EspLORE: exploring properties of carbon-atom wires with application-oriented approach

EspLORE project: research published in nature communications

Linear carbon atomic wires are one-dimensional carbon-based systems that are a subject of great interest, due to their special thermal, optical, electronic and mechanical properties, and therefore their possible applications in various fields.

The EspLORE project, coordinated by Prof. Carlo S. Casari of the Department of Energy at the Politecnico di Milano, and funded by the European Research Council (ERC) with a Consolidator Grant, aims to develop innovative materials by exploiting the potential of carbon atomic wires, exploring their possible applications in advanced technologies within the energy sector.

As part of the project, research was carried out into the response of carbon chains to a particular UV light excitation, a type of light that these materials readily absorb. The vibrational response of the carbon chains and the influence that UV light had on their electronic properties was investigated using the IUVS Synchrotron Light Line equipment at the “Elettra” Synchrotron in Trieste.

The uniqueness of these carbon atomic wires and of the investigation technique used has allowed us to better understand their fundamental properties, providing a strong basis for their future applications in various fields.

Prof. Carlo S. Casari

The results of the study, carried out by Prof. Casari and the ESPLORE project team in collaboration with Professors Chiara Castiglioni and Matteo M. S. Tommasini of the FunMat Lab (Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta” of the Politecnico di Milano) and Barbara Rossi of the “Elettra” Synchrotron in Trieste, were published in the prestigious international scientific journal Nature Communications in an article entitled “Electron-phonon coupling and vibrational properties of size-selected linear carbon chains by resonance Raman scattering”.

The structural simplicity of these atomic wires allows for an elegant and rigorous verification of one of the fundamental theories of resonant Raman spectroscopy, here applied for the first time to transitions involving multiple vibrational quanta.

Matteo Tommasini and Chiara Castiglioni

After 5 years of work, the EspLORE project has achieved its main goal: to explore the properties of carbon-atom wires with an application-oriented approach.

Here are other important results:

  • the PROTECHT project, which aims to exploit the results of EspLORE research for possible business opportunities, has received an ERC Proof of Concept Grant;
  • the ENIGMA project, an outcome of the EspLORE activity, has won the 2021 Switch2Product innovation challenge, the 2022 Startcup Lombardia and the special LIFTT award in the context of the 2022 National Innovation Award (PNI)

H.P.C. & Quantum