Nanoscale Electronic Nose

Prof. Charlie Johnson's group at Penn have coupled olfactory receptor proteins from mice to carbon nanotubes to create a prototype electronic nose. Olfactory receptors are embedded in nanodiscs that mimic the environment of the olfactory cell membrane.  Odorant molecules bind to the receptor, which produces an electrical response in the carbon nanotube (gray cylinder).

 

DNA-Carbon Nanotube Hybrid

Single-stranded DNA and carbon nanotubes are chemically compatible and readily self-assemble into DNA-carbon nanotube hybrids (pictured here).  These materials have applications in nanoelectronics, medicine, environmental safety and homeland security.  Dr. Robert R. Johnson of the University of Pennsylvania has used computer simulation to study the structure of these nanomaterials.

 

Dark Excitons

Excitons are electrically neutral excited states of a material consisting of a bound state of an electron and a hole.  Prof. Jay Kikkawa explores previously unseen "dark exciton" states in carbon nanotubes and shows their dependence on geometry of the nanotube.

 

MRSEC Research at Penn

The P&A department plays a large role in the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM). One focus of LRSM research between faculty from different departments and schools is soft matter and how it conforms, assembles, and reconfigures in response to the geometry and chemistry of bounding surfaces and interfaces.

 

Master of Medical Physics

The Department of Physics and Astronomy in the School of Arts and Sciences, in conjunction with the Departments of Radiology and Radiation Oncology in the School of Medicine, offers the Master of Medical Physics degree. The program is intended for technically prepared college graduates who seek to combine their interests in graduate physics with growing career opportunities in the field of medicine.

 

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