Collaborative Research Centre 840

From Particulate Nanosystems to Mesotechnology

Focus and approach of the Collaborative Research Center SFB 840

Over the past years modern nanotechnology mastered to fabricate nano-sized objects with superb properties and high precision. Integrating these nanoscopic building units into functional building blocks, however, proved to be highly complex, but nevertheless essential in order to fully exploit the potential of such nano-sized objects for future materials.

The collaborative research center 840 therefore seeks to connect molecular or particulate nanoscaled building units to complex functional building blocks with macroscopically utilizable effects. Establishing this essential interface between nano-sized objects and macroscopic systems is one of the grand challenges faced by the nanotechnology community today and is referred to by mesotechnology. It requires the target-oriented design of nano-sized building units, which then allows for controlled integration into mesoscopic structures. The latter facilitate efficient cooperation between the particulate units in and with a surrounding matrix or surface to bear the desired function. It is through the coupling between nanoscopic building units assembled in a controlled way that new material properties emerge which are intrinsic to the meso-objects. Retrieving these meso-immanent properties requires development of appropriate methods to synthesize, to structure and to characterize these materials on all lengths scales stretching from nano- to macroscale which moreover needs to be accompanied by simulation and theory. The meso-materials are branded by a hierarchical structure composed from many chemically different components and the interaction between these components wants to be well-understood and controlled.

The objective of the collaborative research project, SFB 840, thus is to

• synthesize well-defined, functional nanoparticlate building units which must of course be thoroughly characterized      at the single particle level prior to assembly,

• implement elements that mediate coupling to allow for integration into functional building blocks,

• develop a deeper understanding of the self-assembly of these nanoparticulate building units into mesoscopic  structures,

• establish novel methods for directed mesostructuring,

• elucidate the cooperative interaction of individual building units in functional systems

and by this way, the SFB  provides a scientific basis for mesotechnology

 

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