NANOFUN applies fundamental theoretical and molecular knowledge to the development of functional materials and nanostructures, and ultimately, actual applications, new devices and improved products.
This includes areas like photovoltaics, hydrogen storage, fuel cells, batteries, photocatalytic conversion of carbon dioxide, nanoelectronics for computers, and sensors.
What is Functional Materials Research and Nanoscience?
The physical sciences have reached a state that enables us, at least in principle, to build objects at the ultimate level of finesse, one atom or molecule at a time, with ultimate precision. At the nanometre length scale, the traditional sciences of physics, chemistry and biology loose their distinctiveness and merge into a new transdisciplinary science, commonly known as “Nanoscience”, and its concomitant technology. In this new scientific endeavour, each of the traditional sciences has an invaluable contribution to make.
Given the scope of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, it is not surprising that they hold answers to our most pressing material and technological needs. For example, advanced organic solar cells based on new functional materials, fuel cells incorporating nano-catalysts and novel hydrogen storage systems based on molecularly engineered materials could solve our energy problems in a way consistent with the requirement of sustainability. Wires, transistors, and storage media of the size of single molecules will introduce a paradigm shift in information technology. The construction of molecular shuttles, rotors and wheels realizes mechanical tools at the nanoscopic level, while the design of molecular barrels, cups, chains and knots transfers macroscopic objects to the nanoscale. Molecular medicine is looking for ultrasmall and less invasive detection techniques in diagnostics and delivering systems employing nano-containers to advance progress and treatment of diseases. These are just a few examples of how (molecular) Nanotechnology can transform our future.