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UCLan physicist publishes new book exploring nano-world future

29 January 2013

Press Office

UCLan physicist shares intriguing research findings through ground-breaking publication

A physicist from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) undertaking world-leading research into the future uses of nanotechnology has just published her first book.

Self-Assembly of Flat Organic Molecules on Metal Surfaces (published by Springer) has been written by UCLan’s Dr Manuela Mura, Research Fellow in Computational Physics from the School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences.

Based on her PhD thesis, which won the Tadion-Rideal Prize for Molecular Science from King’s College London, the book explains how to create a nano-fabric: single atom thin layers of biological molecules joined together through intricate patterns.

“It’s an extremely exciting research field,” explained Dr Mura. “Over the last 10 years the world has been involved in a technological revolution. Every day newer and smaller devices essential to daily life appear on the market. In the next generation of these products the application of nano-technology is going to play a major role.”

“Over the last 10 years the world has been involved in a technological revolution”

In her book Dr Mura uses one the world’s most powerful computational methods to explain how metal surfaces such as gold can be used to encourage the self-assembly of complex biological molecules, such as the derivatives of DNA, into structures reminiscent of the fabric of a knitted jumper.

Dr Mura added: “Imagine a world where a personal computer could fit inside the lenses of a pair of glasses or a mobile phone with the processing speed of today’s supercomputers. These are not fanciful predictions, they will happen.”

“Imagine a world where a personal computer could fit inside the lenses of a pair of glasses or a mobile phone with the processing speed of today’s supercomputers”


Professor Andrei Zvelindovsky, leading UCLan’s Computational Physics Group, added: “Over the last few years UCLan has assembled a very strong team of researchers in the area of nano-science and nano-biotechnology.

“As members of UCLan’s Institute of Nanotechnology and Bioengineering our scientists are engaged in world-wide collaborations including those within the USA and Japan.  We have also been successful in establishing a strong research collaboration in China via UCLan Biomedical Technology (Shenzhen) Limited, located on the Shenzhen Virtual University Park.

“This latest prize-winning book by Dr Mura will not only enhance our research reputation in the world, but also contribute to the development of our very own MSc programme in Nano-Physics for which we believe there will be strong demand in the future.”