|Research Priority||NMP-2007-1.1-2 Self-assembling and self-organisation|
|Project Type||Small or medium-scale focused research project|
Recent developments in the design and synthesis of nanoscale building blocks as active elements in opto- or bio-electronic devices with tailored electronic functionality have the potential to open up new horizons in nanoscience and also revolutionise multi-billion dollar markets across multiple technology sectors including healthcare, printable electronics, and security. Ligand-stabilised inorganic nanocrystals (~2-30 nm core diameters) and functional organic molecules are attractive building blocks due to their size dependent opto-electronic properties, the availability of low-cost synthesis processes and the potential for formation of ordered structures via (bio) molecular recognition and self-assembly. Harnessing the complementary properties of both nanocrystals and functional molecules thus represents a unique opportunity for generation of new knowledge and development of new classes of high knowledge-content materials with specific functionality tailored for key applications, e.g., printable electronics, biosensing or energy conversion in the medium term, and radically new information and signal processing paradigms in the long term. Self-assembly and self-organisation processes offer the potential to achieve dimensional control of novel multifunctional materials at length scales not accessible to conventional top-down technologies based on lithography.
During the first 18 months of the project, a number of novel linker molecular systems with novel (opto)-electrical functionalities have been designed, synthesised and characterised both in isolation and within nanocrystal-based assemblies. A variety of novel biomolecular and protein based materials have also been developed and tested both in solution and at technologically relevant substrates. This has been achieved through the development of both field-assisted and self-assembly methods, to enable electrical contacting of these functionalised nanostructures between nanoscale electrode structures. These efforts have been closely supported by extensive multi-scale theoretical modelling and simulation activities. The feedback has enabled the rapid demonstration of new functionalities in nanocrystal-molecular-nanocrystal based assemblies; 12 peer-reviewed publications and over 30 conference workshop presentations have been presented to date, which has been complemented by a number of non-peer publications and presentations to students and the general public.
FUNMOL Grant agreement number : 213382