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Nanonica Prize 2013 goes to Jochen Feldmann

Munich, 10/01/2013

LMU physicist Jochen Feldmann receives the honor in recognition of his development of an ultrasensitive “nano-ear”.

Professor Jochen Feldmann, Chair of Photonics and Optoelectronics at LMU and Coordinator of the Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM), a Cluster of Excellence, has been awarded the annual prize for the “Breakthrough of the Year 2013” in the nanosciences, sponsored by the Swiss firm Nanonica. The Prize goes to Feldmann for the development of the first “nano-ear”. Feldmann and his research group reported the realization of this novel type of acoustic detector last year. The sensor consists of a single gold nanoparticle held in suspension by “optical tweezers”. By precision tracking of its position, displacements of the nanoparticle induced by extremely weak pressure waves can be detected. Indeed, the device is now so sensitive that it can “hear” the noise generated by the smallest motor in the world – the mechanochemical rotary engine that drives the flagellum of motile bacteria.

The investment firm Nanonica was set up in 2006 to serve as a link between research teams who have made significant advances in the nanosciences and industrial partners who can help to commercialize their discoveries. With its Breakthrough Prize, which is being awarded for the first time this year, Nanonica highlights projects that are particularly likely to lead to useful applications. The prizewinners are chosen by a selection committee comprised of renowned experts in the nanosciences.

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