Collaborative Research Centre 840

From Particulate Nanosystems to Mesotechnology

Focus and approach of the Collaborative Research Center SFB 840

Over the past decades modern nanotechnology mastered to fabricate nano-sized objects with desired properties and high precision in respect to morphology and monodispersity. These scientific breakthroughs at the nanoscale should now be applied to achieve new functionalities at the mesoscale. In main areas properties relevant at the macroscale manifest themselves at the more complex mesoscale rather than at the molecular or nanoparticle level. At the mesoscale interfaces, non-equilibrium and cooperative interactions lead to hierarchical mesostructure determined by the ensemble.

The collaborative research center 840 focuses on mesostructured systems where “meso” not only refers to a length scale. Rather concerted, programmed interactions beyond the molecule, beyond the individual nanoparticle are utilized to generate meso-immanent properties at the next hierarchical level. Chemistry seeks to develop simple, technically benign and hence scalable processes. Needless to say that this should also apply at the mesoscale to warrant technological implementation. 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 and technologies. Results and insights gained during previous funding periods have enabled us to master the complexity and gain control of emerging mesoscale-immanent functionalities.

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

• synthesize well-defined, functional nanoparticulate 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,

• to look for emerging, previously not realized “meso”-properties

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


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