter ion diffusion. In spite of these outstanding properties, conjugated nanohoops have not been explored as OEMs, and even macrocycles have received only little attention as such. The aims of NanOBatt are to develop synthetic strategies and design guidelines for redox-active conjugated nanohoops and macrocycles as OEMs, elucidate the role of conjugation and porosity on charge stabilization and ion diffusion in their charge/discharge processes and investigate their application as OEMs in alternative battery cell configurations, namely Na, Al, Mg and all-organic batteries. NanOBatt uniquely bridges the gap between fundamental research on organic materials and their application in next-generation charge storage devices. With NanOBatt I will initiate a new research field with ground-breaking impact, both in the scientific community as well as for the future direction of my own research.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 802428
    Overall Budget: 1,500,000 EURFunder Contribution: 1,500,000 EUR

    Over the past two decades, a branch of organic chemistry has emerged that breaks with the paradigm of synthesizing pure compounds and focusses instead on complex (macro)molecular networks akin to those found in nature. In this proposed project, we aim to address unmet challenges in supramolecular chemistry and systems chemistry by developing original dynamic reaction networks whose building blocks are capable of supramolecular (self-)recognition. The first two objectives of SUPRANET focus on the use of dynamic covalent orthoester networks for the discovery of anion, cation and ion pair receptors, whose unique properties may pave the way towards the utilization of inorganic ions as drugs. For instance, we will develop self-assembled ion pair cages for the electro-neutral transport of medicinally relevant anions across phospholipid membranes. Our network approach will also allow us to “imprison” ionic guests for the first time in self-assembled receptors that could be used for the transport and controlled release of ions, even against osmotic pressure. Objectives three and four of SUPRANET go beyond the equilibrium state and, as such, are relevant to the chemistry of life, in which key processes depend on dissipative steady states. The proposed reaction networks will feature biologically relevant ribose building blocks that are continuously assembled and disassembled by two different irreversible reactions, resulting in steady state mixtures of either RNA oligomers or ribose-derived vesicles. It is our hope that these studies will provide insights into open questions regarding the molecular origins of life, such as the non-enzymatic formation of RNA oligomers capable of self-recognition and the simultaneous emergence of compartmentalization and self-replication. SUPRANET thus seeks to break new ground in both equilibrium and far-from-equilibrium dynamic networks and is equally motivated by applied and fundamental challenges.

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