livMatS Colloquium | Dr. Giulio Ragazzon (University of Strasbourg) | What are molecular ratchets and how we might use them
The principles that regulate directional motion at the molecular level differ from those at the macroscopic scale. Mechanisms operating at the nanoscale are called ratchets, and underlie the operation of molecular machines. Since molecular motors can perform work, mastering their operating principles may enable processes that seemingly overcome thermodynamic barriers. In this talk, experimental efforts dealing with the investigation of artificial molecules will serve as a basis to discuss how energy can be exploited to drive molecular motion and the assembly of high-energy structures, revealing common underlying principles. As a young principal investigator, I will take this opportunity to present how my research background is evolving in future directions, broadly related to the field of supramolecular and system’s chemistry. The overarching goal of my group's research is to unravel how energy sources can drive non-equilibrium processes at the molecular level.
Giulio Ragazzon obtained his PhD in 2017 at the University of Bologna, working on molecular machines under the supervision of Prof. Credi. He then moved to work with Prof. Prins on nonequilibrium self-assembly at the University of Padova. After serving as an assistant professor in the Carbon Nanotechnology group led by Prof. Prato at the University of Trieste, in 2021 he started his independent career at the Institut de Science et d’Ingeniérie Supramoléculaires (ISIS) in Strasbourg. In 2022 he received the ERC Starting grant, to develop artificial systems that harvest chemical energy to realize endergonic reactions.